Professional Development Courses

Professional Development Courses 2015    |     Home   |




Trainers’ Profile

Dr. Chitra Shegar

Dr. Chitra Shegar is an Assistant Professor with the National Institute of Education. Her areas of specialisation are Reading Instruction, Second Language Acquisition and Language Teaching Methodology. Her stint in NIE, both in the Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice as well as the English Language and Literature Department makes her professional expertise highly unique as she is trained not only in the theoretical but the applied aspects of language and literacy development.

Apart from teaching several reading and writing courses in NIE, Dr. Shegar has successfully served as  a Principal Investigator for 2 literacy projects funded at $250 000 in Singapore. She has also conducted workshops for teachers in more than 50 schools and educational institutions in Singapore on reading, writing and grammar. She also serves as an advisor for action research projects in schools with the aim of enhancing literacy instruction through teacher professional development and transformation of pedagogical practice at school level. Internationally, she has been invited to conduct teaching seminars in various countries such as Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Boston. In 2001, she was awarded “Fellow of Teachers Network” for the Year 2000 and in 2010 she was conferred the title of ‘International Visiting Scholar to Wheelock 2011-2012’ in recognition of teaching abilities and professional development of teachers in literacy instruction based on evidence-based practices.

Dr Wong Khoon Yoong

Dr Wong has recently retired as an Associate Professor in mathematics education from the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University and is now working as a part-time education consultant. In a career spanning four decades, he has taught mathematics in Malaysia and mathematics education courses in universities in Australia, Brunei Darussalam, and Singapore. He has authored and edited secondary mathematics textbooks and provided consultancy to Singapore schools and education institutes in Chile, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and the United States. He participated in the review of the national mathematics curriculum of Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, and Singapore, and co-authored a teacher training manual on mathematical thinking for the Australian national statement.  His teaching and research covered many aspects of mathematics education and research methodology, including serving as the principal investigator for Singapore in two major international studies on mathematics teacher education. His work can be found in international conference proceedings, book chapters, journals, and technical reports, and some of these writings are available for free downloaded from


He holds a BSc (Hons) in mathematics (Tasmania), Diploma in Education (Tasmania), and PhD (education) (Queensland). He is keen to share his professional experiences gained from working in four different countries in his teaching.


Mr Charles Barton

Mr Charles Barton taught in our neighbourhood schools for eight years. For the last ten years he has run teacher workshops and student training for nearly 150 schools in Singapore. He has been a teacher on five continents and while with the ministry, spearheaded a cluster project on improving learning in classrooms with some exceptional results.

Dr Cheah Yin Mee

Dr Cheah Yin Mee is a partner and principal consultant of Learning Ventures, a consultancy company that specializes in continuing education for English language teachers.  Learning Ventures was established in 1998. Yin Mee conducts in-service courses for English language teachers at the pre-school, primary and secondary levels in Singapore and Hong Kong. She has also worked as a consultant to a number of primary and secondary schools in Singapore and Hong Kong, developing reading, writing and literacy curriculum packages, vetting test papers, and helping teachers to develop their pedagogical skills. Apart from her teacher education courses, she also currently works, as a writer and consultant to Marshall Cavendish, on the series MC English for primary schools.

Mr Dennis Sale

Mr Dennis Sale is presently Senior Education Advisor at the Singapore Polytechnic. He has worked across all areas of the British educational system and provided a wide range of consultancies in public and private sector organisations, both in the UK and in several Asian countries. Over the past 15 years Dennis has been extensively involved in training, coaching and assessing teaching professionals.

His specialist areas include ‘creative teaching’ and ‘promoting thinking in the curriculum’. Dennis has developed original and practical frameworks for developing creative teaching and good thinking, which are increasingly being adopted in educational institutions in Singapore and other Asian countries.

He has conducted numerous workshops in these areas, presented papers at international conferences and published in a variety of journals and books. Dennis is noted as one of Singapore’s most charismatic presenters at conferences and being able to make the complex both simple and fun.

Mr See Teck Meng

Mr See Teck Meng holds a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Western Australia. Under the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualification for learning and development, Teck Meng obtained his Advance Certificate in Training and Assessment (ACTA) and Diploma in Adult and Continuing Education (DACE). Teck Meng is also a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD). He has previously attended courses on Instructional Design and Instructional Strategies at the National Institute of Education.

Teck Meng currently delivers training for various modules in the ACTA and DACE programmes to participants from various services and industries. He also delivers workshops for performance management. His experience and exposure to training and development dates back to the time as a Naval Officer with the Republic of Singapore Navy. He served as Directing Staff (instructor) in the Goh Keng Swee Command and Staff College and Commanding Officer of the Navy’s Tactical Training Centre, where computer simulated exercises are designed and conducted to train and evaluates the readiness of the Navy’s command teams.

Kagan Cooperative Trainer:


Clare Johnstone

Clare Johnstone is an Internationally Certified Kagan Trainer, who has provided Kagan trainings to teachers at all levels. Throughout her career in education, Clare has served in a variety of specialized capacities, including: Literacy Coach, Reading Recovery Teacher, Curriculum Support Coordinator, and Year Level Coordinator. As a leader at her school, she provided all staff professional development, assisted in the alignment of school wide curriculum with government standards, and supported teachers with integrating the latest technology into their classrooms. Clare is committed to designing and developing a rich and balanced curriculum, and has experience with inquiry-based learning. She has served on multiple committees, garnering further experience in subjects such as curriculum support, student assessment, and the acquisition of grant funding. A passionate, humorous presenter, Clare is also an enthusiastic, experienced and innovative expert in Kagan Structures dedicated to ensuring her workshop participants come away empowered to implement the Kagan Structures and philosophy.


Assoc Professor Phil Cam 

Assoc Professor Phil Cam, with a PhD in Philosophy from Oxford University, teaches Philosophy of Mind and Philosophy of Psychology at the Department of History and Philosophy of the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Phil Cam has written several books related to philosophical inquiry for children (eg. the Thinking Stories series), some of which have been widely translated into other languages, and he is also the author of many articles on related aspects of education. He has also published in philosophy of mind, with reference to the work of contemporary philosophers, and has edited a series of books for UNESCO. His latest is Philosophical Perspectives on Globalization (2006). Phil Cam was formerly President of FAPSA and is currently President of the Asia-Pacific Philosophy Education Network for Democracy (APPEND).    

Dr Azhar Ibrahim, Prof Tagore and Dr Benjamin Wong

Dr Azhar Ibrahim is assistant professor at the Malay Studies Department in NUS, where he specialises in Malay Language linguistics and Malay culture.

Professor Saranindranath Tagore teaches in the Philosophy Dept at NUS and specialises in Indiian philosophy and culture and also western philosophy.

Dr Benjamin Wong of National Institute of Education has a PhD in philosophy.

Dr Lionel Mendoza

Dr Lionel Mendoza was a staff member in the Department of Mathematics and Mathematics Education from 1996 to 2007 before he returned to Canada.  During those last 6 years at NIE, he was also Associate Dean (Educational Research) in the Graduate Programmes and Research Office which involved, in part, being in charge of NIE’s Master’s degree programmesHis pre-service teaching focused on the primary level and included all the mathematics education courses for Primary teachers in the Diploma, PGDE and Degree programmes. He also supervised MEd candidates who were involved in primary mathematics education research.

Ms Debbie Hogan

Debbie Hogan, BS, MS, BCPC, CSFC, Psychotherapist, Trainer, Certified Coach, Singapore, USA

Debbie has degrees in Psychology and Counselling and has an Advanced Certificate in Ericksonian Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Solution Focused Brief Therapy.  She trained with Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer in 1999, the developers of solution focused brief therapy and started the Academy of Solution in 2004 and has trained thousands of practitioners across Asia.  She is in private practice and works within a broad range of clinical issues with both adults and children.  She has over 26 years experience as a psychotherapist,  trainer and coach and is an EAP provider and has conducted training for local and multi-national companies. As an executive coach, she has worked with CEO’s, top level management, and the private sector.  Some of her corporate clients have included GE, Caltex, Union Carbide, Smith & Nephew, Proctor and Gamble, On Semiconductor, BHP Bulliton, Lifestyle Retreats, Trisula, Katoen Natie, ComPsych, and Sheppell-FGI.

Debbie has done extensive training and supervision with local and international schools, including National University of Singapore, Singapore Institute of Management, ITE West, Fairfield Methodist Secondary School, Regent Secondary School, Innova Primary School, Bedok Secondary School, Assumption Secondary School, MOE, Singapore American School, Chatsworth International School, United College of Southeast Asia, Tanglin Trust School, James Cook University, Hong Kong International School, Manila International School, Taylor’s University of Malaysia, Hong Kong Polytechnic, University of Texas, USA, etc.  She works with children and adolescents within a wide range of school based issues, such as: self-harming, anxiety, depression, school refusal, truancy, late-coming, absenteeism, academic performance, gangsterism, bullying, etc. 

Debbie is a Certified Solution Focused Coach and Examiner for the Canadian Council for Professional Certification and member of the International Coach Federation.  She is a founding member of the International Alliance of Solution Focused Teaching Institutes and has contributed to numerous magazine articles and book chapters, including The Art of Solution Focused Therapy and Meeting Steve & Insoo.  Her current projects include a book, “Solution Stories from Asia:  Inspiring examples from solution focused practice” and a research project with James Cook University on Solution Focused practice in Asia.

Professional Associations

-                      Singapore Association for Counselling

-                      American Psychotherapy Association

-                      International Coach Federation

-                      Association for Quality Development in Solution Focused Consulting & Training

-                      Examiner, Supervisor, Canadian Council of Professional Certification

-                      Examiner, Supervisor, International Alliance of Solution Focused Teaching Institutes

Dr Christopher Hamilton

Dr Christopher Hamilton is a very experienced Literature teacher and his lectures were well received. He taught at NIE in the English Langauge and Literature Academic Group for some years, and later became Dean at the Centre for American Education, Singapore.

Dr George Jacobs

Dr George Jacobs has been teaching in Singapore and working with Singapore teachers since 1993 at the Regional Language Centre, NIE, MOE schools and other institutions. He has a doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of Hawaii. Dr Jacobs tries for ‘Just-in-Time Teaching’, making his workshops/courses as immediately applicable as possible.

Mr Rick Smith

Mr Rick Smith is an international education consultant and national presenter. He has shared practical teaching strategies to tens of thousands of teachers and teacher-trainers worldwide, including two years training American Peace Corps Volunteer Teachers in Ghana, West Africa. Rick was a classroom teacher for over fourteen years, focusing primarily on students-at-risk. He's been a mentor/support provider and mentor coordinator for many years, and has taught in both Elementary and Secondary Credential programs in northern California.

Rick has conducted hundreds of workshops on effective classroom management and instructional strategies, in addition to dozens of keynote speeches nationally that are consistently praised for both their motivational and practical value. His feature article "Mentoring New Teachers: Strategies, Structures, and Successes," appears in Teacher Education Quarterly.  His bestselling book Conscious Classroom Management: Unlocking the Secrets of Great Teaching is currently being used by the majority of the new teachers in the ten largest school districts in America.  It is rapidly becoming the number one book in the country for classroom management and student motivation.

Biography of Prof Joe Elliott

Julian (Joe) Elliott joined Durham University in 2004 from the University of Sunderland where he was Acting Dean of the School of Education and Lifelong Learning. Prof. Elliott taught in mainstream and special schools prior to practising as an LEA educational psychologist.

A Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, he is registered to engage in clinical practice as an educational psychologist by the Health Professions Council. He is an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences and a member of the REF 2014 Education Panel. 

His research and teaching interests include dyslexia, achievement motivation, working memory difficulties, SEN, behaviour management, cognitive education, and psychological assessment. His research involves ongoing collaborations with partners in Europe, the United States, Asia and Australia.