Fulbright Scholar from Singapore talks pedagogy with New Paltz faculty

By Valerine Gomez Beco ’21

Jo-Ann Netto-Shek, a Fulbright Scholar from the National Institute of Education, Singapore, who is currently visiting SUNY New Paltz in the Department of Teaching and Learning, met with faculty this month at a “brown bag” lunch to discuss teacher education in Singapore with New Paltz faculty members.

Netto-Shek focused her discussion on approaches to helping students learn, not just in the classroom but over the course of the entire lives, as a means of preparing them to succeed in a globally connected, rapidly changing world.

The mission is to “teach less and help students more,” she said. “People are the resource. You have to make them smart and internationally desired.”

Netto-Shek drew on her experiences working to prepare future educators in the areas of language learning and literacy education at the National Institute of Education at Singapore, a national teacher education institute.

In particular, she detailed the Thinking Schools, Learning Nation initiative, which emphasizes Singapore’s national history and uses modern information technology to equip teachers with thinking skills to benefit both the learner and teacher.

Netto-Shek is using her time at SUNY New Paltz to share these and other techniques for improving teaching and teacher education, with support from both the School of Education and the Center for International Programs.

About the Fulbright Program

Established in 1946 by former U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright, the Fulbright program is a series of merit-based grants sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Its goal is to enable the open exchange of knowledge and skills between nations by providing grants in support of graduate study, advanced research, university lecturing and classroom teaching, both for U.S. citizens interested in working abroad and citizens of other nations interested in coming here. More than 300,000 students and scholars worldwide have received funding since the Program’s inception.

More information about the Fulbright Program is available at the website of the Council for International Exchange of Scholars.