CIE ITC Singapore

Find below my report for the CIE's 5th International Teachers' Conference Singapore 2009.
The Cambridge IT Conference was a very rewarding experience in many aspects, not the least of which
was the fact that it was held in such a fantastic place as Singapore. The city itself was an overwhelming
experience, leaving memories that will be hard to erase.
The variety and richness of cultures, the diversity of perspectives, and the richness and depths of
Singapore’s life were matched in the conference. The constant interchange of opinions from so many
sources was a signature of the meetings. I thrived in talking about school life in India or Malaysia, Philippines
and China, contrasting aspects of education in Argentina, yet many times finding coincidences among us
that made us laugh in surprise. The quality and good atmosphere created during the workshop also fostered
this rich interchange, facilitated by the excellent predisposition and good humour of the coordinator, Elaine

The opening talk by Dr. Kevin Stannard gave the proper framework to the upcoming workshops, and set
the mood accordingly. It was also very enlightening to hear Dr. Elizabeth Pang talking about Education in
Singapore. But the keynote that I particularly enjoyed was Prof. Osborne’s. He raised many questions I
had not dealt with before, relating data about science teaching and language that I had not thought about
previously. There were many aspects of his talk that I readily shared with my colleagues in the science
department, which in turn spawned good discussions on exam design and report writing. Formally I talked
about the conference at department meetings, but informally and in corridors or staff room (where all the real
talk takes place) I had many, many discussions with colleagues about aspects of teaching science.

The workshops were very fruitful, as I mentioned previously, in discussions on teaching practices in different
schools. We confronted several strategies suggested by the coordinator, and I had very good input on
simple yet effective techniques. Some were direct, applicable experiments for instance; others were more
general, and aimed at your general approach to language in teaching. I liked the fact that the approach of
the workshop was hands-on, working on real life scenarios, exams and syllabi. In this sense, the workshop
contributed mostly to my daily teaching practice. Ms. Wilson provided very useful feedback on our work,
and contributed greatly to me having such a good experience from the workshop itself. There were lots of
material that I got to share with my colleagues, and hopefully my teaching practice will benefit from all her
good advice. It was fortunate for me then that she gave the second keynote, as we could continue discussing
further in the workshop. Incorporating ICT in the classroom is an always ongoing and changing practice, and
her talk did raise some interesting ways in which it was implemented, specially in the form of real-time (or
very up to date) use of data and collaboration.

I think the combination of talks and hands-on workshop made for a good overall conference, and certainly the
human factor and good general predisposition contributed heavily to this being a great experience - it was
deeply enriching. The instance I’d change would probably be the closing, to have an opportunity to all get
together one last time, and share a moment. I would perhaps move the dinner from the first day to the last.
This notwithstanding, I have nothing but praise and appreciation for your invitation to the conference, and for
the conference itself. I would certainly attend a future International Teacher’s Conference!