Teachers Conference on Use of Newspapers in Teaching and Learning

To be jointly presented by the Press Foundation of Singapore and News For Kids

Singapore, 22 October 2003 The daily newspaper is a wonderful source for all types of information. Newspapers help students make connections with the real world and with the communities in which they live.

It is a "living textbook" that can help stimulate a student's interest in many subjects. Research shows that making curricular links with the real world helps students understand the potential value of their academic curriculum at school. Knowing what news is and where to find it is a necessity of modern-day life.

To encourage the use of newspapers in creative and meaningful ways for teaching and learning, the Press Foundation of Singapore, a new charity body, and News For Kids will jointly present the first conference for 300 primary and secondary school teachers to help promote the newspaper reading habit among students.

This one-day conference will be held on Monday, 17 November 2003, from 8.30am to 5.00pm, at the Grand Hyatt Singapore. The speakers at the plenary sessions and concurrent workshops will include veteran journalists and education experts. Mr Patrick Daniel, the Managing Editor of the English and Malay Newspapers Division of the Singapore Press Holdings, will be the keynote speaker.

The first plenary session, titled "Behind and Beyond the Headlines: The News as Life", will focus on the role of professional journalism in society.

The speakers for this session are:

  • Ms Braema Mathi, a Nominated Member of Parliament and a former journalist
  • Mr Alan John, Night Editor of The Straits Times
  • Mr Koh Boon Pin, Assistant Editor of The Straits Times Life! section

The second plenary session, titled "New Children, New Economies, New Media", will focus on the child. The speaker is Prof Allan Luke, the Foundation Dean of the Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice at the National Institute of Education. A Canadian trained primary teacher, Prof Luke was formerly Dean of Education at the University of Queensland and Deputy Director General of Education. His publications include 12 books and more than 150 chapters and articles.

There will also be two sessions of concurrent workshops that will go in-depth into the use of newspapers in specific subject areas. For example, there will be workshops on the use of newspapers in teaching language arts, social studies, art education, science and mathematics. In addition, there will be workshops that will explore the use of newspapers for moral education and in teaching about inclusion, peace, etc.

Mrs Sng Ngoi May, General Manager of the Press Foundation of Singapore, said: "The newspaper is a wonderful, exciting gateway for children to a larger world of knowledge, learning growth and pleasure which they sometimes cannot get from textbooks.

"We hope through this conference, the teachers will be able to spread the newspaper appreciation message and help inculcate newspaper reading in our students."

Dr Cherian George, a director of News For Kids, which publishes the children's newspaper What's Up, said: "Many teachers already recognise the value of newspapers in education, but wonder how they can use newspapers without adding to their heavy loads.

"The workshops, led by leading educators and other specialists, will give them the practical guidance they're looking for."

With the sponsorship of the Press Foundation of Singapore, the conference fee is at a subsidised rate of $100 (for early bird registration), $110 (for regular registration - by 25 Oct) and $120 (late registration - after 25 Oct). The fee includes resource materials, lunch and two teas.

For more information, please contact:

Juliana Chong
Press Foundation of Singapore Limited
Tel: 6319-1895
Email: julianac@sph.com.sg

About Press Foundation of Singapore
The Press Foundation of Singapore is a charity foundation set up to help build a life-long learning community that embraces language enrichment, creativity, diversity, healthy living and sports. Singapore Press Holdings has contributed $20 million to the Foundation.

About News For Kids
News For Kids was established this year to bring current affairs to children through publications and events. It was founded by a child development specialist, Dr Mary Cherian, and a media scholar, Dr Cherian George. Its monthly newspaper, What's Up, was launched in August and is now distributed through 20 primary schools and institutions.


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