The WISE Research Series


Prof. Oon Seng Tan

Position: Director, National Institute of Education
Country: Singapore

Professor Tan Oon Seng is Director of the National Institute of Education (NIE), Singapore. Professor Tan was previously Dean of Teacher Education at NIE where he spearheaded the Teacher Education for the 21st Century (TE21) initiative as a major milestone innovation for teacher education both nationally and internationally.

He also heads the Singapore team for the Global Education Innovation Initiative (GEII) helmed by the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is also convener of the World Educational Research Association (WERA) International Research Network on Teacher Education. Professor Tan was President of the Educational Research Association of Singapore (ERAS, 2005-2008) and President of the Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association (APERA, 2008-2010).

He was also the Vice-President (Asia and Pacific Rim) of the International Association for Cognitive Education and Psychology (IACEP, 2008-2011). He is Editor-in-Chief of the Educational Research for Policy & Practice (ERPP) journal published by Springer. He is also the Lead Editor of the Asia Pacific Journal of Education (APJE) published by Routledge. Concurrently, he is on the board of directors for NIE International (NIEI) and also for the Singapore Centre for Chinese Language (SCCL). Prof Tan's areas of research include teacher education, cognitive psychology and problem-based learning (PBL) for which he is known internationally. Prof Tan was a winner of The Enterprise Challenge (TEC) Innovator Award from the Prime Minister’s Office of Singapore for co-pioneering a project on Innovation for the Knowledge-based Economy. In 2014 National Day, he was conferred the Public Administration Medal (Silver) by the President of the Republic of Singapore. He has been a keynote speaker in major international conferences in the United States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, the Arab states and Southeast Asia.

His keynotes include the National Science Foundation (NSF) Education & Human Resource (EHR) Distinguished Lecture in Washington, D.C., American Educational Research Association Annual Meetings presidential sessions, the Royal Swedish Academy of Science international symposium, and international education summits. He has also been a consultant to many government bodies, international organisations and global companies.