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The “RAP” Approach to Enhance Teaching

04 Sep 2014

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One of five recipients of the President’s Award for Teachers this year, Dr Muhammad Nazir Bin Amir, shares on his teaching approach for Normal (Technical) students. The award recognises caring and nurturing teachers dedicated to the holistic development of students.?

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“I wanted to pursue a postgraduate course in engineering but a relief teaching stint at Greenview Secondary School changed my life”, shared Dr Muhammad Nazir Bin Amir who is now a Lead Teacher (Science) at the school.

As an engineering graduate, Dr Nazir found teaching to be a challenge when he first started, but his interactions with students affirmed his love for the job. He particularly enjoyed working with students from the Normal (Technical) stream and felt teachers could do more to instil a love for learning in these students.

Dr Nazir actively explored various teaching approaches and innovative strategies, and even devised the ‘Relevant, Appealing and Personal’ (RAP) approach, to make lessons more appealing and relevant to the real world. The ‘RAP’ approach also formed the foundation of a values-driven ‘Toy Story-Telling Project’ in 2005. Dr Nazir noticed how teachers in several pre-schools and special schools struggled to engage young children during story telling sessions, as the story telling aids used did not capture the attention of these children.

To trigger the kinaesthetic senses of young children, he set his Secondary Two N(T) students a project to design and create simple toys based on scientific principles, which could be used as teaching aids to engage these young children during story-telling. The N(T) students involved in the project showed much enthusiasm and felt a strong sense of achievement in their creations.

Amir 02Dr Nazir was also heartened by the positive feedback given by his fellow teachers and experts during the sharing of his ‘RAP’-infused lessons at both local and international conferences.

“The positive feedback has spurred me on to read widely so that I can further improve my teaching practices. I always feel encouraged when I see my colleagues infuse the principles of ‘RAP’ into their lessons as well.  I have seen the positive results of ‘RAP’ and it has become my goal to share the benefits of ‘RAP’ amongst teachers in schools across Singapore. With ‘RAP’, I believe that many N(T) students can have an enjoyable learning experience.”


Are there teachers who have made an impact in your life? Share them with us in the comment box below!

Read the other inspiring stories of winners and finalists of the President Award for Teachers.