Staying on Top of Data and Technology to Lead Change in Education

Staying on Top of Data and Technology to Lead Change in Education

As the Assistant Head for Youth and Community Education, Zanaria wants to make a difference and further enhance the standard of education for the madrasah sector in Singapore. She is responsible for performing research and evaluating the impact of educational programmes, identifying the appropriate types of learning and development interventions and developing education policies at MUIS.

In order to learn about the latest pedagogies and improve her research competency, Zanaria enrolled in the University of Nottingham’s Master of Arts in Education (MAEd), offered at Ngee Ann Academy.

In this article, Zanaria shares how the MAEd programme helps her to fulfil her personal and professional aspirations.

Why did you decide to pursue the MAEd from the University of Nottingham?

I decided to pursue the MAEd so that I could develop my research capabilities. Through MAEd, I can learn the effective methodologies that will be useful in performing research at work. In addition, I can acquire knowledge about new pedagogies, learn how to write policies, conduct research, and analyse data.

Besides professional development, it is also one of my personal goals to pursue continuous learning and achieve a Master’s Degree in a field that I am genuinely passionate about.

Tell us about something you have learnt that is applicable in your workplace.

COVID-19 happened, and we had to move away from face-to-face classroom learning and adopt e-learning for madrasahs. As we shifted to home-based learning, I had to think of ways to engage the students online as well as to encourage the teachers to persevere amid the challenging times.

This coincides with the Leading Learning module, where we learned how to make use of technology to enhance learning. It was beneficial because I was introduced to new technologies and tools that are useful in supporting remote teaching, and I managed to apply some of the tools to complement our teaching approaches at work.

Could you share your learning experience and what makes it rewarding?

The discussions in class have broadened my perspectives, and I can apply the knowledge that I have learned in the MAEd programme to improve our education systems and policies at MUIS. I am fortunate to have met the professors from the University of Nottingham. As professors with vast industry experiences, they bring real-world insights into classroom teaching, and they teach us how to bridge the gap between theory and application to enhance our work in education.

I also have the opportunity to interact with classmates from the education industry. We share readings, resources, and best practices that are helpful to us at work. Besides learning from each other, we have been motivating and supporting each other beyond the classes.

How do you motivate yourself throughout your studies?

I keep myself going with positive thinking as I know I have to take charge of my own professional and personal development. In the education field, we always have to upskill and upgrade ourselves to keep up with the new technologies and methodologies, so that we can develop better policies and curriculums.

I am also grateful for having the full support from my family. My husband encouraged me to embark on the programme, and I can be the role model to my son who studies because he sees me studying too!

Any tips and advice for the potential NU students and current NU students?

Be confident in yourself and take charge of your personal and professional development. With the deep exposure to education, I am confident that anyone who enrols in this programme will be empowered to lead change and strengthen the education system.


Master of Arts in Education (offered by the University of Nottingham)

This is a unique modular and flexible programme designed to reflect the needs of individuals or organisational cohorts. While each module has its particular focus, all are concerned with investigating contemporary educational issues in the light of economic and social contexts, appropriate literature and the shared experience of course members.

A hallmark of the programme is the University’s commitment to equality and diversity and the flexibility to meet the needs of individuals and organisations. The overall purpose is to deepen and refine the students’ capacity for critical reflection on their practice as well as on the mental models which inform their work.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Master of Arts in Education, please click here to visit the programme page.


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