Dr Daniel Chua
BA Hon (Ed), MA (Soc Studies), PhD (History)
Executive Director and Head of Curriculum
Dr Daniel Chua is Executive Director and Head of Curriculum at Cognitus Academy. Before founding Cognitus Academy, he was a teacher and Head of Department at Saint Hilda’s Primary School. Since leaving the Ministry of Education (MOE), he has earned a PhD in history from the Australian National University (ANU) and taught Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral students in Australia and Singapore.
As a seasoned PSLE exam marker and innovative educator, Dr Chua guided his inaugural Primary 6 class to achieve at least an A grade, with 82% scoring A* for the PSLE English Examinations. Trained to teach high-ability learners, Dr Chua also coached students in Future Problem Solving, an enrichment programme for Primary Gifted Education Programme (GEP) students. In recognition of his dedication, he was awarded the Caring Teacher Award and was also a finalist for the inaugural Inspiring Teacher of English Award.
A scholar of Southeast Asia, Dr Chua comments on regional affairs such as the South China Sea disputes, ASEAN and regional politics. He is currently adjunct fellow at NTU and serves as a consultant to MOE's Curriculum Planning and Development Division. He was also adjunct lecturer at the National Institute of Education (NIE) where he conducted pedagogy courses for trainee teachers. He continues to teach undergraduate and post-graduate courses at NTU.
Led by Dr Chua, Cognitus Academy brings together a team of dedicated teachers with rich experience and deep expertise in teaching English in MOE schools.
Education and Qualifications
- Bachelor of Arts with Honours (Education), NIE, NTU
- Master of Arts (Social Studies), NIE, NTU
- Doctor of Philosophy (History), ANU
Other Certifications and Training
- Certificate in Teaching Pupils with High Ability, NIE, NTU
- Accredited Future Problem Solving (FPS) Coach and Evaluator
- Certificate Course on the Rules and Conventions of English Grammar (Primary), SEAMEO RELC
- Registered Teacher with the Australian Capital Territory, Canberra
- Teacher Counsellor, MOE
- Caring Teacher Award, NIE
- Finalist, Inspiring Teacher of English, MOE
- Fulbright Research Award, US Embassy in Singapore
- Character Development Award
- Student All-Round Development Award
- School Excellence Award
Consultancies and Affiliations
- Adjunct Fellow, RSIS, NTU
- Member, Editorial Board, POINTER: Journal of the Singapore Armed Forces
- Consultant, Curriculum Planning and Development Division, MOE (Ad-hoc)
- Consultant for commercial entities (Ad-hoc)
- Affiliate, SAF-NTU Academy
A frequent contributor, Dr Chua’s commentaries have been published in The Straits Times, Channel NewsAsia and international outlets. A list of publications can be found here.
BA Hon (Ed)
Academic Head (Primary)
Passionate about the English language, Mr Hairul was a Senior Teacher of English from an MOE school with 13 years of teaching, mentoring and curriculum leadership experience. He began to specialise in teaching purely English in 2009 and has developed a repertoire of strategies for teaching Primary 3 to Primary 6 students, across levels of readiness.
As a Senior Teacher (English) since 2012, Mr Hairul has designed and implemented innovative pedagogical approaches, which make English a subject that students can see relevance in their daily lives. He redesigned and spearheaded the Writing curriculum of his former school, and trained and mentored English teachers to deliver an impactful English curriculum. As a curriculum activist and innovator, he constantly pushes the boundaries of current pedagogical practices through the use of Drama and ICT in teaching and learning. Over the years, students from his school have obtained at least 90% passes with improvements in the writing component by 10% over the last 5 years.
As a senior educator in MOE, Mr Hairul has been involved in numerous PSLE marking exercises and with that, possesses intimate knowledge of the standards expected of students during this milestone examination. He not only sets English examinations across levels, but also vets papers in his capacity as the gatekeeper for his school’s English standard, ensuring close alignment with national benchmarks.
Mr Hairul actively champions the use of formative assessment in his classroom to ascertain the students’ achievements from his lessons. His educational philosophy is guided by the Growth Mindset where learners must possess a disposition to improve on their attainment of skills and knowledge. Thus, learning is not based solely on one’s capacity but also one’s attitude.
Milestone Achievements in Curriculum Innovation
- Research Activist – 2008
Research on Using Drama in the Teaching of English
- 160 Primary 5 students took part in this research.
- 85% of students demonstrated significant improvement in their reading comprehension and composition.
- Teacher Leaders Programme – 2015
Research on Providing Effective Feedback in Writing
- Collaborated with other schools – 2 primary schools, 2 secondary schools and 1 Junior College.
- Subsequently shared at cluster level across 6 primary schools.
- Adopted as a whole-school approach in 2016.
Awards and Nominations
- Caring Teacher Awards (School level) – 2011-13, 2015-17
- Caring Teacher Award (NIE) – 2013
- President's Award for Teachers Nominee (National level) – 2013
Other Roles and Responsibilities
- Director, School Musicals and Drama – 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2015
- Teacher Mentoring Programme Coordinator – 2013 to 2015
- Acting EL HOD – 2013
- School Newsletter Team IC – 2016 to 2018
- Acting EL Level Head – 2016 to 2018
- PSLE Oral, Assistant Supervisor – 2016 to 2018