Kelvin Hong, the visionary behind a renowned economics tuition centre in Singapore has carved a niche in the education sector with his unique teaching methodologies and deep understanding of the economics subject.
With a passion for education and a commitment to his student’s success, Kelvin has transformed how students approach these subjects.
In this exclusive interview, we delve into his journey, his teaching philosophy, and his take on the future of education.
Background and Beginnings
Q: Kelvin, could you share with us your background and what inspired you to start the economics tuition centre?
Kelvin Hong: My journey began as a student fascinated by the intricacies of economics and its applicability to real life.
After completing my studies, I realized there was a significant gap in how the subject was taught. My motivation to start The Economics Tutor, a JC and IB Economics tuition centre, stemmed from my desire to bridge this gap and provide students with a more engaging and comprehensive learning experience.
I did not want students to just be focussed on acing their exams but to really understand what they were learning and to see the purpose behind their education.
Q: What is your teaching philosophy, and how does it differentiate your tuition centres from others?
Kelvin Hong: My philosophy revolves around three key principles: contextual learning, critical thinking, and personalized attention. Unlike traditional methods, we focus on relating economic theories to real-world scenarios, which helps students grasp complex concepts more effectively.
We also emphasize critical thinking and the ability to articulate thoughts coherently. Our small class sizes also allow for personalized attention, ensuring that each student’s unique needs and perspectives are met. We keep our classes upbeat and fun, which enhances the joy of learning.
Challenges and Achievements
Q: What were some of the challenges you faced in the early days, and how did you overcome them?
Kelvin Hong: One of the biggest challenges was changing the mindset of students and parents who were accustomed to rote learning.
We overcame this by consistently delivering results and showcasing the effectiveness of our teaching methods. Another challenge was scaling the business while maintaining the quality of education. We addressed this by carefully selecting and training our tutors to adhere to our philosophy and standards.
Impact on Students
Q: Can you share some success stories or the impact your centres have had on students?
Kelvin Hong: We’ve had numerous students who came to us struggling with economics and GP, but through our guidance, they not only excelled in their exams but also developed a genuine interest in these subjects.
One notable example is a student who joined us with a U-grade in economics and went on to score an A in the A-levels, eventually pursuing economics at university.
For us, the most satisfying part is when students are excited to learn, regardless of how well they fared in the examinations. This to me is the real measure of success, especially long-term success.
Adapting to Change
Q: How have you adapted your teaching methods in response to changes in the education landscape, especially with the advent of digital learning?
Kelvin Hong: The digital revolution has been a game-changer. We’ve embraced technology by integrating digital tools into our teaching, offering online classes, and using interactive platforms for a more engaging learning experience. Fortunately, I have been teaching online since 2010 to students from the UK and elsewhere in the world. Hence, when Covid hit, it was quite a breeze for us to pivot online. I would say the ideal approach is to combine both human touch enhanced by digital tools.
Future of Education
Q: Where do you see the future of education heading, particularly in the subjects of economics and GP?
Kelvin Hong: The future of education, I believe, will be more student-centric and focused on developing analytical and critical thinking skills. For subjects like economics, this means moving away from traditional memorization to a more application-based approach, where understanding and adaptability are key. This is especially given the advent of Generative Artifical Intelligence. We need to nurture real thinkers and original thinkers, and that is what will be their lasting competitive advantage in the world of AI.
Advice for Aspiring Educators
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring educators who wish to make a difference in the education sector?
Kelvin Hong: My advice would be to stay true to your educational philosophy, be adaptable, and always put the students’ needs first. It’s important to keep learning and evolving, as education is a dynamic field. Passion and patience are also crucial in making a lasting impact.
Q: Finally, what’s next for Kelvin Hong, The Economics Tutor and Ace GP Tuition Centres?
Kelvin Hong: We are constantly exploring new ways to enhance our teaching methodologies and expand our reach. My vision is to make quality education accessible to more students, both locally and internationally. We are also working on developing more holistic programs that not only cover academic excellence but also focus on life skills and personal development.
Kelvin Hong’s journey is a testament to the power of innovative thinking and dedication in the field of education. His approach to teaching economics has not only enhanced students’ academic performance but has also instilled in them a love for learning. As the world of education continues to evolve, educators like Kelvin Hong will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping the minds of future generations.