Manu is a Professor and Chair of Learning Sciences and Higher Education at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, and is leading The Future Learning Initiative at ETH Zurich. Prior to this, Manu was a Professor of Psychological Studies at the Education University of Hong Kong. Manu also worked at the National Institute of Education (NIE/NTU) of Singapore as the Head of the Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Department, as well as the Head of the Learning Sciences Lab (LSL).
An engineer by bachelors training, Manu was a pre-university mathematics teacher before receiving his doctorate in instructional technology and media from Columbia University in New York. Manu holds a double Masters: a Master of Science in Applied Statistics from Columbia University in New York, and a Master of Education from the NIE, Singapore.
Manu conceptualized and developed the theory of Productive Failure to explore the cognitive, social, and cultural mechanisms that can be used for learning from failure. He has done extensive work in real-field ecologies of STEM classrooms to transform teaching and learning using his theory of productive failure across a range of schools and universities in around the world. His research on Productive Failure has been taken up by the Singapore’s Ministry of Education for wide-scale re-design and implementation of its pre-university mathematics (statistics) curriculum and pedagogy, demonstrating
Manu’s ability to build and sustain a high-quality, interdisciplinary scientific research program and work with multiple stakeholders to impact not only theory but also policy and practice at the national scale.
Manu’s research has attracted high profile media interest (e.g., TIME Magazine, THE AUSTRALIAN, THE STRAITS TIMES, THE TIMES OF INDIA, The CONVERSATION, NZZ, etc.) and approximately US$13m in research funding. Early in his academic career, Manu also directed a $50m interactive and digital media R&D program at the Ministry of Education of Singapore to jumpstart interdisciplinary research on interactive and digital media in education in Singapore.
Manu has been awarded visiting professorships at top universities in Europe, Australia and Japan, and invited to major international government and advisory boards (e.g., Singapore Ministry of Education, Program for International Student Assessment run by the OECD on Assessment of 21st Century Skills).
Manu is a prolific keynote speaker at high-profile conferences and events around the world (e.g., The ROYAL SOCIETY UK, USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and India). He has also served as an associate editor for two of the leading journals, and has published in the most prestigious journals in the field of the learning and the cognitive sciences.
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Instructional Technology & Media. Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, USA
Master of Science (M.S.) in Applied Statistics. Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, USA
Master of Education (M.Ed.) – GOLD MEDAL. National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary) – DISTINCTION. National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Honors). National University of Singapore
Professor for Learning Sciences, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Professor of Psychological Studies, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Head, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Academic Group, National Institute of Education, Singapore
2012 – 2015
Head, Learning Sciences Laboratory, National Institute of Education, Singapore
2011 – 2015
Associate Professor (tenured) of Curriculum, Teaching & learning, National Institute of Education, Singapore
2006 – 2011
Assistant Professor of Curriculum, Teaching & Learning, National Institute of Education, Singapore
2002 – 2003
Vice Principal (Acting), National Junior College, Singapore
1999 – 2002
GCE ‘A’ Levels Further Mathematics Teacher & Head of Department of Information Technology, National Junior College, Singapore
Visiting Research Professorships
Visiting research professor at the University of Sydney, Australia
Visiting professor at the Hong Kong Institute of Education
Visiting research professor at the University of Bochum, Germany
Visiting research professor at the University of Tokyo, Japan
Visiting research professor at the University of Sydney, Australia
Visiting research professor at the Institute of Psychology, University of Freiburg, Germany
International Advisory Boards/Panels
International advisory board member on the project Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology,Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT).
International advisory board member on the project “Blended synchronicity: Uniting on-campus and distributed learners through media-rich real-time collaboration tools”. Funded by Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC); lead institutions: Macquarie University, The University of Melbourne, and Charles Sturt University, Australia.
International expert panel member of “Learning Technologies and the Learning Sciences” network of the University of Sydney Research Networks Scheme, Australia.
International expert panel member on Pearson’s bid for PISA 2015 items on Assessments for 21st Century Skills.
International expert panel member on Assessment for 21st Century Skills project: An international, multi-agency, public-private sector project co-funded by Microsoft, CISCO, Intel, as well as the six co-founder countries, namely, Singapore, USA, UK, Finland, Australia, and Portugal.
Associate Editor of Instructional Science journal (impact factor = 2.00)
Associate Editor of the Journal of the Learning Sciences (impact factor = 3.26)
Co-editor of the Proceedings of the CSCL conference 2012
Member of the Education Committee of the International Society of the Learning Sciences
Doctoral Consortium Mentor 2014, ICLS Conference
Early Career Consortium Mentor 2015, CSCL Conference
Early Career Workshop Co-Chair, 2016, ICLS Conference
The Journal of the Learning Sciences (JLS)
The International Journal of Computer-supported Collaborative Learning (ijCSCL)
Learning and Instruction
Educational Psychology Review
Computers and Education
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning
International Conference of the Learning Sciences, CSCL, American Educational Research Association Conference, Cognitive Science, etc.
International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS);
ISLS Education Committee Member
American Educational Research Association (AERA)
Association of Mathematics Educators of Singapore
Cognitive Science Society
Asia Pacific Society for Computers in Education (APSCE)
EduLab Evaluation Panel Member: A $25m fund that supports innovative projects in Singapore schools in collaboration with the universities and industry.
Ministry of Education (MOE) of Singapore’s Propel-T Initiative Advisor: Learning technology research projects led by MOE officers in Singapore schools.
Ministry of Education (MOE) of Singapore’s Interactive and Digital Media R&D Evaluation Committee Member.
Assistant Director/Program Officer for Interactive & Digital Media R&D, Educational Technology Division, Ministry of Singapore: I directed a S$40m R&D funds to jumpstart research on interactive and digital media in education in Singapore.
Chairperson of Ministry of Education (MOE) of Singapore’s Interactive and Digital Media R&D Evaluation Committee Member.
Deputy Leader of the Singapore International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) National Team to the 43rd IMO in Glasgow, Scotland 2002. Ministry of Education (MOE), Singapore.