Q&A With Prof Dr Indra Devi Kandasamy

What is your teaching style?
As a lecturer, I have learned to recognise several issues pertaining to students’ learning needs. First, I have observed that irrespective of the subject content, the learning requirements of students from different course programmes tend to differ considerably. Secondly, within the same course program, students’ learning capability (slow versus fast learners) in the classroom also differs. Given this disparity, my choice of teaching approach is carefully selected to cater to their respective group needs.

What does a good education mean to you?
A good education is one that serves the students in all ways that maximise their potential to succeed in life. Therefore, an education based on holistic approaches will be able to address not only the academic needs of the students but also their emotional, social and ethical needs in an integrated learning environment. Educators resorting to holistic education techniques will be able to engage all aspects of a learner to allow their true capabilities to shine through and therefore maximise their potential.

Holistic education is a relatively new methodology in the education sector, which aims to assist students to become more academic resilient in an engaging manner as they discover more about themselves, develop healthy social relationships and social behaviours, and integrate a strong sense of morality and useful values which they will then, later on, proceed to express themselves in both their personal lives and career after they leave an educational institution.

Name your favourite music artist and favourite movie?
Favourite Music Artist: John Denver & Cliff Richard
Favourite Movie: Mamma Mia!

What do you think is one skill that every successful person has?
One skill: Persistence.

My favourite quote:
I can. Therefore, I will, and because I will, I must!

“I can, I will, I must!”

Name someone who inspires you and why?
Warren Buffett inspires me because although he is a very successful man, he believes in leading a life with simplicity and humility.

What do you do to relax or for fun, outside of work?
To relax, I love quiet reading as it allows me to delve into a whole new world. My favourite game is also playing Scrabble online with international players.

How do you overcome difficult situations or challenges?
I take a step back because one lacks the clarity of vision when one is in the box. Hence, I feel it is important to step outside the box and look at the situation from a third party’s point of view in order to reflect and meditate on the matter to find the best possible solution. I will always find the best professional approach possible to address any difficult situation or challenge. I also believe in seeking a second opinion.

Name one thing you do/item you use daily that contributes to a successful day.
Meditation.

I believe having a quiet time to oneself allows one to unwind both the physical body and mind. This, I believe, reduces stress levels to a very large extent and hence, make me more productive throughout the day.

Final words of advice for the students of IUMW.
“It is the teacher’s responsibility to create the conditions in which understanding is possible, and it is the student’s responsibility to take advantage of that” – (Laurillard, 2001).