Kau Jun Heng

Curious about why people do the things they do, Kau Jun Heng, pursued the SIM-University of Wollongong Psychological Science programme to dive into the human psyche. Equipped with the fundamental theoretical and statistical knowledge, he embarked on a research study on children with special educational needs with the National Institute of Education at Nanyang Technological University as a Research Assistant. 

18 Aug 2020


4 min read

Curiosity Sparks His Passion for Psychology

What motivated you to pursue your studies in the area of Psychology?

Since young, I’ve always been interested in human behaviours. I naturally gravitated towards Psychology because of my growing curiosity towards it.

Psychology is still relatively new in the realm of sciences and there are still many discoveries to be made. I think it’s very exciting to be a part of this journey with several like-minded individuals who are keen to understand the human psyche.

How did the SIM-University of Wollongong Psychological Science programme aid you in your career?

As I work primarily with children with special educational needs, the programme has equipped me with the fundamental knowledge on child development and children with special needs. For example, children who are in the early stages of development require sensory stimulations. Hence, a good way to get their attention is by using sensory stimulating objects such as a rubber stress ball. With this knowledge, I’m able to adjust the way I communicate with them according to their needs and level of understanding.

I’ve found the Research Methods and Statistics module to be especially useful too. It has helped me greatly in analysing and interpreting the data we have collected.

What does your role as a Research Assistant entail?

As a Research Assistant, my role requires liaising with schools and helping with data collection, preparation and analysis, conducting literature reviews and other administrative duties as assigned by the principal investigators of my project.

Tell us more about your research on ‘Transition & Adjustment of Children with Special Education Needs’!

The project aims to uncover the development of Singaporean children with special educational needs to better understand their growth. For this project, I’m also the data processing lead where I guide my teammates to process and consolidate our findings for further analysis.

Many have the misconception that research is a deskbound job but a large part of my work is spent on the field interacting with participants and collecting data from our interactions! Although the time spent with each child is limited, I get to meet children with differing special educational needs. My experiences have taught me how to better interact with them and build my understanding towards special needs in general.

What’s next in your plans?

I am thinking of pursuing a masters in Counselling next year. I hope to be able to practise it and open my own counselling clinic to help others in the future.

Who is your hero and why?

My father is my hero. Growing up, I saw how hard he worked to support our family. His perseverance and resilience have rubbed off onto me; I see myself applying the same mindset into my career as well. He’s able to work less now as I’m currently providing for my family too. However, my hope is that he’s able to retire fully down the road.

#SIM-UOWGraduate #GlobalHero

Click here to learn more about the programmes awarded by the University of Wollongong.


Posted online, 18 Aug 2020