3.1 Culturally Relevant Pedagogy: Exploring the Use of Culture in Singapore’s Low Progress Classrooms
Principal Investigator: Ast/P Lim Tze-Wei Leonel
Co-Principal Investigator: Dr Tan Lip Thye, Michael
Collaborator: Mr Leslie Toh, Dr Eisuke Saito
Start to End date: 01-Jan-16 to 31-Dec-17 (Ongoing)
The main objective of the present research project is to explore the use(s) of culture in teaching and pedagogy in Singapore’s low progress classrooms. Specifically, the project aims to (a) identify what constitutes culturally relevant pedagogy in the classrooms of our low progress learners, (b) describe and document how teachers in low progress classrooms are engaging in these pedagogies and how students are responding to it, and (c) identify opportunities for the improvement of pedagogic practices in low progress classrooms through informing the design of teacher education and professional development. Portraiture (Lawrence-Lightfoot & Davis, 1997) or ethnographic case studies of five teachers of low progress learners will offer us valuable insights into the ways they espouse the principles of culturally relevant pedagogy in their daily teaching.
3.2 Exploring the Designing of a Growth Mindset Curriculum in a Singaporean School
Principal Investigator: Dr Christina Ratnam
Co-Principal Investigator: A/P Chen Der-Thanq Victor
Collaborator: Dr Karen Lam (MOE)
Start to End date: 01-Jan-16 to 30-Nov-17 (Ongoing)
This is a baseline study with the aim to describe what is happening in a Singapore school in its endeavour to design its school’s own curriculum to improve the practice of teaching and learning. It will explore the interpretation of a growth mindset curriculum in the Singaporean context, and how school leaders prepare for the implementation of such a curriculum. It is recognised that the Singaporean high-stakes examination culture has engendered a fixed mindset with its negative side effects in our society. How can we nurture a growth mindset (e.g. resilience; learning from productive failure; capacity to adapt, change and grow) in our context? We would like to study how the curriculum leaders of a Singaporean school interpret and envision the concept of growth mindset, and how they will translate this concept into curriculum (e.g. in pedagogical and assessment practices). Through this research effort, we hope to be able to develop a growth mindset curriculum that is unique to the Singaporean educational context, maintaining the rigor of a quality curriculum yet nurturing a citizenry with a growth mindset.
3.3 Translating Productive Failure in the Singapore A-level Statistics Curriculum
Principal Investigator: A/P Manu Kapur
Co-Principal Investigators: Ast/P Lee Ngan Hoe, Dr Chua Lai Choon
Collaborators: Mr Ng Hao Jin, Mr Kuek Cheow Teck, Marcus
Start to End date: 1-Jul-14 to 30-Jun-17 (Ongoing)
Productive Failure (PF) is a learning design that engages students in generating solutions to novel problems first before teaching them the concept. While students typically fail in their problem-solving efforts, their sub-optimal solutions can be a productive resource in preparing them to learn better from subsequent instruction. Since 2007, we have worked with 14 schools and close to 100 teachers and 6000 students in Singapore to establish a strong proof-of-concept for PF. Our results consistently show that students in the PF condition outperform their Direct Instruction (DI) counterparts on conceptual understanding and transfer, without compromising performance on procedural fluency. Given PF’s positive learning outcomes, the Ministry of Education’s (MOE’s) Curriculum Planning and Development Division’s (CPDD’s) Mathematics Unit has agreed to leverage its existing processes and structures to work with us to translate the learning design across key concepts in the Singapore A-level Statistics curriculum in close collaboration with the Junior Colleges (JCs). Such a translational effort will help JC students experience deeper learning of statistical concepts.
3.4 Through the Lens of the School: School-based Curriculum Innovation (SCI)
Principal Investigator: A/P Chen Der-Thanq Victor
Co-Principal Investigators: Dr Mardiana Abu Bakar, Dr Hairon Salleh, Dr Jan Ming Fong, Dr Catherine Chua
Start to End date: 1-Nov-11 to 30 Apr 2015 (Completed)
Schools in Singapore have developed diverse approaches to their own School-based Curriculum Innovation (SCI) frameworks, ranging from the Future Schools (started in 2008) and their focus on IT integration in teaching and learning; and other schools in the innovative design of curriculum, assessment, or pedagogy. However, there have been few studies on school- based curriculum innovations. There is a general lack of studies on whole school innovations in the context of whole school-based reform.
This project is taking a holistic approach in developing this baseline research of curricular and pedagogical reforms of Singapore schools. It is significant in 2 ways: one, the story of the school’s SCI journey is developed through piecing together the perspectives of different stakeholders on SCI implementation on a whole school level; and second, an ethnographic approach in our second phase traces not only the SCI processes in practice, but also more intimately, teachers’ agency and informal interaction with colleagues and students to build a comprehensive picture of SBCD enactment and what it means to its participants. The coverage of diverse schools also contributes to the building of a conceptual framework to understand curriculum innovations in Singapore.
3.5 New Media Literacy of School Students in Singapore
Principal Investigator: A/P Chen Der-Thanq Victor
Co-Principal Investigators: Dr Jey-Yi Li, Dr Lee Ling
Start to End date: 1-Sep-10 to 30-Nov-12 (Completed)
Singapore government recognizes the significance of the global new media culture and the need to prepare younger generation to meet the requirements of new media society. New media education policies and intervention requires the backing of research-based evidence that provides an objective assessment of the current state of new media literacy as well as the desired state of achievements. This project is a survey study that assesses the level of new media literacy of students in the Singapore schools.
This project researches on the scope of new media literacy and develop a conceptual framework. In addition, the existing literature has no mature quantitative instrument to measure new media literacy. This project will contribute to the new media literacy research by developing and validating a survey instrument to measure students’ new media literacy.
The findings from this project will inform the Ministry of Education (MOE) Singapore policies related to new media education. Specifically, the project will help MOE identify the set of essential media literacy for students, and revise the existing set of baseline ICT standards for students to equip our students with the essential set of new media literacies for both formal and informal learning environments.
3.6 PERI Qualitative Case-Studies (Baseline)
Principal Investigator: Dr Christina Lim-Arasaratnam
Co-Principal Investigators: A/P Christine Lee Kim-Eng
Collaborators: Dr Matthew Atencio, Dr Mardiana Abu Bakar
Start to End date: 1-Dec-10 to 31-Jul-12 (Completed)
In 2009, the Primary Education Review & Implementation (PERI) committee recommended changes to primary education to ensure that our students can thrive in a fast-changing and globalized future. This qualitative study was commissioned by MOE to serve as a baseline evaluation study of the implementation of the PERI recommendations in 2011. Baseline findings can be used as a benchmark for comparisons with data collected in the future when the implementation of PERI interventions is more stable and when the impact of PERI is more evident. As importantly, the baseline findings also serve a formative purpose to improve the delivery of PERI interventions by providing PERI AC and its respective sub-committees a better idea of how the different stakeholders perceive PERI, and of the successes and challenges they encountered while implementing PERI interventions in the first two years. This study comprised a series of qualitative case-studies of three PERI and three non-PERI schools. These case-studies surfaced rich data on how schools, teachers and students experience and perceive the implementation of PERI interventions.
3.7 STEP* for the Future Investigating Pedagogical Change in New Approaches to Learning and Teaching in the Knowledge Age
Principal Investigator: A/P Manu Kapur
Co-Principal Investigator: Mr John Ow Eu Gene
Collaborator: A/P Katerine Bielaczyc
Start to End date: 1-May-11 to 31-Jul-13 (Completed)
This project advances understanding of pedagogical change necessary to support new approaches to learning and teaching in the Knowledge Age. A better understanding of these pedagogical changes can inform how teachers support student learning through new pedagogic approaches in the Knowledge Age. Ideas First is one example of these new approaches. It is a full two-year Science programme co-designed with primary school teachers that has been operating in fifteen primary 3 and 4 classrooms at Townsville Primary School since 2006. This programme is based on the vision of a Knowledge Building Community (KBC) where students work to advance the science understanding of the classroom community by engaging in research, experimental investigations and classroom discourse (Scardamalia, 2002). To understand pedagogical change in Ideas First, a corpus of classroom videos, student artifacts and representational forms collected in the Ideas First project over the past 5 years was analyzed. The investigative analysis undertaken in this project informs the following themes, how teachers work to understand students’ learning, develop representational practices for making knowledge and processes for creating knowledge visible for reflection; and engage in pedagogical moves to support students' inquiry. Implications for professional development are drawn from the themes.