TAN Aik Ling

Associate Professor

Assistant Dean, Professional Development

Office of Graduate Studies and Professional Learning (GPL), Natural Sciences & Science Education (NSSE)

Office Location


Office Telephone Number

Research Interests
classroom interactions, inquiry-based learning, science teacher professional development

  • Prior to teaching at NIE in 2007, Aik Ling taught Biology and Lower Secondary General Science at River Valley High School for 10 years. She was the subject head in charge of Media Resource Library, and later of Thinking and Project Work. She worked in developing young scientists interested in science projects.

    Aik Ling spent two years at (2005-2006) CRPP, working on research projects, including one that deals with Science Practical Assessment and another one which examines the infusion of nature of science and ethics of science into the science curriculum.

    Her current research interests deals with students’ perspectives and ideas about science as inquiry and how they construct their learning experiences through co-generative dialogues with their teachers. The students’ science learning experiences are studied through their classroom interactions, their ideas articulated at co-generative dialogue sessions, and their performance during term assessment. 

    Academic Background
    • PhD, 2006 (Nanyang Technological University)
    • MEd., 1998 (University of Sheffield)
    • PGDE, 1994 (Nanyang Technological University)
    • BSc. 1993 (National University of Singapore)
    Professional Organisations
    • The Singapore Institute of Biology
    • North American Association for Environmental Education
    • American Education Research Association
    • National Association of Research in Science Teaching
    • Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education
    • Participated in the Fulbright Visiting Researcher Program in 2010/11 to study with A/P Barbara Crawford in Cornell University.
    • NARST International Committee Scholarship 2011
    • Commendation for Excellence in Teaching Award in 2009

    Graduate Level

    • MSC 882 Research Methods in Science Education
    • MSC 884 Curriculum, instruction and evaluation
    • MSC 885 Science Education Research Problem Identification, Definition and Exploration
    • MMM 800 Critical Inquiry
    • SC 833 Interaction and Discourse in Educational Research

    Post-Graduate Diploma in Education

    • QCB 520 The teaching of Biology I
    • QCB 521 The teaching of Biology II
    • QCB 522 The teaching of Biology III
    • QCB 540 The teaching of JC Biology I
    • QCB 541 The teaching of JC Biology II

    Undergraduate Program

    • ACB 322 The teaching of Biology II
    • ACB 422 The teaching of Biology III
    • Research Interests
    • Classroom interaction in the science classroom and laboratory.
    • Elementary science education, especially inquiry-based learning
    • Science teacher professional development
    Research Grants

    Grant Number




    SMF Sci-learning env

    Science learning environment and assessment: Partnership for effective teaching and learning

    Sept 2011- present

    Principal Investigator

    OER20/10 TAL

    Partnership for change towards science inquiry in elementary science classrooms: Collective responsibility of teachers and students

    April 2011- present

    Principal Investigator


    Pedagogy and disciplinarity of Singaporean teachers’ classroom discourse: A corpus-based integrated approach

    June 2010- present

    Co-principal Investigator



    Enhancing inquiry-based teaching through collaboration between pre-service and in-service teachers

    October 2009- 2011


    Co-principal Investigator


    Making meaning of environmental science through Computer-supported Collaborative Learning

    Jan 2008 – 2011



    RI 1/07 MW 

    Video pedagogy for enhancing pre-service science teacher education.

    December 2007-2010




    CRP 9/07 TAL 

    Teacher agency for professional development.

    October 2007- 2009


    Principal Investigator


    Examining teachers’ understanding of inquiry based learning in primary schools





    CRP 01/06PT 

    Transforming science practical pedagogy and practice through innovative departmental planning

    March 2006-2008





    An insight into science philosophy and ethics education for girls in Singapore

    2006- 2008


    Principal Investigator



    Science Education Research at CRPP: A Framework.



    Principal Investigator

    Professional Activities
    • Managing Editor – Pedagogies: An International Journal
    • Editorial Board – Cultural Studies and Science Education
    Graduate Supervision
    • Doctor in Education – Timothy Hsi (Associate Director, University Counselor, Singapore Management University)
    • Doctor of Philosophy (Education) – Frederick Toralballa Talaue (Research Associate, Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice, National Institute of Education)
    • Doctor of Philosophy (Education) – Tan Hong Kim (Teaching Fellow, Natural Sciences and Science Education, National Institute of Education)
    • Doctor of Philosophy (Education) – Tan Poh Hiang (Teaching Fellow, Natural Sciences and Science Education, National Institute of Education)
    Conferences and Workshops

     American Education Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Vancouver, Canada

    15 - 19 April 2012

    National Association for Research in Science Teaching Annual Conference, Orlando, Florida

    3 - 7 April 2011

    Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education Annual Conference, Sydney

    6 - 8 December 2010

    North American Association for Environmental Education, Buffalo

    28 - 29 September 2010 

    International Science Education Conference, 2009, Singapore

    24 - 26 November 2009 

    National Science Teachers Association Boston National Conference 2008, Boston

    27 - 30 March 2008

    Conference of Asian Science Education, Kaohsiung

    20 - 23 February 2008