Incorporating Nature of Science Elements in A-level Physics Lessons in Singapore

Project Number
AFD 02/16 SR

Project Duration
August 2016 - January 2018

Status
In-Progress

Abstract
Nature of Science (NOS) is an important area of emphasis in school science education. In the new syllabus for physics that will be rolled out soon, NOS has been specially included. In view of this, the project serves to develop lesson packages in selected topics in a few topics in modern physics which incorporate NOS elements. The literature is clear that for students to understand NOS effectively, the key aspects have to be brought out explicitly. For each of the topics, it is proposed to develop a laboratory-based lesson package plus a non-laboratory-based lesson package; the latter can be tried out in a classroom, not necessarily during curriculum time but even as part of extension education of the students outside curriculum time. A key strategy to use in order to promote NOS is to tap on the history of science in the development of scientific thought in each topic. As this is a development proposal, the outcomes are as follows: lesson packages (including laboratory lessons) on modern physics that demonstrate how selected NOS elements can be incorporated in these topics; 15 physics teachers trained in delivery of the lesson packages incorporating NOS elements; professional development courses for other teachers on the incorporation of NOS elements in modern physics; and evaluation reports on the effectiveness of NOS-incorporated instruction lessons as well as extent of improvement in interest in Physics among students after intervention. Additionally, there will be journal and conference publications. The value proposition of the project is that it comprises team members from 4 organizations – Singapore National Academy of Science, National Institute of Education (NTU), National University of Singapore and the Academy of Teachers (MOE). In particular, the team comprises three internationally renowned scientists and their inclusion is expected to add strength to the deliverables. In fact, there are very few, if any, science education research projects that involve top scientists in their project. Support is advanced to show that the framework proposed for the development project is well grounded in the literature, doable and of relevance to stakeholders.

Funding Source
MOE

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