Curriculum Evaluation and Change for a Re-envisioned NIE Chemistry Program

Project Number
OER 02/12 TTW

Project Duration
June 2012 - August 2014

Status
Completed

Abstract
This internal program evaluation of the Bachelor of Science (Education) (BSc[Ed]) Chemistry practical curriculum at NIE is rooted in the intrinsic interests of the Chemistry and Chemistry Education professors in Natural Sciences & Science Education at NIE to understand how the practical curriculum can be improved and aligned more closely to Singapore MOE 21st Core Competencies framework and NIE Teacher Education for the 21st Century (TE21) model as we prepare the undergraduates to become future teachers. The evaluation focuses on the chemistry practical curriculum of the BSc(Ed) Chemistry program encompassing subject matter and pedagogical training to undergraudates who will eventually become school teachers. It involves three phases?curriculum evaluation, deliberation, and change?and will address four goals: (1) To investigate how BSc(Ed) Chemistry undergraduates prepare, carry out, and make sense of their chemistry practicals; (2) To investigate the problems, difficulties, and issues the undergraduates experience while performing the chemistry practical work; (3) To identify and make changes to the chemistry practical curriculum; and (4) To determine the effectiveness of the curriculum change on the undergraduates' learning outcomes. Four questions will guide the evaluation study: 1. How do the learning objectives of the BSc(Ed) Chemistry practical curriculum align to the MOE 21st Core Competency framework and NIE The Graduand Teacher Competency standards of NIE TE21 framework? 2. How do the chemistry undergraduates prepare, carry out, and make sense of their chemistry practical work? 3. To what extent are the learning objectives and competency standards achieved in the practical work curriculum? 4. What are some improvements that can be made to the BSc(Ed) Chemistry practical curriculum in order to address the learning objetives and competency standards? The evaluation will adopt a mixed methods design involving the mixing of paradigm, methodologies, and methods including interviews, lesson videos, artefacts, and post-course survey to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the undergraduates' learning during practical work. The evaluation is responsive and utilization-focused as the chemistry faculty members are co-evaluators and will use the findings to inform their own practice. The data will be analyzed using statistical methods and qualitative coding into themes. The findings will be shared and deliberated for curriculum change in subsequent cycles of the study. There are several advantages of this study. First, the findings of this study will address the gap in the literature on curriculum change in teacher preparation program addressing 21st century core competency goals. Second, the findings will help the chemistry professors to improve their teaching practice and curriculum.

Funding Source
NIE

Related Projects