Identification of Unique and Promising Practices in Mathematics and Science Teacher Preparation Among APEC Economies: Singapore Participation

Project Number
OER 12/09 WKY

Project Duration
September 2009 - August 2014

Status
Completed

Abstract
This project is Singapore's participation in a proposed international comparative study to identify unique and promising practices in the training of secondary school mathematics and science (most likely to be Chemistry, depending on the final decision by the international panel) teachers among the APEC economies. The international study is initiated by the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Pennsylvania (PennGSE) to align with the 2nd APEC Symposium in Education Reform (X'ian, 2008), APEC Education Network (EDNET), wiki-based resources and work of the Institute of APEC Collaborative Education. A final proposal was submitted by PennGSE to the APEC ministerial meeting in June 2009 and was approved. It is expected to run from 2009 to 2012. Representatives from nine countries (Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and US) were invited by PennGSE to two planning meetings in 16 - 17 June and 27 - 28 October 2008 to discuss the research framework and methodologies. The PI (A/P Wong Khoon Yoong) presented two discussion papers at these meetings. The US institutions that have shown interest are University of Pennsylvania, Michigan State University (College of Education), Columbia University (Teachers College), and Harvard University (Graduate School of Education). The US Department of Education has provided initial funding for this project. However, individual economies will have to fund their own research participation and to contribute US$30,000 as participation fee to the project. NIE is already being funded under EdRF to conduct the TEDS-M (Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics) study under the aegis of IEA (International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement) from 2006 to 2009. A/P Wong is the PI and National Research Coordinator for Singapore of this study. The TEDS-M study compares how primary and lower secondary mathematics teachers are trained in 17 countries. The findings are due to be released in January 2010. Preliminary findings have been collated and disseminated to review mathematics teacher education programmes and general courses at NIE by the PRE (Programme Review and Enhancement) team. This APEC comparative study complements the TEDS-M study in three significant ways: (a) It will focus on the preparation of upper secondary school Mathematics teachers and Science teachers since these two types of teacher preparation programmes are not included in the TEDS-M study. (b) It will develop new conceptual framework and research methodologies that will build on TEDS-M, and participation in this study will build research capacity at NIE. (c) It covers countries which did not take part in the TEDS-M study, such as China and Australia. The findings will be relevant for the continual review of NIE programmes and will create new knowledge about teacher preparation and teacher learning at the levels of institutions and individual trainees. The comparative nature of this study will highlight epistemological and practical differences between the East and the West in terms of teacher preparation. This is a unique feature of current interest but not well researched and understood internationally.

Research Themes
International & Comparative Studies- Pedagogies in East Asian Schools

Funding Source
NIE

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