Visit to NIE by Professor Alan H. Schoenfeld

Visit to NIE by Professor Alan H. Schoenfeld

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

The Office of Education Research (OER) welcomed Prof Alan H. Schoenfeld, the Elizabeth and Edward Conner Professor of Education and Affiliated Professor of Mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley from 13th to 17th February 2017. The visit by the established Professor offered the opportunity for an engaging and intellectual discourse with OER’s management, researchers as well as the Ministry of Education (MOE).

Prof Schoenfeld presented his “Teaching for Robust Understanding” (TRU) framework to the audience in comprehensive detail. TRU envisions characterizing powerful learning environments in crisp and actionable ways. Using the 5 dimensions of Powerful Classrooms, Professor Schoenfeld shared how the quality of a learning environment depends on the extent to which it provides opportunities for students along the 5 dimensions of (i) content available for learning; (ii) student sense-making (cognitive demand); (iii) meaningful and equitable access to concepts and practices for all students; (iv) agency, ownership and identity; and (v) responsiveness of the environment to student thinking (formative assessment).

Several projects from Edulab, Math and the Learning Sciences were presented to the Professor, which were followed by enriching discussions. He also met with researchers from the Mathematics and Mathematics Education (MME) Academic Group to share his views on the TRU Framework and its application to the programmatic research on enacted school mathematics curriculum.

He was pleased to learn that colleagues from MME had adopted his TRU framework to analyze part of the data being collected by the programmatic research project OER 31/15 BK. MME colleagues will continue to dialogue with Prof Schoenfeld about TRU and how the pedagogy of competent secondary school mathematics teachers match up to the five dimensions.

Besides sharing his rich and extensive experience with MOE and NIE researchers, Professor Schoenfeld actively interested and engaged the audience with information, interaction and humour. He also contributed valuable insights and international perspectives and ideas on OER’s 4th tranche meta-synthesis work.

Prof Schoenfeld concluded his visit on a note of commendation that “Singapore has the potential to be the place to emulate for the next decade, with its existing systemic coherence, strong teaching force and research and development capacity”.

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Professor Alan Schoenfeld with OER management and researchers

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Professor Alan Schoenfeld presenting his “Teaching for Robust Understanding” (TRU) framework to the audience

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Professor Alan Schoenfeld sharing his perspectives on Education Research to MOE colleagues