CALEON Imelda Santos

Senior Research Scientist

Assistant Dean - Partnerships

Office of Education Research (OER)

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Research Interests
educating low-progress/at-risk learners, Motivation, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Positive Education and Positive Psychology, Resilience, Science Education (Conceptual Change and Development), Teacher Beliefs

  • Dr. Imelda Santos Caleon is a Research Scientist at the Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice, National Institute of Education (NIE), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. She is currently the Co-Programme Director of Lifelong Learning, Cognition and Well-being Research Programme at NIE. She received Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees from NTU; a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and a Master of Science degree in Teaching Physics from the De La Salle University, Philippines. She was a three-time recipient of the Dean’s Commendation for Research Award from NIE.

    She is experienced in conducting studies using both experimental and mixed-methods research methodologies. Her main research interests are in the areas of science education and positive education. In marrying these two fields, her foremost intent was to utilize and develop approaches rooted in positive psychology to facilitate learners' conceptual and mindset change, and build resources (emotional, psychological, social and cognitive) that can help learners, especially students placed at risk, to thrive in school and beyond.

    She has led a number of research projects, three of which involved the development, application and evaluation of positive education packages to cultivate hope, gratitude, character strengths and resilience among secondary students. The positive education packages that her research team developed are currently being used by more than 2000 students from several schools in Singapore, as well as in a college in the Philippines. She has recently concluded a longitudinal study that focuses on the mechanisms involved in the development of academic resilience of students facing risk of continued low achievement. She is currently leading a study involving the exploration of teaching practices that facilitate the development of students’ academic resilience and well-being. Her research findings have been published in peer-reviewed international journals such as the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Research in Science Education, International Journal of Science Education, Educational Psychology, Journal of Early Adolescence and Child Indicators Research. She has conducted more than 40 invited workshops and presentations on positive education in Singapore, as well as in other Asian countries. She has also done consultancy work on assessment at the Singapore Ministry of Education.

    She has been working closely with several schools in Singapore, as a research collaborator or consultant, to develop and implement positive education activities tailored for diverse groups of learners. She is currently an appointed member of the School Advisory Committee of Westwood Primary School. She is also one of the founding members of the Singapore Positive Education Network.

    Before embarking on a full-time research career, Dr. Caleon was a physics lecturer for two years and then a secondary school physics teacher for ten years.

    Current Research Portfolio

    • Principal Investigator, Lessons from Resilience Nurturing Environments: Classroom Practices of Turnaround Teachers (OER 28/15 ISC), Tier 2, Feb 2016-June 2018
    • Principal Investigator, Turning Achievement Around: Predictors of Academic Resilience of Academically At-Risk Students in Singapore (OER 42/12 ISC), Tier 2,  Jan 2013-Dec 2016
    • Principal Investigator, Nurturing Positivity: The Effects of Positive Psychology Intervention on Students with Different Academic Abilities (SUG 11/15 ISC), Tier 1,  Oct 2015-July 2016
    • Principal Investigator, Nurturing Positivity: A Positive Psychology Intervention to Enhance Well-being, Engagement, and Achievement among At-risk Students (OER 6/13 RBK), Tier 1,  Jan 2014-May 2016
    • Co-Principal Investigator, Using a Collaborative Video Annotation and Analytics Environment (CoVAA) to Enhance Flipped Classroom Pedagogical Practice and  Foster Students’ Conceptual Understanding, Social Knowledge  Construction and Self-Regulated Learning (NRF2015-EDU001-IHL09), Tier 3, Oct 2015- June 2018
    • Co-Principal Investigator, Understanding How Teachers Design Lessons in Response to the Language Demands of Science (OER  16/14 SLH), Tier 1,  May2015- Dec 2016
    • Co-Principal Investigator, A Preliminary Study of Assessment Progression: Evaluation of Assessment for Learning Lessons and Summative Assessment Tasks in General Music Programme (AFR 03/14 LWS), Tier 1, Nov 2014-July 2016
    • Co-Principal Investigator, Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills (ATC21S) Singapore Trials: Collective Creativity and Collaborative Problem-solving Competencies among Secondary School Students (OER 59/12TPL), Tier 1,  May2013- Dec 2015
    • Co-Principal Investigator, Community Music Education: Towards the Development of New Pedagogies for the 21st Century (OER 01/14 OP), Tier 1, Jun 2014 - May 2016

    Completed Research Projects

    • Principal Investigator, Beginning and Experienced Physics Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Instructional Practices (OER 8/11 ISC), Tier 1, Nov 2011- Jan 2015
    • Co-Principal Investigator, Practices, Perceptions, and Needs of Primary School Generalist Art & Music Teachers in Singapore: An Investigation of the Pedagogical Changes & Differences of Generalists after a Specialist Professional Development Program (OER 32/12 OP), Tier 1, Jan 2013- Apr 2014
    • Co-Principal Investigator, Trends of Learning Research from 2003 to 2012: Analysis of Articles, Authors, and Institutions in Selected Educational Journals (OER 39/12 CYH), Tier 1, Jan 2013- June 2015
    • Co-Principal Investigator, Development of an Outdoor Education Curriculum in Singapore through a "Deliberative" Perspective - Inclusion of the Commonplace of the Teacher (OER 43/12 MT),  Tier 1, Dec 2011-Dec 2014
    • Collaborator, A Value-mediated Approach to Profiling Professional Learning Communities in Singapore Schools (OER 18/12 LWO), Tier 2, May 2012- 2015

    • IPD 6003- Quantitative Research Methods (by Dr. Imelda S. Caleon and Ms Helen Hong)
    • IPD 0139- Nurturing Positivity in Schools (by Dr. Imelda S. Caleon)
    • IPD 2013 Differentiating Instruction for High Ability Learners (by Dr. Tan Liang See)

  • (1) Ms. JULI ANNA MOHAMAD ARIS, MA in Counselling and Guidance Candidate, The Use of Positive Psychology Interventions to Cultivate Kindness and Positive Relationships of Students Facing Multiple Risk Factors

    (2) Ms. LE DO NGA LINH, MA in Counselling and Guidance Candidate, Boosting Self-Esteem And Adaptability of At-Risk Students through a Positive Psychology Intervention