YEO Jennifer

Assistant Professor

Office of Education Research (OER), Natural Sciences & Science Education (NSSE)

Office Location



Office Telephone Number

Research Interests
role of representations in scientific explanations and argumentation

  • Jennifer joined NSSE/NIE in 2007 as a lecturer and was appointed Assistant Professor in 2011. Prior to joining NIE, Jennifer taught physics and English in Victoria School for eight years. She was the subject head of audio and visual department and then of physics.  As she embarked on the Master of Arts in instructional design and technologies and Ph.D, she assisted in various research projects related to the use of technologies in teaching and learning.

    Jennifer’s research interest is in understanding how people learn science, and designing learning environments to support students’ science learning. Her earlier work looked at students’ sense-making in problem-based learning, knowledge building environments, and computer-supported collaborative learning. For her PhD study, completed in 2009, she redesigned problem-based learning (PBL) to incorporate knowledge creation principles to better support students’ meaning-making in physics. In research grant (OER13/08 JY), she designed a visualization-based learning environment for high school learning of electromagnetic induction. Her current research focuses on how students produce explanation in science, in particular the role of representations in mediating the process of thinking and reasoning. Her work has been published in International Journal of Science Education, Instructional Science, Asia-Pacific Education Researcher and Cultural Studies of Science Education. She is also an Associate Editor of the journal, Learning: Research and Practice. 

    Academic Background
    • Ph.D 2009 (Nanyang Technological University)
    • MA(IDT) 2003 (Nanyang Technological University)
    • PGDE (Sec) 1992 (Nanyang Technological University)
    • BSc 1991 (National University of Singapore)
    Professional Organisations
    • European Science Education Research Association
    • National Association for Research in Science Teaching
    • John Cheung Social Media Award, Nanyang Technological University, for recognition of best practice in the use of social media in teaching, 2015
    • Dean’s Commendation for Research (National Institute of Education) for recognition of excellence in research by graduate students for publication of research papers, 2009 & 2011 
    • Public Service Commission Local Merit Scholarship (Teaching), Singapore, 1988 

    Bachelor of Science courses

    • ACP 321/22A         Teaching of Physics I
    • ACP 421/42B         Teaching of Physics III
    • ACP 422/42A Teaching of Physics IV

    Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) (Secondary/Junior College) courses

    • QCP 520/523          Teaching of Physics I
    • QCP 522/524          Teaching of Physics III
    • QCP 540         Teaching of A level Physics I

    Graduate courses

    • MSC 887 Science Discourse: Language, Literacy & Argumentation
    • MSC 888         Representations and New Media in Science Education
    • MMM 800        Critical Inquiry         
    Research Interests
    • Scientific explanation, argumentation and representations
    • Role of representations in meaning making
    • Scientific visualisation and modelling
    • Computer-supported collaborative learning
    • Problem-based Learning and Knowledge Building
    Research Grants

    Grant number




    OER 13/13JY Developing a Framework for Assessing Students' Construction of Scientific Explanations in Physics 2014 - present Principal investigator
    OER 51/12 TTW Examining Normal Academic/Technical Students’ Science Learning from a Sociological and Cultural Lens 2013 - present Co-principal investigator

    OER 11/11JY

    Designing a physics curriculum for developing students’ science competencies

    Jan 2012 - 2014


    Principal Investigator

    OER 12/08 JY

    Understanding the development of students’ abstract concepts in Electromagnetic Induction using visualization‐based instruction

    Apr 2009 - Jan 2012


    Principal Investigator


    Making meaning of environmental science through Computer‐supported Collaborative Learning

    Jan 2008 - Feb 2011


    Co-principal investigator

    Professional Activities
    • Member of Physics Subject Chapter in the Academy of Singapore Teachers since 2011
    • Member of Eastspring Primary School Advisory Committee since 2010
    Graduate Supervision
    • Tay Su Lynn, MEd student, 2012 - 2015 (completed)
    • Wong Toi Kuan, MEd student, 2009 - 2011 (completed)
    Conferences and Workshops
    • Invited seminar on "Producing Scientific Explanations in Physics" at Institute of Education, London on 18 June 2015.
    • Invited symposium on “Japanese Science Lessons from the Viewpoint of Foreigners” at Chiba University (Japan) on 29 January 2013
    • Invited seminar on “Science Inquiry-based Learning for the Knowledge Age: A Knowledge Creation Approach” at Chiba University (Japan) on 24 January 2013
    • Invited seminar on “Secrets of Singapore’s High Performance in TIMSS and PISA” at Chiba University (Japan) on 27 January 2012
    • Invited keynote speech on “Science Inquiry‐based Learning for the Knowledge Age” at W4 Science Teachers’ Seminar 2010 (Singapore) on 23 July 2010
    • Invited workshop presentation on “Orchestrating Meaning Making through Knowledge Building” at W4 Science Teachers’ Seminar 2010 (Singapore) on 23 July 2010
    • Invited workshop presentation on “Construction of Science Test Paper and Marking Scheme” at Siling Primary School (Singapore) on 22 Feb, 1 Mar, and 5 Apr 2010
    • Invited member of Ministry of Education Ordinary/Normal Level Physics Syllabuses review committee (2009 ‐ 2010)
    • Invited paper presentation on “How groups learn: Implications for collaborative work in science” at the Singapore International Science Challenge (with Asst/P Lee Yew Jin) (2007)