Implement an Online Research-Based Intervention to Promote Mathematics Learning of Students With or Without Special Needs

Project Number
OER 34/09 YCH

Project Duration
May 2010 - February 2014


Under the current trend of globalization and economic dynamics, accountability of our educational systems is being seriously tested. The essential question is, are young Singaporeans ready to meet the demands of the 21st century in order to advance our competitiveness globally? Curriculum 2015 proposed ''Strong fundamentals, future learnings'' as grounding principles to emphasize fundamental skills (including Mathematics), future orientation, holistic curriculum, customization of learning, and challenging enjoyable learning (Ministry of Education, 2008 cite). Curriculum 2015 further identified the use of infocomms technology (ICT) for promoting life skills and mindsets as one key priority area (MOE, 2008). In Mathematics education, Singapore has earned top rank internationally for students' leading performances in Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study-2003 (TIMSS) (Mullis, et al., 2004). Due to our world-famous Mathematics system and curriculum, the American Institutes for Research (AIR) conducted a study for the U.S. Department of Education to explore the advantages of the Singaporean and American mathematics systems (Ginsburg, Leinwand, Anstrom, & Pollock, 2005). Their research has shown that whereas the United States can learn from Singapore in terms of fundamental skills, Singapore can learn from the United States in the emphases of 21st century skills, such as higher order thinking, reasoning, and data analysis and probability highlighted by American's National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) framework. This research project intends to use Blending Assessment with Instruction Program (BAIP) online resources as a research-based intervention to promote mathematics learning for students with and without special needs. The BAIP is developed by the University of Kansas e-Learning Design Lab (eDL), in collaboration with the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation (CETA) for students in grades 3 through high school with particular emphasis on struggling learners. BAIP responded to the current trend of (1) research-based interventions in collaboration with experts and teachers, (2) ICT integration in education, and (3) alignment with NCTM standards, which emphasised on higher order thinking and reasoning that were found lacking in the Singapore Mathematics curriculum (Ginsburg et al., 2005). This research project proposes a triangular research framework to: (1) Use animation tutorials and parent resources developed in BAIP as an intervention for Singaporean children in primary schools with and without special needs, (2) Pilot the use of BAIP lesson plans in special education classrooms, and (3) Investigate and validate the benefits of using BAIP lessons that promote 21st century skill set (higher order thinking and reasoning) to strengthen the existing Singapore math curriculum. This research project has unique merit due to the lack of research-based online resources in mathematics developed with an emphasis on struggling learners internationally and locally. This research study will provide insights to whether and how BAIP can promote student academic achievement, learning attitudes, and parental support in math learning.

Funding Source

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