Description of Task Force

Science education research in NIE aims to produce the knowledge base about how science learners learn science, how science learning can be deepened and levelled up to meet the demands of 21st century global economies, how teachers make sense of science education, and how teachers’ capacity to enact a science curriculum can be developed. Another goal of science education research in NIE is to validate/strengthen available evidence and uncover new frontiers to inform, evaluate and support science education policies and innovations of the Ministry of Education (MOE). The vision of a scientific literate citizenry for the 21st century can be achieved through four keys areas of research. The four key areas of research are (1) science communication, (2) scientific thinking skills, (3) deep conceptual understanding, and (4) everyday science and technology. The nature of science is a theme that is embedded in each of research areas to promote more sophisticated views and positive attitudes toward science. Each of the four research areas comprises four sub-components: assessment, leadership, teacher capacity building and infrastructure. The four key research areas identified are fundamental to sound holistic science learning such that our students can become informed creator and consumers of scientific knowledge. Distinct from other research visions formulated in other educational contexts, the proposed research agenda is anchored on two unique features of the Singapore education system: (1) tight connectedness between schools and clusters, and (2) the banding of different learners into their ability groups. The connectedness between schools and clusters enables innovations to be scaled across the levels with higher fidelity. This tight connectedness informs our research programme by requiring us to pay greater attention to how knowledge created via research studies needed greater attention on how it may inform policymaking, and thus we focus on coherence and continuity of research projects as a way to expand the knowledge generate. The banding of learners into their ability groups allows for research into how different learners benefit from different levels of scaffolding. This allows for the synthesis of knowledge base about the learning of science for different learners. Coherence across different research projects and the four key areas is achieved through the appointment of a principal investigator for each research project and a key principal investigator for each research area. The principle investigator will manage the members of the research group while the key principal investigator manages the knowledge and data for all the research projects under the research area. Under the leadership of the four key principal investigators, another level of analysis and synthesis will also ensure that a more holistic understanding informing the science education landscape, in terms of achieving the goals of developing scientific literate citizenry for the 21st Century.

List of team members:

List of team members' publications related to the research theme:

  • Tan Aik Ling
    • Kim, M., & Tan, A.-L. (2011). Rethinking difficulties of teaching inquiry-based practical work: stories from elementary pre-service teachers. International Journal of Science Education, 33(4), 465–486.
    • Kim, M., Tan, A.-L., & Talaue, F. (2013). New vision and challenges in inquiry-based curriculum change in Singapore. International Journal of Science Education, 35(2), 289–311.
    • Poon, C. L., Lee, Y. J., Tan, A. L., & Lim, S. S. L. (2012). Knowing inquiry as practice and theory: Developing a pedagogical framework with elementary school teachers. Research in Science Education, 42(2), 303–327.
    • Tan, A.-L., & Hong, H. Q. (in press). Learning science in high school: What is actually going on? International Journal of Science Education. doi:10.1080/09500693.2013.823676
    • Tan, A.-L., Kim, M., & Talaue, F. (2013). Grappling with issues of learning science from everyday experiences: An illustrative case. The Journal of Mathematics and Science: Collaborative Exploration, 13, 165–188.
    • Tan, A. L., & Lim, S. S. L. (2013). Science teacher education and science as inquiry: Promises and dilemma. In C.-Y. Lin & R.-J. Wang (Eds.), Innovations in science teacher education in Asia Pacific region (pp. 147–161). Taipei: Emerald Group Publishing.
    • Tan, P. H., & Tan, A.-L. (2014). Teachers' ideas and concerns with assessment practices in inquiry science. In A.-L. Tan, C. L. Poon, & S. S. L Lim (Eds.), Inquiry into the Singapore science classroom: Research and practices (pp. 58–80). Dordrecht: Springer.
    • Tan, A.-L., Talaue, F., & Kim, M. (2014). From transmission to inquiry: Influence of curriculum demands on in-service teachers' perception of science as inquiry. In Tan, A.-L., Poon, C. L., & Lim, S. S. L (Eds.), Inquiry into the Singapore science classroom: Research and practices (pp. 101–120). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.
    • Tan, A.-L., & Wong, H.-M. (2012). "Didn't get expected answer, rectify it": Teaching science content in an elementary science classroom using hands-on activities. International Journal of Science Education, 34(2), 197–222.
    • Zhai, J., Jocz, J., & Tan, A.-L. (2014). "Am I like a scientist?": Primary children's images of doing science in school. International Journal of Science Education, 2014(36), 553–576.
  • Imelda Santos Caleon
    • Caleon, I. S., & Subramaniam, R. (in press). Science epistemological beliefs of secondary students in Singapore. International Journal of Psychological and Educational Assessment.
    • Caleon, I. S., & R. Subramaniam (2005). The impact of a cryogenics-based enrichment programme on attitude towards science and the learning of science concepts. International Journal of Science Education, 27 (6), 679–704.
    • Caleon, I. S., & R. Subramaniam (2007). Augmenting learning in an out-of-school context: The cognitive and affective impact of two cryogenics-based enrichment programmes on upper primary students. Research in Science Education, 37 (3), 333–351.
    • Caleon, I. S., & R. Subramaniam (2007). From Pythagoras to Sauveur: Tracing the history of ideas about the nature of sound. Physics Education, 42, 173–179.
    • Caleon, I. S., & R. Subramaniam (2008). Attitudes towards science of intellectually gifted and mainstream upper primary students in Singapore. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 45 (8), 940–954.
    • Caleon, I. S., & R. Subramaniam (2010). Do students know what they know and what they don’t know? Using a four-tier diagnostic test to assess the nature of students’ alternative conceptions. Research in Science Education, 40(3), 313–337.
    • Caleon, I. S., & R. Subramaniam (2010). Development and application of a three-tier diagnostic test to assess secondary students’ understanding of waves.  International Journal of Science Education, 32 (7), 939–961.
    • Caleon, I. S., & R. Subramaniam (2010). Exploring students' conceptualization of the propagation of periodic waves. The Physics Teacher, 48(1), 55–59.
    • Caleon, I. S., & R. Subramaniam (2013). Addressing students’ alternative conceptions on the propagation of periodic waves through refutational text. Physics Education, 48(5), 657.
  • Jennifer Yeo
    • Yeo, J., Tan, S. C., & Lee, Y. J. (2012). A learning journey in problem-based learning in a physics classroom. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 21(1), 39–50.
    • Tang, K., Tan, S., & Yeo, J. (2011). Students’ multimodal construction of work-energy concept. International Journal of Science Education, 33, 1775–1804.
    • Tan, S. C., Yeo, J., & Lim, W. Y. (2005). Changing epistemology of science learning through inquiry with computer-supported collaborative learning. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 24(4), 367–386.
    • Yeo, J., & Tan, S. C. (2011). How a group learns: Implications for collaborative work in science. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 20(2), 231–245.
    • Yeo, J. & Tan, S.C. (2010). Constructive use of authoritative sources in science meaning making. International Journal of Science Education, 32, 1739–1754.
  • Teo Tang Wee
    • Teo, T. W. (2012). Building Potemkin schools: Science curriculum reform in a STEM school. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 44(5), 659–678.
    • Teo, T. W. (2013). Different perspectives of cultural mediation: Implications for the research design on studies examining its effect on students’ cognition. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 8, 295–305.
    • Teo, T. W. (2013). Examining the performative quality of a teacher’s curriculum reform making through a metaphorical lens. Education as Change: Journal of Curriculum Research, 17(1), 89–100.
    • Teo, T. W. (2014). Hidden currents in the STEM pipeline: Insights from the dyschronous life episodes of a minority female STEM teacher. Theory into Practice, 53(1), 48–54.
    • Teo, T. W., & Ke, K. J. (2014). Challenges in STEM teaching: Implication for preservice and inservice teacher education program. Theory into Practice, 53(1), 18–24.
    • Teo, T. W., & Osborne, M. (2012). Using symbolic interactionism to analyze a specialized STEM high school teacher’s experience in curriculum reform. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 7, 541–567.
    • Teo, T. W., & Tan, A. L. (2011). Realities of curriculum and teaching: Revelations from Singapore teachers' meta-reflections. US-China Education Review B, 1(5), 601–612.
  • Tang Kok Sing
    • Tang, K. S. (2011). Reassembling curricula concepts: A multimodal communicative approach to the study of curriculum and instruction. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 9, 109–135.
    • Tang, K. S. (2013). Instantiation of multimodal semiotic systems in science classroom discourse. Language Sciences, 37, 22–35.
    • Tang, K. S. (2013). Out-of-school media representations of science and technology and their relevance for engineering learning. Journal of Engineering Education, 101(1), 51–76.
    • Tang, K. S., Delgado, C., & Moje, E. B. (2014). An integrative framework for the analysis of multiple and multimodal representations for science meaning-making. Science Education, 98, 305–326. /li>
    • Tang, K. S., & Moje, E. (2010). Relating multimodal representations to the literacies of science. Research in Science Education, 40, 81–85.
    • Tang, K. S., Tan, S. C., & Yeo, J. (2011). Students’ multimodal construction of work-energy concept. International Journal of Science Education, 33, 1775–1804.
  • Seah Lay Hoon
    • Seah, L. H. (2013). Interpreting students’ writings: Misconception or misrepresentation. School Science Review, 94(349), 91–97.
    • Seah, L. H., & Hart, C. (2006). A Cross Disciplinary Analysis of Science Classroom Discourse. In W. Bokhorst-Heng, M. Osborne, & K. Lee, (Eds). Redesigning pedagogies: Reflections on theory and praxis (pp. 191–204). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.
    • Seah, L. H., Clarke, D. J., & Hart, C. (2011). Understanding students' language use about expansion through analyzing their lexicogrammatical resources. Science Education, 95(5), 852–876.
    • Seah, L. H., Clarke, D. J., & Hart, C. (2014). Understanding the Language Demands on Science Students from an Integrated Science and Language Perspective. International Journal of Science Education, 36(6), 952–973.
    • So, H. J., Seah, L. H., & Toh-Heng, H. L. (2010). Designing
      collaborative knowledge building environments accessible to all
      learners: Impacts and design challenges. Computers & Education, 54(2),
    • Tan, S. C., & Seah, L. H. (2011). Exploring relationship between students’ questioning behaviours and inquiry task in an online forum through analysis of ideational function of questions. Computers & Education, 57(2), 1675–1685. 

List of projects from this research group: