Master of Education

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    An exploratory study on early childhood educators' efficacy in using play-based instructions for creative teaching and sustainable development
    (2024)
    Yap, Jiamin

    A study was conducted to explore early childhood educators’ perceived self-efficacy in using play-based instructions for creative teaching and nurturing sustainable development. The study sought to answer three research questions: What are the relationships among early childhood educators’ self-perceived efficacies in play-based instructions, creative teaching and sustainable development? How do early childhood educators practise play-based instructions in creative teaching and nurturing sustainable development? To what extent do early childhood educators’ self-perceived efficacies corroborate their actual practices in using play-based instructions for creative teaching and for nurturing sustainable development?

    A concurrent mixed method research design was used. A total of 30 early childhood educators participated in answering a questionnaire. Five of them took part in semi-structured interviews, three of them, along with another two participants volunteered to be observed between one to three times for not more than 45 minutes each time.

    The questionnaire consisted of three measures. The first measure “perceptions of play, creativity and sources of efficacy” comprised 28 items related to early childhood educators’ conceptions of creativity, play, and their sources of teaching efficacies. The second measure “self-perceived competence in play and creative teaching“ consisted of 23 items related to educators’ perceived competence in facilitating play and creative teaching. The third measure “self-perceived efficacies in creative teaching, play-based teaching, and nurturing sustainable development” was composed of 37 items on educators’ perceived self-efficacies in play-based instructions, creative teaching and nurturing sustainable development.

    Factor analysis and reliability analysis were performed. For the responses of the questionnaire, descriptive statistics and correlational analysis were conducted. There were significant positive relationships among early childhood educators’ self-perceived efficacies in play-based instructions, creative teaching and sustainable development. For interview data and video observations, thematic analysis was performed. Five themes emerged from the interview data: Play for holistic development, teacher facilitation, creative teaching, play-based instructions, and play-based instructions for sustainable development. Three themes emerged from observations on educators: Teacher-led, creative teaching and sustainable development. Findings of the study were discussed. Limitations and suggestions for future research were presented. In conclusion, the main findings of the study indicated that early childhood educators, when motivated and supported, demonstrate confidence and competence in using play-based instructions for fostering creative teaching and sustainable development in children.

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    Exploring motivational profiles of upper primary students in tuition classes in Singapore
    (2024)
    Ting, Li Ping

    In Singapore’s meritocratic education system, academic excellence is highly valued, propelling a widespread culture of tuition to supplement mainstream schooling. Despite the government’s efforts to pivot towards a “joy of learning” ethos - emphasizing intrinsic interest over exam results - many parents persist in enrolling their children in tuition classes for core subjects. Adopting a mixed methods design, the present study investigated the motivational dynamics of upper primary students engaged in tuition classes in Singapore, juxtaposing the government’s educational reforms with the enduring tuition phenomenon. It revolves around three research questions. The first question seeks to delineate the relationship between the students’ psychological need satisfaction and their levels of autonomous, controlled motivation and amotivation within the context of tuition classes in Singapore. The second question aimed to ascertain if there were distinct motivational profiles among this group of students. Lastly, the third question aimed to identify the factors contributing to these motivational profiles.

    A total of 25 upper primary students from a tuition centre in Singapore were surveyed on their need satisfaction and types of motivation. A cluster analysis was performed and two distinct motivational profiles were identified. Subsequently, three students from each motivational profile were interviewed to delve deeper into the factors contributing to their motivational profiles.

    To answer the first research question, correlational analysis was conducted. Consistent with previous research, results revealed that autonomy satisfaction and relatedness satisfaction were positively related to autonomous motivation and negatively correlated to amotivation, but there was no significant relationship between these two variables and controlled motivation. Competence satisfaction was found to be positively correlated to autonomous motivation and negatively related to controlled motivation, but not to have a significant relationship to amotivation.

    For the second research question, cluster analyses were carried out and two distinct motivational profiles were found. Students in the first motivational profile had heightened autonomous motivation and lower controlled motivation and amotivation (Cluster 1), whereas students in the second profile had lower autonomous motivation and higher controlled motivation and amotivation (Cluster 2). Independent-samples t-tests revealed that Cluster 1 had higher autonomy satisfaction and relatedness satisfaction scores compared to Cluster 2, but there was no significant difference between the clusters in competence satisfaction.

    In exploring factors influencing motivational profiles for the third research question, three themes emerged: basic psychological need satisfaction, physical environment of classrooms and type of goals (intrinsic vs extrinsic). Students from different motivational profiles differed in their perceptions of whether their basic psychological needs were met, the conduciveness of the physical environment of the classrooms to learning, and whether they espoused intrinsic or extrinsic goals.

    The findings of the study bear several important implications for pedagogical and policy practices. Firstly, it is crucial that classroom environments satisfy students’ autonomy, competence and relatedness needs in order to foster their autonomous motivation. Secondly, the physical environment of classrooms plays an important role in students’ motivation. Finally, both school and tuition teachers need to nurture and inculcate intrinsic rather than extrinsic goals in students.

      10  15
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    Relational memory in six-month-old infants
    (2024)
    Shamini Sanmugam
    Relational memory is the ability to bind experiences together and use this stored knowledge flexibly in novel scenarios. Much research has examined relational memories in toddlers, young children, adolescents, and adults. However, whether relational memory is present in infancy is debatable. Data from 113 six-month-old infants who participated in the ongoing Singapore Preconception Study of Long-Term Maternal and Child Outcomes (S-PRESTO) were used. Data from 160 six- to eight-month-old infants was included as a supplementary analysis. These data were coded for infants’ relational memory on a Relational Memory Task (RMT). This experimental design addresses criticism of past studies wherein stimuli were presented together, and retrieval occurred just after the encoding phase. The RMT was conducted in two phases, known as the encoding phase and the retrieval phase. In the encoding phase, three sets of egg and car combinations were presented to the infant. Each set was shown six times for five seconds. After which, during the retrieval phase, infants were presented with three sets of stimuli: (1) the “Match” set (i.e., familiar stimuli; same car and egg that were paired in the encoding phase), (2) the “Mismatch” set (i.e., familiar stimuli; a seen-before car and egg from different sets in the encoding phase), and (3) the “Novel” set (i.e., unfamiliar stimuli; a car and an egg that were not presented in the encoding phase). This was done to examine the looking behavior of infants towards items that were (1) paired together before, (2) not paired together before, (3) and entirely novel. The infant’s looking behavior during retrieval was coded offline from video records. The outcomes of the relational memories in the different sets (e.g., Match, Mismatch, and Novel) were explored in detail with three questions in mind: (1) Do infants show any evidence of memory? That is, will infants’ looking behaviors in the Match condition differ from those in the Novel condition? (2) Do infants show any evidence of relational memory? That is, will infants’ looking behaviors in the Mismatch condition differ from those in the Novel condition? 3) Are the infants processing information item by item? That is, will infants’ looking behaviors in the Match condition differ from those in the Mismatch condition? For question one, findings from the looking behavior tentatively suggest that six-month-olds could differentiate between the Match condition and the Novel condition. This showed the presence of basic memory in the infants. Upon Benjamini & Hochberg False Discovery Rate (FDR) application, correction results remained significant for two of the looking variables. However, when the FDR correction was applied to the bootstrapped results none of the looking variables remained significant. The six-month-olds also displayed a preference for the Novel condition compared to the Match condition. For question two, the six-month-olds did not differentiate between the Mismatch and Novel conditions across all looking behaviors. This showed no evidence for relational memory in the infants. For question three, the six-month-olds did not differentiate between the Mismatch and the Match conditions across all looking behaviors. This showed no relational memory in the infants. Overall, the results suggested that while six-month-old infants may express basic memory, they do not exhibit relational memory, per se, at least with regards to the associations between items in this task.
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    The misconceptions in concepts related to inferential statistics : a case study in Singapore
    (2024)
    Peng, Qiaozi

    Inferential statistics is a major component in the Singapore pre-university mathematics curriculum and tertiary education. However, it has been widely observed as a challenging topic for students to understand due to its abstract concepts.

    This study employed a case study methodology to explore Singapore beginning undergraduate students’ understanding of concepts of inferential statistics. Drawing upon existing literature encompassing various educational contexts, we investigated whether these misconceptions align with those observed globally. With open-ended questions, this study aimed to unveil unanticipated misconceptions.

    This study summarized misconceptions demonstrated among students. The findings revealed that students in this study shared similar misconception in terms of concepts of sampling distributions, the Central Limit Theorem, and p-value identified in other countries. Moreover, students’ responses in the open-ended questions exhibited a lack of statistical thinking, weak conceptual understanding, neglect of prerequisite assumptions for performing null hypothesis significance tests, and confusion of the p-value approach and the critical region approach in hypothesis testing.

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    跨学科教学策略 在新加坡中学快捷华文(中三)教学上的初步设计 = Using interdisciplinary instruction strategies in teaching Secondary Three Express Chinese
    (2024)
    Lee, Oi Leng

    全球化的社会急速转变,青少年面临许多跨文化交流的机会和挑战。无论是社交生活或工作场所,青少年都需要和来自不同文化背景的人群交流。他们必须具备全球素养,拥有足够的语言能力,开放的世界观,才能清楚有效地表达自己的想法,并且能够尊重和理解他人的看法,以处理复杂环境下的各种冲突,从中培养出正面的人生态度和价值观。

    华人遍布世界各地。我国的青少年是否能够以华语,与来自四面八方的华人沟通,和中文文化圈接轨,一直是笔者关心的问题。在我国完善的教育体系下,我国学生的知识相对全面,如果他们能够掌握华语,就能随时表现出自己的全球素养。在中学华文课中进行跨学科教学,不仅能提高学生学习华文的兴趣,也能推动学生使用中文来表达高层次的情感和思维,和世界上其他中文使用者进行对话,表达他们对于这个世界的看法。

    本文旨在以2021年《华文伴我行》中三快捷教材的教学目标和内容为基础,跨学科教学为策略,设计一共九个教学活动,展开教学实验。笔者希望有系统地把这些经验记录下来,为新加坡从事华文教育的老师提供跨学科教学的参考,认识跨学科教学手段在华文教学中的可行性,并尝试探索跨学科教学的各种教学型态。

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