Now showing 1 - 10 of 26
  • Publication
    Open Access
    A review on plant science education in Singapore
    (2014-11)
    Chen, Zhong
    ;
    Chan, Yu Mun
    ;
    Plants are fundamental to the existence of our green planet, but the understanding of plants and the willingness to understand them is deficient. Teachers, students and curriculum developers are mindful of the lack of knowledge and ability to notice plants in our environment. In Singapore we are facing a paradox in plant science education. Known as a garden city, and having a hybrid of an orchid as our national flower, many of our citizens ironically remain blind to what are growing and cultivated around them. Our pupils are not able to name the common plant species. They would prefer to dwell in the air-conditioned comfort of their homes and learn through the computer or the television rather than to have a walk in the forest. Further, our educators merely set limited plant contents in Biology syllabus, and teachers are reluctant to bring plants to the classroom. In this review, we reflect plant science education in Singapore based on the current syllabus at the primary, secondary and junior college levels. We also list a few case studies of specific terms in plant science using various science textbooks and questions from national exams to allow a greater understanding on how plant science is taught and tested. Finally we propose suggestions to improve plant science education in Singapore.
      500  1555
  • Publication
    Open Access
    The relevance of biological knowledge for citizenship: A Singapore perspective
    Biological knowledge for citizenship rests at the nexus of two important concepts -scientific literacy and citizenship education. Scientific literacy, the ability to make sense of and hence decisions related to scientific issues, operates under the broad construct of citizenship. Citizenship education is defined by UNESCO as "educating children, from early childhood, to become clear-thinking and enlightened citizens who participate in decisions concerning society". As society moves further into the 21st century, many of the challenges facing 'sustainable societies' require scientifically literate citizens to participate at multiple societal levels. At the international level, many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the world community have a scientific grounding in biology. This suggests that global citizenship education must take cognizance of biological knowledge. Through the theoretical lens of scientific literacy, pressing biological issues of food security, nutrition, biodiversity decline, and climate change are discussed in the chapter, making explicit the importance of biological knowledge for responsible global citizenship. These issues affect citizens at the community and individual levels through decisions linked to matters like food waste, diet, body mass index, and choice of food. Various learning approaches have been used to incorporate these matters into science curricula, such as through real-world learning.
      440  183
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Science teachers’ engagement with ICT in Singapore: Different perspectives
    In this paper, we present narratives of three in-service biology teachers in their journey with the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in their practices. These narratives provide useful insights into the in-service science teachers’ ideas, dilemmas and actual usage of ICT. The use of narratives to present perspectives of biology teachers’ engagement with ICT is a deliberate one ─ different teachers have different experiences with their students and across different schools. As such, the stories generated are different but personal and real to each participant. The in-service teachers are purposively sampled: all of them having taught science in secondary school for at least three years and had shown a keen interest in technology during their pre-service teacher program. A series of questions was used to help the participants reflect on their experiences and craft their narratives. These narratives were then analysed using content analysis of recurring themes. From the narratives, we found that generic ICT tools could be used for evaluation of students’ learning while specific ICT tools such as sensors were used for the teaching of specific scientific concepts and to support scientific inquiry. Further, in deciding which ICT tool to adopt for their lessons, teachers took into consideration external factors such as availability of wireless networks, school infrastructure, ease of setting, and students’ motivation. In terms of professional development on the use of ICT, we found that sharing sessions on what works, time and space for experimenting with new ideas, and in-depth implementation of fewer ideas rather than many ideas worked for the teachers.
      310  518
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Reflection of teaching: A glimpse through the eyes of pre-service science teachers
    (2010-12) ;
    Wettasinghe, Cyraine Marissa
    ;
    ;
    Mazlan Hasan
    This paper examines pre-service teachers‟ reflection on teaching after participating in an online course using teaching videos of micro-skills coupled with self-reflection and group blogs. A total of 137 online entries were collected from 26 participants. Larrivee‟s (2008) four levels of reflection (pre, surface, pedagogical and critical) were used to code the reflection by the participants. The findings showed that 67% of the reflection by pre-service teachers falls in the pedagogical category and 2% in the critical category. These findings show that pre-service teachers are capable of engaging in reflection beyond a surface level even with limited actual classroom experience, and micro-skills teaching videos coupled with self-reflection and online blogs can serve as stimulus for reflection about actual teaching practices. The resources that the pre-service teachers used to make sense of teaching are (1) their knowledge of learning theories; (2) their ideas of teachers‟ roles and responsibilities; and (3) existing ideas of what makes good teaching. The pre-service teachers reflected upon their learning and showed evidence of willingness to incorporate the learnt ideas of good teaching into their future classroom teaching. The use of videos and reflection allowed them to restructure their teaching knowledge through identification, comparison, modification and synthesising.
      401  443
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Planning out-of-classroom learning experiences
    (National Institute of Education (Singapore), 2018)
      18  32
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Solving ill-structured problems mediated by online- discussion forums: Mass customisation of learning
    (2019-12-02)
    Ramya Chandrasekaran
    ;
    ; ;
    Yeong, Foong May
    To foster students’ learning of critical-thinking skills, we incorporated ill-structured problems in a Human Diseases module for third-year Life Sciences students. Using a problem-solving rubric and working in groups of three, students attempted to solve problems presented to them. We mediated their discussions by asynchronous online discussion forums (AODFs) as part of mass customisation of learning for 40 students where personalised learning was constrained by structure of the module. We examined the quality of students’ discussion, focusing on the feedback group members provided to one another, using an interpreted Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes (SOLO) taxonomy to code students’ feedback. Our analysis indicated that the students were able to provide uni-structural and multi-structural level in relation to solving an ill-structured problem, even though they are not used to solving ill-structured problems. This indicated that in a mid-size class, while personalised-learning is not always easy, it is possible to mass customise learning for students using common ill-structured problems in a class by mediating problem-solving using student discussions as feedback. However, more can be done to scaffold peer feedback on solving ill-structured problems so that the level of collaborative-learning can be improved in a mass customised model that approaches personalised learning.
      138  155
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Assessing students’ learning of primary science in the multicultural context of Singapore: Considerations influencing task selection for formative assessment
    (2011-11)
    Tan, Poh Hiang
    ;
    This research reports the considerations influencing task selection for formative assessment among 30 primary school science teachers. Education and assessment are high stake enterprises in this multicultural city-state of Singapore. The 39 participants were chosen through random sampling from six primary schools located at different parts of Singapore. The participants responded to an instrument comprising of activities on the concepts of electrical circuits and conductors. The activities, set in different contexts but based on the same learning outcomes, were presented to the participants as possible tasks to assess students' learning. The participants’ responses to the questions were analysed. The findings revealed that the teachers prioritised students' abilities and their learning over and above other factors. The writers argued that the teachers' focus on students’ abilities may work against the current initiative of inquiry approach towards teaching and learning. While studies on teachers' conceptions on assessment have been undertaken, the contribution of this paper lies in illuminating influences on the implementation of formative assessment in Singapore primary science classrooms.
      217  313
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Fostering science teachers’ language awareness: Exploring the impact on teachers’ oral interactions with students to support science writing
    (Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2019)
    Seah, Lay Hoon
    ;
    Adams, Jonathon
    ;
    ; ;
    Chin, Tan Ying
    The role of language in science learning and teaching has been a focus of science education research for over three decades. This rich body of research has led to the insight that learning the language of science is constitutive of learning science: simultaneously with participating in classroom activities and conversations, describing observations and constructing conceptual understanding, students must begin to appropriate the language of science.
      236  218
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Roles of teachers in orchestrating learning in elementary science classrooms
    (2015)
    Zhai, Junqing
    ;
    This study delves into the different roles that elementary science teachers play in the classroom to orchestrate science learning opportunities for students. Examining the classroom practices of three elementary science teachers in Singapore, we found that teachers shuttle between four key roles in enabling students learning in science. Teachers can play the role of (1) dispenser of knowledge (Giver), (2) mentor of learning (Advisor), (3) monitor of students’ activities (Police), and (4) partner in inquiry (Co-learner). These roles are dynamic and while teachers show a preference to one of the four roles, factors such as the nature of the task, the types of students as well as the availability of time and resources affect the role that teachers adopt. The roles that teachers play in the classroom have implications for the practice of science as inquiry in the classroom as well as the identities that teachers and students form in the science learning process.
    Scopus© Citations 8  130  372