Now showing 1 - 10 of 38
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Developing science teachers’ language awareness to enhance the teaching of disciplinary literacy: A study of teachers’ lesson enactments through the lens of adaptive expertise
    (National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University (NIE NTU), Singapore, 2021)
    Seah, Lay Hoon
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    ; ; ;
    Chin, Tan Ying
    ;
    Tay, Linda Poh Ling
    ;
    Chia, Terence Titus Song An
      43  83
  • Publication
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    Partnership for change towards science inquiry in elementary science classrooms: Collective responsibility of teachers and students
    (Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2024) ;
    Talaue, Frederick
    ;
    This report details the three keys aspects of the project ─ (a) the ideas and motivation of teachers to carry out inquiry, (b) students ideas about science learning in school, and (c) factors that could enhance science teacher professional development to carry out inquiry. In elementary science classrooms, we showed that: (1) while teachers express moderate to strong intention to teach science through inquiry they are constrained by numerous components in their classroom context, including goals of instruction, curriculum integration, learning environment, lesson strategies, student disposition and teacher disposition; (2) students value hands-on and collaborative experiences for learning science, suggesting a pedagogy characterized by clear learning goals and valuing a sense of community among learners; and (3) further training should focus on how to, more than why, teach through inquiry, adopting a paradigm that is responsive to different contexts.
      15  13
  • Publication
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    Professional learning of general science teachers: Epistemic discourse and understanding of scientific epistemology
    (Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2024) ; ;
    Talaue, Frederick
    This study examines the epistemic discourse and the understanding of epistemology of teachers teaching general science at the lower secondary level. The secondary science curriculum in Singapore is designed in a spiral manner and is written as outcomes statements. These outcomes focuses on the content of science that students are expected to learn at the end of each school year. In secondary schools, science teachers are trained as specialists in various sub-disciplines of science such as biology, chemistry, and physics. These specialist science teachers can potentially be deployed to teach lower secondary science that is designed as general science with all the three sub-disciplines coming together to form one subject. As such, biology-trained teachers will have to teach chemistry and physics, while physics-trained teachers will also have to teach biology and chemistry. Anecdotally, this has resulted in some levels of discomfort as teachers are uncertain of scientific content that they are not trained in. These practical difficulties experienced by teachers teaching general science seemed to concur with the theoretical idea that while all the three sub-disciplines of science falls under the large umbrella of science, there are subtle but important differences among them. Based on Biglan’s (1973) ideas of disciplinarity, while academic subjects are classified into categories of similar ways of thinking, there remained degrees of differences between these categories. This is because the sub-disciplines of sciences, from biology (soft) to physics (hard), give different emphasis to what constitute evidence and placed different prominence on the use of specialized vocabularies. The differences between knowledge structure in biology, chemistry and physics can also be viewed from a sociological perspective. In Bernstein’s (1999) ideas of horizontal and vertical discourses, biology show more features of a discipline that has more traits of everyday local knowledge with more diffused vocabularies while physics is characterized by specialised knowledge and vocabularies.
      13  62
  • Publication
    Open Access
      184  129
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Enhancing interactivity for online learning: Swivl Zoom
    (National Institute of Education (Singapore), 2022)
      49  81
  • Publication
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    Enhancing inquiry-based teaching through collaboration between preservice and in-service teachers
    (Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2024) ;
    Kim, Mijung
    ;
    Talaue, Frederick
      21  25
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Use of a competency framework to explore the benefits of student-generated multiple-choice questions (MCQs) on student engagement
    (2020)
    Yeong, Foong May
    ;
    Chin, Cheen Fei
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    Student engagement in large Life Sciences classes can be problematic, especially with the course work done outside formal class contact hours. To enhance student engagement with the content outside class time, we designed an assignment spanning one semester that required students to author MCQs. We used Bloom’s taxonomy to evaluate the MCQs. Additionally, we derived a three-level framework to analyse the demands on the student question-setters by determining the competencies required to construct the MCQs. This two tier analysis of MCQs allowed us to gauge the level of student engagement with course materials. The three-level competency framework referred to students’ foundational domain knowledge at level 1 to application and prediction of cellular functions in normal and abnormal situations, within a topic at level 2 and across different topics at level 3. From 40 sample MCQs, slightly over 50% targeted mid- to high-level Bloom’s taxonomy. Slightly under 50% of the questions required attainment of level 2 and 3 competencies for construction. However, we noted a high level of academic engagement and some level of cognitive engagement among several students which are consistent with self-reports in an anonymous student survey conducted after the semester. We suggest that using a competency framework to analyse student-authored MCQs can make explicit students’ efforts at constructing MCQs.
    WOS© Citations 4Scopus© Citations 5  284  209
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    Learning to argue and arguing to learn: Developing scientific argumentation skills in pre-service chemistry teachers
    (Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2024) ;

    The discipline of science is characterized by the evaluation of knowledge claims that are supported by available evidences. As such, one of the key attributes of a scientist is the ability to discern relevant and orthodoxy evidence from those that are irrelevant and outdated, and use these evidences to construct coherent arguments (Osborne, 2010). Translating this characteristic practice of science into science teaching in schools means that a learner of science must also be able to construct plausible and relevant arguments from available evidences in learning science concepts. This has important implications for science teacher educators as there is now a need to teach and equip pre-service teachers with skills, knowledge and strategies to teach their prospective students in schools how to make sense of evidences and how to construct coherent arguments and at the same time, learn the contents of science (Newton, Driver,& Osborne, 1999).

    The nature of science and paradigm shift in science teacher education asserts that argumentation should be central in science education. The paradigm shift referred to here is the need to move our attention from focusing on acquisition of content knowledge to understanding and appreciating the process by which scientific knowledge is formed. As such, we argue here that argumentation is one of the key scientific practices to enable this change to take place and hence, to enable learners of science to learn science in an authentic manner, science teachers need to know how to position the content that they are teaching in a manner that will open up a space for students to discuss and argue. Yet, in reality, the opportunity for students to engage in argumentation discourse is rarely seen in science classroom practice (Duschl & Osborne, 2002; Roth, et al., 2006). Thus, we argue that if cultivating students’ involvement in the practice of argumentation is a goal to achieve, then the current culture of science classrooms, which is largely dominated by didactic monologues from the teacher, must be altered. Current research indicates that the teacher plays a fundamental role in any reform effort because curriculum implementation and classroom instruction are often shaped by them (Bybee, 1993; Lotter, Harwood, & Bonner, 2007; Sampson & Blanchard, 2012). As such, one of the key platforms to advocate and promote this kind of curricular and pedagogical reform is through initial teacher education programs.

    To facilitate the change process, we need to understand what pre-service teachers know about scientific argumentation and to what extent they value its role in the teaching and learning of science. Current research that focusses on pre-service teachers’ perceptions and ideas about science as a form of inquiry highlighted the difficulties they faced in enacting science as inquiry in classroom (e.g., Biggers & Forbes, 2012; Crawford, 2007; Davis, Petish, & Smithey, 2006; Haefner & Zembal-Saul, 2004). The similarity between practice of science as inquiry and argumentation is likely to be due to the fact that argumentation is a prerequisite skill for learners of science to be engaged in science as inquiry. Despite the wealth of research into practices of science as inquiry, few studies in inquiry classroom examine the embedded argumentation explicitly. By embedded argumentation, we refer to the nature of the tasks that inherently has tenets that are debatable. These would generally be scientific theories and ideas that scientists are still seeking evidences for. The only difference between embedded argumentation and argumentation that stems from socioscientific issues is the reliance of embedded argumentation on empirical evidence rather than affective perspective. There is hence limited research on how pre-service teachers participate in argumentation as well as explore on their knowledge and views of the use of argumentation (Kaya, 2013; Ozdem, Ertepinar, Cakiroglu, & Erduran, 2013; Sadler, 2006). As early as the late 1990s, researchers such as Newton, Driver, and Osborne (1999) were already arguing that argumentation should form part of the pedagogical repertoire of science teachers and hence their knowledge in this area should be developed. McNeil and Knight (2013), in their study of teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge in argumentation highlighted that in-service teachers faced challenges with understanding the structural and dialogic characteristics of argumentation. They also struggled with designing tasks that are argumentation-centric. As such, research into the development of argumentation skills is important not only for students learning science in schools, but also for teachers, both in-service as well as pre-service, engaged in teaching science.

      15  6
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Understanding STEM integration in Singapore using complex, persistent, and extended problems
    (Routledge, 2021) ;
    Lau, Roxanne Shu Xin
    Using the S-T-E-M Quartet instructional framework, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) activities were designed with biology as the lead discipline. These activities are centred around a problem related to vertical farming that is complex, persistent, and extended. Through engagement in these problems, students learn the vertical knowledge of each discipline as well as how the knowledge from each of the STEM disciplines are connected. We call the latter the horizontal connections. In this chapter, we describe three key aspects of learning with integrated STEM activities ? (1) How the activities are planned, (2) Student interactions during these activities, and (3) The outcomes of engagement with these activities. We will then conclude with discussions on the implications for future STEM education.
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  • Publication
    Open Access
    Cogenerative dialogues, emotional conflicts, and polyvagal theory: Links to science learning
    This forum paper offers alternative insights into Pei-Ling Hsu’s “It’s a magic circle”! Using cogenerative dialogues to create a safe environment to address emotional conflicts in a project-based learning science internship. In her paper, she presented how cogenerative dialogues can be used to create an emotionally safe environment for conflict resolutions in a project-based science internship program. She examined the emotions during the cogenerative dialogues using the polyvagal theory. Here, we continue the discussion by raising alternative perspectives to view the events, particularly the “Lucy incident” that was described. We suggest the use of emotional regulation strategies such as situation selection, situation modification, attention deployment, cognitive change and response modulation as a means to enhance the way cogenerative dialogues could be carried out. The main argument on this commentary is that strong emotions cannot be dismissed if cogenerative dialogues are used as a means to resolve conflicts. Rather, participants in cogenerative dialogues need to apply specific emotional regulation strategies so that they can contribute and participate in cogenerative dialogues more constructively.
    Scopus© Citations 1  126  163