Now showing 1 - 10 of 12
  • 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
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    Tay, Linda Poh Ling
    ;
    Chia, Terence Titus Song An
      43  83
  • Publication
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    Transforming science practical pedagogy and practice through innovative departmental planning
    (2009-02)
    Towndrow, Phillip A. (Phillip Alexander)
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    Soo, Poh Ling
    "The study investigated the adoption and management of change relating to the teaching, learning and assessment of science practical skills within the science department of a secondary school in Singapore. The intended outcomes of the study featured the development of pedagogy and practices leading to the production of a departmental scheme of work incorporating Science Practical Assessment (SPA) skills. The research also supported a SPA-related professional development community that allowed teachers to share ideas and coach one another during an extensive intervention stage. The teachers involved in the project were also encouraged to reflect on and self-assess their learning as they taught in the laboratory." -- abstract.
      134  262
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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
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    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
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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
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    Designing tasks to teach SPA skills at lower secondary level in Singapore
    (2006-06)
    Towndrow, Phillip A. (Phillip Alexander)
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    Venthan, A. M.
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    Gayathri Dorairaju
    "This pilot project investigated the implementation, development and improvement of Science Practical Assessment (SPA) skills at secondary level in Singapore. The researchers profiled and critically examined existing science laboratory practices; collaborated in the planning and prototyping of pedagogic tools for teachers to use in designing and adapting instructional materials for SPA; and evaluated novel teaching, learning and assessment practices towards SPA skill development."-- [p. 1].
      609  366
  • 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
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    Talaue, Frederick
      21  25
  • Publication
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    Science education research in CRPP: A framework
    (2008-01)
    Osborne, Margery D.
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    "Science education research is important for continued success in science achievements in Singapore. The current science education research landscape in Singapore is diverse and lacks a consolidated framework through which science education can be examined. As such, this pilot study hopes to reveal some areas in which science education research efforts can focus on to ensure continued innovation and achievements in science."-- [p. 1] of executive summary.
      115  45
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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
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    An insight into philosophy of science and ethics education for girls in Singapore
    (2008-05)
    "This pilot research study aims to help science educators gain an insight into the state of science learning in a high school through the lens of the philosophy of science and the ethics of science. The following research questions guide this research: 1. What are the learning processes which take place in a class, which aim to bring across the nature of science? 2. To what extent is the philosophy of science translated to actual classroom practice in school science? 3. What are students' perceptions of science after an education in science which aims to bring out the nature of scientific knowledge? "-- [p. 1] of executive summary.
      144  28
  • Publication
    Open Access
    "We 'own' the teachers": Understanding subcultures of Singapore lower track science classrooms
    (Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2020) ; ;
    Yeo, Leck Wee
    Subcultures emerge from within dominant and mainstream cultures, and can exert influence on the outcomes of science teaching and learning. This is an explanatory study about the subcultures of Singapore lower track science classrooms with the aim to understand the sets of understandings, behaviours and artefacts used by lower progress students in the Normal Academic streams, and diffused through interlocking group networks. We want to look for explanations on how: (1) cultural elements in these science classrooms become widespread in a population, (2) local variations in cultural content exists in group settings, and (3) subculture changes dynamically. By applying the theoretical framework of symbolic interaction to generate explanations that provide substantive knowledge on how the lower progress students learn and their science teachers teach science. The methods of data collection in this critical ethnographic study will include lesson videos, intensive student interviews, teacher interviews, observations and conversations with students in informal school settings, and documentation of artefacts. Data analysis including speech act and facework analyses will be used to unpack the performativity of the students and teachers in the science classrooms and illuminate the negotiations of power relationships, collective and individual memberships and space that in turn, affect students' identification with or against the subcultures and their subsequent contributions to it. This study will contribute to the cultural sociology studies of science education, as there are limited (if any) empirical studies that discuss the existence of subcultures in educational contexts. The findings will offer to science teacher insights that illuminate the complex and dynamic forces that interplay with their science teaching, so that they can understand and work with, rather than against them.
      125  20