Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
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    Excuse me, are you a model?
    This case study investigates whether teachers in one primary school in Singapore model reading during Uninterrupted Sustained Silent Reading (USSR). The hypothesis in this study is that in spite of the evidence that reading is an important determinant of a student’s growth in language skills and ability, and that modeling the act of reading is essential in influencing students, especially the middle- and low-ability ones, teachers do not model. This study seeks to find out if the teachers believe in the importance of reading and modeling, and whether they put such a belief into action.

    This study uses an observation log, questionnaire surveys and semi-structured interviews. The morning session teachers were observed during USSR daily for ten weeks. Purposeful and systematic sampling were used to identify the teachers for the interviews. Maximum Variation sampling was used to identify the students for the interviews. All the 50 morning session teachers were surveyed and stratified sampling was used to identify the students surveyed.

    The study found that even though the teachers believe in the importance of reading and modeling, they do not model reading. The consequence of this lack of modeling was that the teachers’ influencing power was greatly diminished as borne out by the fact that two-thirds of the students did not care whether the teachers read together with them, and one-third did not even want the teachers to read together with them.

    Students need to perceive reading as meaningful and worthwhile before they would engage in them. Since the very people who can create this positive perception of reading were not doing so, the students invariably would not engage in reading. Herein lies the problem. As a result, the low-achieving and -ability students who do not read are caught in a never-ending spiral of poor academic attainment. To break out of this spiral, teachers must do their part in modeling reading in order to encourage students to engage in this worthwhile activity.
      397  65
  • Publication
    Open Access
    From fantasy to depression: A beginning teacher’s encounter with performativity
    This paper reports a qualitative study of a beginning teacher in Singapore. It explores the journey of a beginning teacher from his pre-service teacher education to his third year of teaching, drawing on extensive interviews, emails, phone text messages and fi eld notes over a span of three years. This study illuminates the issue of performativity faced daily by teachers caught in such a discourse, and highlights the tension between enacting one’s idealism as a beginning teacher and pursuing academic excellence as required by the school system within such a climate. The study describes how the performativity pressures exerted by the school system shaped the beginning teacher’s beliefs and practices. As a result of the socialization forces limiting and regulating his practices, the beginning teacher experienced cognitive dissonance, and consequently suffered clinical depression. From the fi ndings, it shows there is a need for current teacher education to highlight the neoliberal emphasis on “market values” of accountability that currently exists in the school system. The study concludes with suggestions that teacher education in Singapore needs to extend beyond skills training to incorporate performativity discourse within its pedagogy courses. This might create more opportunities and thus induce a greater propensity to teach against the grain.
      360  1065
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Transforming teaching through collaborative reflection: A Singaporean case
    Educational success has been largely defined by academic scores in many educational systems, and teachers are frequently held accountable for their students’ scores. These accountability-driven school systems impinge on teachers to enact time-tested effective and efficient pedagogical approaches. In such a context, it is onerous for teachers to adopt alternative approaches. This paper traced how an experienced language teacher, schooled in the discourses and practices of neoliberalism, made a transformation into a teacher of constructivist bent. It explored the transformation of the teacher’s beliefs and practice as a result of reflecting collaboratively with a small team. The findings help to provide a broad understanding of how collaborative reflection can develop teachers’ ability to engage in reflection, and illuminate the potential it has in transforming the teaching practices set against the background of neoliberalism. This finding has relevance for Asian countries which are similarly engulfed in a neoliberal discourse.
      356  353
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    Examining the teaching of reading: Teachers’ implementation of the STELLAR programme
    (2017)
    Ng, Xing Hwee
    ;
    Strategies for English Language Learning and Reading (STELLAR) is a literacy programme in Singapore that is text-driven and supplemented with research-based teaching approaches and instructional materials supplied to teachers. STELLAR was fully implemented in 2015 and is seen as an example of effective scaling up of an innovation (Pang, Lim, Choe, Peters & Chua, 2015). This study aims to explore the relationship between the teachers’ concerns based on their years in the education service and years of STELLAR experience and the changes made by them during the reading component of STELLAR across schools. The Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) will be used to examine the teachers’ implementation of the programme. Two of the CBAM diagnostic tools used to study this implementation are the Stages of Concern questionnaire (SoCQ) and the Levels of Use (LoU) interviews. The adaptations made by these teachers will be compared based on their number of years of experience; the rationale for these changes will be derived from the interviews. The role of teachers in curriculum enactment is of great concern, because they play a crucial role in the scaling up of any innovation. According to Curdt-Christiansen and Silver (2013), “Policy innovations have little effect when teachers have difficulties in understanding the pedagogical assumptions underlying the policy goals and when their own pedagogical beliefs are not taken into account” (p. 248). If teachers do not understand the intent of the innovations, such innovations will be left outside the classroom. By examining and understanding the concerns of the teachers and the changes made, curriculum developers can ensure adherence to the intent of the curriculum, while allowing space for flexibility in the teachers’ adaptations. This will then help reduce the usability gaps.
      1006  39
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Teacher education in Singapore: Changes for a new landscape
    (Springer, 2022)
    Teacher education in Singapore is synonymous with the National Institute of Education, as it is Singapore’s sole institution of teacher education. Its history, its contribution to Singapore’s achievements in international benchmark assessments (e.g. PISA, PIRLS, TIMSS), its symbiotic relationship with the Ministry of Education, and its role in the development of Singapore’s knowledge-based economy have been well documented in recent years (see Loh & Hu, 2019; Loh & Hu, 2020). Instead of a diachronic perspective taken in most discussions on teacher education in Singapore, this chapter will provide an overview of the current state of teacher education. It focuses on recent important changes in its teacher education programmes, namely the structural extension and curriculum revision of the main Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) programme, the phase-out of the non-graduate Diploma in Education (General) programme, and the advent of the premier Teaching Scholars programme.
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  • Publication
    Open Access
    Understanding middle leaders' concerns in curriculum change: A missing perspective
    (2021) ;
    Hu, Guangwei
    This paper is a case study evaluating the concerns that middle leaders in Singapore schools had as they implemented a large-scale English language curriculum reform. Drawing on in-depth interviews, the study aimed to gain insights into middle leaders’ perspectives. Its findings indicated that middle leadership could exert a substantial influence on educational change within a school. Not only were they able to influence their teachers’ understanding, but they also held some sway over the teachers’ receptivity towards and enactment of the reform. In addition, there were commonalities among the middle leaders’ concerns about the curriculum reform. As reform policies tend to differ from school priorities, failure to address middle leaders’ concerns has wide implications for curriculum reform and implementation.
    WOS© Citations 3Scopus© Citations 5  104  46