Now showing 1 - 10 of 23
  • Publication
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    Transitioning from kindergarten to primary school: Exploring the links between children’s self-regulation skills, socio-emotional competence, and academic outcomes
    (Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2024) ;
    Bull, Rebecca
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    ;
    Ang, Marlene
    The transition to formal learning in primary school is an important developmental milestone. In comparison to the more informal setting in preschool classrooms, the primary school classroom typically imposes considerably greater expectations for children to direct and sustain their attention toward academic work. Given that learning in school occurs through social interactions, children who are able to regulate their emotions and maintain positive relationships with peers and teachers also adapt better to the new environment. Collectively, the cognitive and socio-emotional competencies that facilitate children’s transition to formal schooling are known as school readiness skills. Many studies have shown that these skills, including early academic skills, self-regulation skills and social competencies predict later school success.
      15  46
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Working memory and mathematical word problem solving
    (2003-11)
    Lee, Kerry
    ;
    Ng, Swee Fong
    ;
      99  143
  • Publication
    Open Access
      357  2211
  • Publication
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    Effects of test anxiety on working memory and mathematical performance
    This thesis investigated the interaction between cognition and emotion by examining the influence of test anxiety on 11-year-olds’ performance on working-memory-dependent tasks. The negative correlational relationship between test anxiety and task performance is well-established in the research literature. However, the mechanisms underlying this relationship, particularly in a child population, are not well-researched. Using the processing efficiency theory (PET) as my theoretical framework, I examined whether the negative effects of test anxiety on task performance are due to a temporary reduction in working memory resources. Three specific assumptions—derived from the PET framework—were tested. The first assumption is that test anxiety affects efficiency to a greater extent compared to effectiveness. The second assumption is that the adverse effects of test anxiety on efficiency increases as the task’s working memory load increases. The third assumption is that state test anxiety mediates the relationship between trait test anxiety and task performance. Over a series of three experiments, these assumptions were tested by comparing high and low trait test-anxious children’s task performance across varying levels of working memory load. All children performed the experimental task under high and low situational stress conditions.

    The findings of this thesis were not fully consistent with the PET’s assumptions. First, in terms of the impact of trait test anxiety and working memory load on task performance, varying patterns of findings were observed in the current series of studies. In Study 1 and 3, adverse effects of trait test anxiety were found on efficiency (but not effectiveness) but the magnitude and pattern of these effects did not change as working memory load increased. In contrast, Study 2 revealed adverse effects of trait test anxiety on effectiveness as well as efficiency measures. Moderator effects of working memory load were also found on both measures of task performance. Second, the pattern of performance observed in Study 2 and 3 were inconsistent with the PET’s third assumption concerning the mediating role of state test anxiety. Findings from these two studies suggest that trait test anxiety has a direct effect on task performance.

    Overall, my findings suggest that the PET may not be fully applicable to children. Based on the observed patterns of performance, I proposed that the direct effect of trait test anxiety on task performance is mediated by trait-anxiety-based worry and a domain-specific deficit in arithmetic skill. The current findings indicate that working memory load exerts a significant moderator effect under specific task conditions—limited encoding and/or processing time on task—which restricts the use of compensatory strategies to mitigate the negative impact of test anxiety. More generally, it was proposed that the applicability of the PET framework to test-anxious children may be limited by age-related differences in working memory capacity and general susceptibility to worry.
      208  48
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Work-related stress in pre-school teachers and methods of assessing stress: A literature review
    (Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2020)
    This study aims to gather information that will contribute to the development of future studies aimed at investigating the impact of preschool teachers’ work-related stress on children’s learning in Singapore. To this end, the study has two objectives: to identify sources of work-related stress that are relevant to preschool teachers in Singapore and to identify measures that could be used to measure teacher stress in the local context.
      731  1234
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Effects of trait test anxiety and state anxiety on children's working memory task performance
    (2015) ;
    Lee, Kerry
    This study examined the effects of (a) trait test anxiety versus state anxiety and (b) working memory load on children's mental arithmetic task performance. Participants (N = 128; 11-year-olds) completed a mental arithmetic task at varying levels of working memory load under high and low situational stress conditions. Measures of task accuracy and accuracy/response time served as indicators of performance effectiveness and processing efficiency. The findings showed that trait test anxiety has a direct and detrimental effect on working memory. The effect was not mediated by state test anxiety. We also demonstrated that the adverse effects of trait test anxiety on efficiency are independent of working memory load. However, anxiety-related deficits in effectiveness occur at higher levels of working memory load. Findings are interpreted as being largely consistent with the attentional control theory.
    WOS© Citations 35Scopus© Citations 37  208  808