Now showing 1 - 10 of 20
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    Instructional coaching and learning of instructional practices: A study of the perceptions of coaches and teachers
    (Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2024) ; ;
    Ho, Foo Him

    As it has been established that quality instruction improves student learning (Barber & Mourshed, 2007; Darling-Hammond, 2000), efforts to improve student learning have largely focused on improving instructional practices (Gallucci, Van Lare, Yoon, & Boatright, 2010). It was widely agreed that the most effective effort is one that is collaborative, sustained, embedded in real-life learning contexts, and supported by specialists and peers (P Cordingley, Bell, Rundell, & Evans, 2003; Elmore, 2002). In addition, it is one that encourages observation and engagement in professional dialogue and reflection (Darling-Hammond & Richardson, 2009; Supovitz, 2001). Therefore, there has been a growing interest in coaching, “a form of inquiry-based learning characterised by collaboration between individual, or groups of, teachers and more accomplished peers” (Poglinco et al., 2003, p. 1), which “involves professional, ongoing classroom modelling, supportive critiques of practice, and specific observations” (Poglinco et al., 2003, p.1).

    Out of the several approaches to coaching—peer coaching, cognitive coaching, instructional coaching—instructional coaching, in particular, is invaluable in assisting teachers translate best practices into improved classroom instruction and improving student learning (Knight, 2006; Reddell, 2004). Knight (2008) defined instructional coaching as more of a partnership between coaches and teachers whereby they are committed to (a) equality in the relationship, (b) teacher choice in the content and process in learning, (c) empowerment and respect for varying perspectives, (d) authentic dialogue (e) reflection (f) praxis, that is, applying their learning to their real-life practice as they are learning (g) reciprocity of learning between coaches and teachers. This study adopts Knight’s comprehensive definition emphasizing collaboration, as the researchers investigate the perception, reception and impact of instructional coaching on teachers in the Singapore mathematics classroom.

      12  44
  • Publication
    Open Access
    NA: Improvement of Learning, Innovations in Teaching (NA:ILIT)
    (Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2024) ; ;
    Quek, Khiok Seng
    ;
    Yap, Sook Fwe
    ;
    Toh, Karen Wei Yeng
    Although there is an acknowledged need to attend to the learning needs of low achievers in mathematics, there is relatively scant research in this area locally. This proposed project aims to contribute to this sub-field within mathematics education. In particular, this study will focus on helping Normal Academic (NA) students make improvements in their learning of Mathematics.
      10  238
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Singapore mathematics teachers' design of instructional materials
    This paper focuses on one major component of the project which examined the enactment of the Singapore mathematics curriculum in the Secondary Schools: the design and use of instructional materials by the teachers. We define instructional materials to be classroom-ready materials that teachers incorporate into their lessons for students’ direct access for their learning. We make a distinction between instructional materials (IM) and reference materials (RM). The latter are resources (including textbooks) which teachers refer to while planning for lessons; the former are the actual materials that are brought into their classrooms for use in their mathematics instruction. For most teachers which were the subjects of our study, their instructional materials differ substantially from their reference materials – it is this ‘transformational space’ that is an area of interest to us. For the rest of this paper, we will briefly describe a few such transformational moves as illustrated by some teachers in our study and their underlying intentions.
      95  151
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Four solutions of a geometry problem
    This article focuses on a challenging geometry problem that was originally posed to primary school students. Four solution approaches, ranging from elementary to advanced, are discussed. Reflections on these approaches and the problem solving processes are also shared.
      316  134
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Diffusion in the use of teacher-designed mathematics instructions materials in Singapore schools: A school-level and domain-specific analysis
    (2023) ; ;
    Chin, Sze Looi
    Successful diffusion of innovation at scale is hard to find, much less one that originates from ‘the ground’. In recent years, the practice of Secondary Mathematics teachers in Singapore designing and using teacher-designed instructional materials (known as “worksheets” locally) has become pervasive across many schools. It is an “innovation” that was not driven by policy mandates; rather, the initiation and spread started from the schools. Taking an oral history approach to elicit recollections from main actors who lived through the spread of worksheet-use in the schools they worked in, this paper is a report of the diffusion processes in these schools. Non-trivial insights can be gleaned from these experiences that may potentially inform efforts to spread domain-specific educational innovations at scale.
      33  78
  • Publication
    Open Access
    A listing approach for counting problems
    (2021)
    Ng, Wai Kuen
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    It is well-known that Counting Problems are difficult for many students. Mistakes such as the wrong use of formulas or the insensitivity to over/under-counting are common. This study draws on the work of Lockwood (2013, 2014) to conceptualise the interacting components in the work of solving counting problems. In particular, we implemented a “listing approach” in the teaching of counting problems in a Polytechnic course for engineering students in Singapore. From the close interview of three students in the course that corresponded to three profile types, we evaluate the specific usefulness of the approach for each of these types of students. We also propose a provisional model that can guide the restructuring of a course on combinatorics.
      70  96
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Adapting curriculum materials in secondary school mathematics: A case study of a Singapore teacher's lesson design
    (2021)
    Chin, Sze Looi
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    ;
    When mathematics teachers plan lessons, they interact with curriculum materials in various ways. In this paper, we draw on Brown’s (2009) Design Capacity for Enactment framework to explore the practice of adapting curriculum materials in the case of a Singapore secondary mathematics teacher. Problems from the textbook used and the worksheets she crafted were compared to determine how she adapted the content. Video-recordings of the lessons and post-lesson interviews were used to clarify how her personal teacher resources contributed to her design decisions. The findings suggest that her seemingly casual use of problems from the textbook are in fact unique variations of adapting curriculum materials.
      107  139
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Mathematical problem solving for everyone: Infusion and diffusion (MInD)
    (Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2020) ; ; ;
    Quek, Khiok Seng
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    ;
    Dindyal, Jaguthsing
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    Ho, Foo Him
    This research project is an attempt to realise the ideals of mathematical problem solving, which is at the heart of the Singapore mathematics curriculum in the daily practices of mainstream mathematics classrooms. This work builds on the foundation of M-ProSE (OER 32/08 TTL) to diffuse the findings to the mainstream school curriculum. Our work involves three steps: (1) initialisation of problem solving as an essential part of the mathematics curriculum in a school at the foundational year; (2) infusion of problem solving as an embedded regular curricular and pedagogical practice across all year levels in the school, and (3) diffusion of this innovation from this school to the full range of schools in Singapore. In each of the above steps, we take a complex systems approach and include curriculum, instructional practices, assessment and teacher professional development in our overall design research process. Our current project builds upon the initial foundation of MProSE to scale out (infuse) and scale up (diffuse) the innovation to mainstream schools in Singapore, hence the project is named MInD. With the experience and data collected from MProSE research school, the design needs to be re-adjusted in order for problem solving to be diffused throughout the mainstream schools. The importance and relevance of this research project to schools is readily observed by the schools' responses: To the researchers' pleasant surprise, four mainstream schools readily expressed their commitment to participate in this research as the school leaders see the relevance of this project to their school curriculum. Further, the Principal of MProSE research school expressed his interest to get his school involved for the infusion phase(step (2)) of the research. The research team of MInD consists of the original researchers from MProSE and two more new team members. The entire team consists of expertise from different fields: mathematicians, mathematics educator, educational psychologist, curriculum specialist, senior teacher, a school principal (who is also a mathematician), an expert of change management and leadership studies, a senior MOE curriculum specialist.
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  • Publication
    Open Access
    A tri-lens approach for unpacking teachers' design of instructional materials
    (2021)
    Chin, Sze Looi
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    ;
    Teacher-designed notes and worksheets are common instructional materials used in Singapore mathematics classrooms that are critical to guiding the flow of a lesson. However, making sense of how teachers design these materials is complex and research that reports on their creation is only just emerging. In this paper, we propose a tri-lens approach for capturing teachers’ design processes by using notions of pedagogical reasoning and action, curricular noticing, and resources, orientations and goals. We demonstrate how these frameworks combine to form a tri-lens for unpacking important aspects of teachers’ design work using the example of Mrs Fung, an experienced secondary mathematics teacher. We further illustrate how a tri-lens approach can provide a more comprehensive portrait of the teacher and argue that this approach can potentially address the complexity of teachers’ design processes when crafting instructional materials.
      78  118