Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • Publication
    Restricted
    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.

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  • 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.
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  • Publication
    Open Access
    An insight into the ‘balancing act’ of teaching
    (2006) ;
    Chick, Helen L.
    This paper examines some of the complexities involved in the actual work of classroom instruction by examining interactions among the goals of teaching. The research is part of a case study of teaching a Year 7 Singapore class comprising students of average mathematical ability. Among the complexities of teaching analysed here are the problems associated with trying to fulfil the multiple goals of teaching and the conflict experienced by the teacher as he attempts to carry out these goals. This provides insight into how a teacher performs the act of balancing different goals while carrying out instruction in class. The implications of these insights into teaching practice for the wider education community are also discussed.
      338  170
  • 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
    ;
    ;
    Dindyal, Jaguthsing
    ;
    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
    Mathematical Problem Solving for Everyone (MProSE)
    (Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2020) ;
    Quek, Khiok Seng
    ;
    ; ;
    Dindyal, Jaguthsing
    This project involves the development and implementation of a problem solving package (M-ProSE) in the secondary school mathematics curriculum. It aims to induct secondary school mathematics students into the discipline of mathematics via a programme that turns well established theories of mathematical problem solving into praxis. In contrast with conventional training for mathematics competitions which tend to be restricted to a small number, M-ProSE is designed for all mathematics students Development of the project: In a pilot study conducted over two years in an Integrated Programme of a junior college, the research team observed that students were generally resistant to following the stages of Polya's model. In an attempt to 'make' the students follow the Polya model, especially when they were clearly struggling with the problem, we decided to construct a worksheet like that used in science practical lessons and told the students to treat the problem solving class as a mathematics 'practical' lesson. In this way, we hoped to achieve a paradigm shift in the way students looked at these 'difficult, unrelated' problems which had to be done in this 'special' class. Practical work to achieve the learning of the scientific processes has a long history of at least a hundred years. It is certainly conceivable that similar specialised lessons and materials for mathematics may be necessary to teach the mathematical processes, including and via problem solving. Implementation of the project: M-ProSE is an attempt to teach problem solving in 'practical' setup. Students will be taught Polya's model and problem solving in general in two or three dedicated lectures. The main mode of learning is then through a series of 'mathematics practical' lessons. Students work on usually one or at most two problems which have to be worked out on a special worksheet which requires the student to systematically and metacognitively go through the Polya model. M-ProSe is to be implemented as part of the mathematics curriculum and will be assessed. In order to implement M-ProSE, we need to build the teachers' capacity first to solve non-routine mathematics problems and thereafter to teach problem solving to their students. This involves the researchers conducting a series of workshops for the school teachers to widen their repertoire of problem solving resources. Next, we will develop with the teachers the instructional strategies to teach problem solving to their students, by means of a lesson study approach. Some of the researchers will initially teach some student classes as a model for the teachers before they take over entirely. To contribute to the understanding of teaching mathematical problem solving in general, the researchers will collect data over some cohorts which will enable them to further improve the package and make the package useful to other schools. The evidence collected will provide the basis for pedagogical practices in the mathematics classrooms.
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