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Fostering student motivation and engagement through teacher autonomy support: A self-determination theory perspective

2024, Siacor Kimberly Hannah, Betsy Ng Ling Ling, Liu Woon Chia

In this study, we qualitatively explore how teachers perceive the usefulness of teacher autonomy support in fostering student motivation and engagement. Seven science and mathematics teachers from Singapore secondary schools were gathered for semi-structured interviews after implementing teacher autonomy support in their respective classrooms. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the interview data using the concepts pre-conceived from literature. The findings herein suggest that teachers perceived the usefulness of teacher autonomy support on student psychological needs satisfaction, and ultimately motivation and engagement (behavioural, emotional, cognitive). The findings have two implications: (1) teachers internalise the value of autonomy support in student motivation and engagement and (2) teachers perceive each autonomy-supportive strategy in a distinct manner, in terms of its contribution to dimensions of student engagement. It is then recommended for future teacher autonomy support workshop not only to teach the strategies, but also to highlight each strategy’s usefulness in different student and classroom situations.

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Eportfolios in initial teacher education in Singapore: Methodological issues

2012-07, Chye, Stefanie Yen Leng, Zhou, Mingming, Liu, Woon Chia, Koh, Caroline, Chew, Evelyn

Eportfolios were introduced into teacher education in the 1980s. Since then, educational researchers and practitioners have increasingly cited the use of portfolios as an important assessment and learning tool in teacher education programs. In the domain of teacher education, the need to improve quality, attain established standards and to resolve accreditation issues have led to the increased use of ePortfolios in many European states and others around the world (Granberg, 2010). An electronic portfolio (ePortfolio) is often defined as “a digitized collection of artifacts, including demonstrations, resources and accomplishments that represent an individual, group, community, organization, or institution. This collection can comprise of text-based, graphic or multimedia elements archived on a Web site or on other electronic media (Lorenzo & Ittelson, 2005, p. 3).” In pre-service teachers’ ePortfolios, artifacts can be samples of work that include lesson plans, stimulus materials, videos, pictures and picture files, classroom assignments, classroom tests, newsletters, and inservice materials produced by the pre-service teacher (Bruneau & Bie, 2010). With the creation of ePortfolios, student teachers can document their journey in becoming a teacher by selecting, sharing, and reflecting on artifacts such as educational philosophies, classroom management plans, unit and lesson plans, plans to meet the needs of diverse and special needs pupils, and video clips of practice teaching (e.g., Strudler & Wetzel, 2005). They can not only showcase their best work as a professional, but also exhibit the knowledge and skills in using technology.

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Computer mediated communication as a collaborative tool for facilitating student-centered learning in project- based classrooms

2005, Quek, Choon Lang, Peer, Jarina, Divaharan, Shanti, Liu, Woon Chia, Williams, Michael Dale, Wong, Angela F. L., Azilawati Jamaludin

Computer mediated communication (CMC) tools have marched into schools to provide borderless teaching and learning to complement existing face-to-face interactions. This article describes how teachers have used CMC to facilitate asynchronous online communication among students' collaborative project groups in project-based classrooms. Secondary school teachers used the CMC tool to facilitate and manage students' learning in terms of brainstorming and challenging student ideas, building resources, and working collaboratively to complete group projects.

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Positive social climate for enhancing students' math self-concept: some research findings

2005, Lui, Elena Hah Wah, Lim, Kam Ming, Liu, Woon Chia, Toh, Tin Lam

In Nov 2002, a research team in the National Institute of Education, NTU, launched a cross-discipline quasi-experimental study on “Positive Social Climate for Enhancing Students’ Math Self-concept”. Its main objective was to find the attributes (variables) in the social climate which are accountable for the increase of self-concept of Secondary Two students in the Math remedial classes in Singapore neighbourhood schools. Phase I of this study ( in 2003) was Instrumentation: validating the scales used in the measurement of treatment effect. H.W. Marsh’s Self-Description Questionnaire (SDQ-II, 1990), and B. Fraser’s “What Is Happening In This Class?” questionnaire (WIHIC) were validated together with the Motivational Orientation scale and Intellectual Achievement Responsibility (IAR) questionnaire. More than 700 Secondary Two students from four neighbourhood schools took part in this validating exercise. Phase II was Intervention`(in 2004): the teachers’ interactions with students, the enhancement of students’ capabilities and confidence. A training workshop for teachers in the experimental groups was conducted before the intervention. Two schools had the experimental groups and another two neighbourhood schools’ samples were held as the control groups of this study. Based on the results in Phase I, only two instruments: SDQII and WIHIC were selected to measure the effect of intervention. The total sample in this phase was close to 1000 Sec 2 students.

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Introduction: Teachers' perceptions, experience, and learning

2018, Liu Woon Chia, Goh Chuen Meng Christine

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From intrinsic motivation to passion in sport and exercise: A self-determination theory framework

2010, Wang, John Chee Keng, Liu, Woon Chia, Chatzisarantis, Nikos, Lim, Carol Boon San

Adolescence is a critical period in the study of physical activity (PA). Research evidence has shown that there is a decline in participation in P A in young people over their teenage years with ages 11 to 12 thought to be a critical age period at which PA begins to diminish. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between students' perceived autonomy support, behavioural regulations, and enjoyment in a physical education (PE) context, using a selfdetermination theory framework. Participants were 1854 secondary school students aged between 13 and 19 years from Singapore. Questionnaires were used to access perceived autonomy support, behavioural regulations, and enjoyment in PE. Results showed that perceived autonomy support predicted more self-determined forms of behavioural regulations in PE (intrinsic and identified) positively and negatively predicted more controlling forms of regulations (external and amotivation). Only intrinsic motivation positively predicted enjoyment. On the other hand, amotivation negatively predicted enjoyment. The findings highlight the importance of perceived autonomy support in fostering more self-determined forms of behavioural regulations and intrinsic motivation in school PE.

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Pre-service teachers to ‘Walk the Talk’: An experiential learning model for values education

2012-12, Shanti Divaharan, Liu, Woon Chia, Chye, Stefanie Yen Leng, Koh, Caroline

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Learning for life, learning with fun: Igniting students’ intrinsic motivation to learn in the classroom

2015, Wang, John Chee Keng, Liu, Woon Chia, Chatzisarantis, Nikos, Ryan, Richard M., Lim, Coral Boon San, How, Yew Meng

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Students’ discourse and motivation in project work

2008-11, Koh, Caroline, Wang, John Chee Keng, Tan, Oon Seng, Liu, Woon Chia, Ee, Jessie

This study, undertaken in Singapore, investigates aspects of students' motivation in undertaking Project Work (PW), and explores the link between motivation and the quality of students' discourse during group discussions. It uses a Self-Determination framework to answer questions on students' perceived satisfaction ofbasic psychological needs, motivation and performance outcomes. Analysis of students' discourse during PW helped to substantiate survey findings, which showed that the participating students perceived satisfaction in the need for competence and relatedness, but less in autonomy support. Furthermore, many students were extrinsically motivated in PW, appreciating its value but not necessarily finding enjoyment in the process. Students' talk during PW group discussions tended to be of the practical (problem-solving) mode and cumulative (collaborative, non-critical) type. The findings suggest that, in order to enhance motivation and task engagement, students should be encouraged to share knowledge explicitly and to make their thinking visible through discourse.

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Project-based learning and students’ motivation: The Singapore context

2004-11, Liu, Woon Chia, Divaharan, Shanti, Peer, Jarina, Quek, Choon Lang, Wong, Angela F. L., Williams, Michael Dale

The Project work (PW) initiative was introduced by the Ministry of Education, Singapore, to provide students with the opportunities to foster collaborative learning skills, to improve both oral and written communication, to practise creative and critical thinking skills, and to develop self-directed inquiry and life-long learning skills (Ministry of Education, 1999). Although PW has been introduced for a few years, there has not been much research done in the Singapore context, especially in terms of its effect on students’ motivation. To fill the empirical gap, this study examined the extent in which PW promoted students’ intrinsic motivation, as well as satisfied students’ needs for competence, choice and relatedness. Specifically, data was collected from 7 classes of Secondary 2 students with the use of a modified version of the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI, McAuley, Duncan, & Tammen, 1989) to assess students’ intrinsic motivation and their perceived choice, competence and relatedness in the PW context and in their normal mathematics or science lessons. Comparisons were made to establish whether there was any significant difference in terms of the students’ experiences in the different learning contexts.