Teo Tang Wee
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- PublicationMetadata onlyDeveloping the competencies of Singapore science teacher-researchersThe Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE) encourages teachers to engage in continual professional development to keep abreast of the latest developments in research that inform teaching, learning, and assessment. Teachers can participate in formal and informal programmes to upgrade their knowledge and practices inside and outside classroom teaching. This book chapter focuses on the repertoire of opportunities available to Singapore science teachers to support them in their progression into established professionals. Besides short-term courses, obtaining a Master’s degree is yet another way to build the professional capacity of the teaching workforce. Investing time to pursue a Master’s degree requires commitment and, more importantly, support from the school leaders and MOE. In this chapter, we show how different routes to obtaining a Master’s degree and the different funding sources available to them. Bespoked professional development for teachers also come in the form of research partnerships that empowers teachers more than mere participation. Here, we describe the different projects that science teachers have embarked on to gain firsthand experience in research. Action research is popular among science teachers and has created opportunities for them to present at professional meetings such as conferences. In summary, this book chapter offers insights into how the Singapore science teaching fraternity builds up its human capabilities through committing time, effort, and many other resources into engaging teachers in research to support their evidence-based practices. In the process, these science teachers progressively develop into established professionals.
- PublicationRestricted"We 'own' the teachers": Understanding subcultures of Singapore lower track science classroomsSubcultures emerge from within dominant and mainstream cultures, and can exert influence on the outcomes of science teaching and learning. This is an explanatory study about the subcultures of Singapore lower track science classrooms with the aim to understand the sets of understandings, behaviours and artefacts used by lower progress students in the Normal Academic streams, and diffused through interlocking group networks. We want to look for explanations on how: (1) cultural elements in these science classrooms become widespread in a population, (2) local variations in cultural content exists in group settings, and (3) subculture changes dynamically. By applying the theoretical framework of symbolic interaction to generate explanations that provide substantive knowledge on how the lower progress students learn and their science teachers teach science. The methods of data collection in this critical ethnographic study will include lesson videos, intensive student interviews, teacher interviews, observations and conversations with students in informal school settings, and documentation of artefacts. Data analysis including speech act and facework analyses will be used to unpack the performativity of the students and teachers in the science classrooms and illuminate the negotiations of power relationships, collective and individual memberships and space that in turn, affect students' identification with or against the subcultures and their subsequent contributions to it. This study will contribute to the cultural sociology studies of science education, as there are limited (if any) empirical studies that discuss the existence of subcultures in educational contexts. The findings will offer to science teacher insights that illuminate the complex and dynamic forces that interplay with their science teaching, so that they can understand and work with, rather than against them.
- PublicationOpen AccessEnabling classroom change by infusing cogen and coteaching in participatory action researchParticipatory action research is an empowering approach to advance research with participants. This paper describes and discusses the process and outcomes in engaging cogenerative dialogue (cogen) and coteaching in participatory action research (PAR) to support science curriculum change in a Singapore lower track classroom. The intervention was introduced after researching in a science teacher’s two lower tracker classrooms for about 18 months and observing that his lessons were teacher-centered and he experienced difficulty engaging the students. Using the empirical findings to inform teaching practice, the researchers engaged the science teacher and two selected students in two cogen sessions to identify issues with the science lessons. The students suggested solutions which were taken up and used to plan and design revised lessons co-taught by the science teacher and one researcher. This paper describes changes to the teacher’s and researcher’s teaching, learning, and research experiences through the lens of cogen and PAR. Transcripts from one cogen session, one cotaught lesson, one teacher interview, and one researcher’s written reflections were analyzed to distil affordances of PAR that led to changes in the classroom practices, views about science teaching and ways to carry out science research. The study illuminates the potentially transformative role of cogen, when coupled with action research, in Singapore and other classrooms.
Scopus© Citations 4 216 106
- PublicationOpen AccessThe S‑T‑E‑M QuartetThe issue of integrated STEM curriculum design and evaluation requires a more consistent understanding and clarity among STEM educators. In this paper, we propose an instructional framework of STEM integration based on the theoretical notions of disciplinarity and problem-centred learning. The proposed S-T-E-M Quartet instructional framework utilises complex, persistent and extended problems at its core, and the problem solving process as the overarching frame. The key difference between the proposed S-T-E-M Quartet instructional framework and models such as the STEM road map and the Cubic model for STEAM education is the emphasis on the connections between different disciplines. Similar to the STEM road map, the application of the S-T-E-M Quartet framework begins with a single lead discipline as the focus and subsequently examines how knowledge and skills of the lead discipline are connected and related to the other three disciplines. As an instructional framework, the S-T-E-M Quartet requires description of learning outcomes for each discipline when students work with the problem. The learning outcomes within individual disciplines constitute the vertical learning within a discipline. Depending on the problem described, the learning outcomes for some disciplines might be more in-depth than others. As the S-T-E-M Quartet foregrounds connections between disciplines, attention is also paid to the strength of connections, whether they are weak, moderate or strong. A case example of application of the S-T-E-M Quartet instructional framework is presented as an illustration of how the S-T-E-M Quartet instructional framework can be used to design and reflect on STEM tasks.
- PublicationMetadata onlyCentricities of STEM curriculum frameworks: Variations of the S-T-E-M quartetThis commentary is an extension to the integrated S-T-E-M Quartet Instructional Framework that has been used to guide the design, implementation and evaluation of integrated STEM curriculum. In our discussion of the S-T-E-M Quartet, we have argued for the centrality of complex, persistent and extended problems to reflect the authenticity of real-world issues and hence, the need for integrated, as opposed to monodisciplinary, STEM education. Building upon this earlier work, we propose two additional variationsjsolution-centric and user-centric approaches to the provision of integrated STEM curricular experiences to afford more opportunities that address the meta-knowledge and humanistic knowledge developments in 21st century learning. These variations to the S-T-E-M Quartet aims to expand the scope and utility of the framework in creating curriculum experiences for diverse profiles of learners, varied contextual conditions, and broad STEM education goals. Collectively, these three approaches problem-centric, solution-centric, and user-centricjcan afford more holistic outcomes of STEM education.
Scopus© Citations 3 156
- PublicationMetadata onlySTEM education from Asia: Trends and perspectivesAsia is the largest continent in the world. Five out of the top ten high performing economies in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018 are located in Asia. Why do Asian students perform so well in STEM-related subjects? This book answers this by examining the STEM education policies and initiatives in Asian economies, as well as the training programmes undertaken by STEM teachers in Asia. The book is broken into four sections, each accompanied by a passage of commentary that summarizes the key takeaways of the chapters. Section one focuses on STEM policy environments and how various countries have developed policies that promote STEM as an integral part of national economic development. Section two focuses on STEM teacher education in the Philippines and Thailand, while section three focuses on STEM curriculum design, context, and challenges in four Asian economies. The fourth and final section focuses on presenting snapshots of STEM education research efforts in Malaysia, South Korea, and Singapore. Written by Asian academics, this book will provide valuable insights to policy makers, educators, and researchers interested in the topic of STEM education, especially in the Asian context. Chapters 7 and 11 of this book are freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license available at https://www.taylorfrancis.com
Scopus© Citations 2 38
- PublicationOpen AccessTheorizing STEM leadership: Agency, identity, and communitySTEM education, when perceived as integrated learning that encompasses knowledge, skills and practices of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, points to a need to re-examine ways of classification of school subjects and learning. Consequently, dilemmas related to integrated STEM education arise. School leaders are faced with the task to organize teams to address issues such as the ownership of STEM, identity issues such as STEM teacher or teacher of STEM subjects, evaluation of STEM programs and resources to support STEM education. The unique characteristics of integrated disciplines demand leaders who understand the unique characteristics and demands of each discipline and to apply them to build a synergistic platform to magnify the similarities and harness the differences for learning. In this paper, we present an argument for STEM leadership to focus on building STEM teachers’ agency, identity and sense of belonging to a community. These three aspects are important for meaningful planning, enactment and sustainability of STEM programs since teachers’ beliefs, intentions, actions and empowerment are known to be instrumental in the success of many educational reforms.
- PublicationOpen Access“We ‘own’ the teachers”: Understanding subcultures of Singapore lower track science classrooms.