- Tan, Oon Seng

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# Tan, Oon Seng

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Tan, Oon Seng

Email

oonseng.tan@nie.edu.sg

Department

Singapore Centre for Character & Citizenship Education (SCCCE)

Psychology and Child & Human Development (PCHD)

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- PublicationRestrictedEffects of a cognitive modifiability intervention on cognitive abilities, attitudes and academic performance of polytechnic students(2000)
Show more In the light global trends of change and the need to adapt, the expansion of polytechnic education, the call for more creative human resource and the national agenda for education in Singapore the development of a cognitive intervention programme was rationalized and conceived.

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a Cognitive Modifiability Intervention (CMI on cognitive abilities, attitudes and academic performance of polytechnic students in Singapore.

The CMI has its theoretical underpinnings in Feuerstein's Theory of Structural Cognitive Modifiability (SCM). The CMI curriculum was designed based on a applied model of the theory of SCM that encapsulates the following key areas:

i. belief system and effective-motivational processes,

ii. imediated learning experience,

iii. cognitive functions,

iv. instruments for intervention and

v. bridging for transfer of learning

The broader overarching aims of CMI are

i. to enhance student's capacity to learn how to learn,

ii. to enhance problem solving abilities, and

iii. to enhance students capacity to adapt and confront change.

The CMI consisted of lessons under four major clusters of cognitive domains, namely, the Affective-Motivation Domain (ADM), the System-Strategic Thinking (SST) cluster, the Analytical-Inferential Thinking (AIT) cluster and the divergent-Creative Thinking (DICT) cluster. The CMI address these cognition domains through an active modification approach. The programme consisted of 30 weekly lessons spread over an academic year.

The research sample comprised 158 first-year polytechnic students A 2 x 2 x 2 factorial pretest-postest design with matched experimental and control groups was used . The three factors were treatment (experimental versus control), entry ability levels (high or low) and course grouping (Engineering or Applied Science). Cognitive abilities were measured by the Cognitive Abilities Tests which included measures of verbal quantitative and nonverbal abilities. Attitudes were measured by the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) which included measures of anxiety, time management , attitude towards school, concentration, motivation, information processing and test strategies.

The hypotheses that CMI could produce significant changes in cognitive abilities and attitudes were supported in this study. The major findings in the main research are as follows.

1. CMI has significant effects on the cognitive abilities of polytechnic students. Engineering students tended to show slightly better effects in terms of overall cognitive abilities compared to Applied Science students

2. CMI has significant effects on the quantitative abilities of polytechnic students.

3. CMI has significant effects on the verbal abilities of polytechnic students with high abilities.

4. CMI has significant effects on nonverbal abilities . In particular, Engineering students tended to produce higher gain compared to Applied Science students.

5. CMI has significant effects on time management, attitude towards school, and information processing of polytechnic students.

6. CMI has significant effects on concentration and motivation for Applied Science students.

7. CMI effects on academic performance are tenuous

Additionally, six case vignettes of CMI students were presented. profile mappings of the prototypical cases of students who experienced changes reflect structural modifications in cognition and affective-motivational domains . These were supported by evidence of pervasiveness, autonomous transfer of learning and durability.

The conclusions point to the generalizability of CMI for the cognitive education of polytechnic students. The potential of CMI for developing quantitative abilities and creativity is highlighted. Further research pertaining to the extension of SCM to various education programmes, teacher training and in-depth qualitative investigations of SCM are suggested.Show more 250 26 - PublicationMetadata onlyMathematics anxiety, locus of control and mathematics achievement of secondary school students(1990)
Show more This study examined the relationship between mathematics anxiety, locus of control and mathematics achievement; and looked at the differences in mathematics achievement, mathematics anxiety and locus of control between male and female students, and between Arts and Science students.

The data for this study were gathered from a sample consisting of 558 Secondary Four students from six secondary schools in Singapore.

The instruments used in this study were the Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Anxiety Scale (MAS), the Mathematics Locus of Control (MALOC) Scale and a Mathematics Achievement Test. Previous literature has pointed to the need to use locus of control measures that are specific to the domains of interest. A pilot study on a sample of 140 Secondary Four students was conducted for a newly developed 40-item locus of control scale in the domain of mathematics. Responses were factor analysed using Principal Components analyses with Varimax rotated solution. The final 18-item MALOC scale is made up of four subscales, namely, the Failure-Powerful-Others (FP), Success-Chance (SC), Success-Internal (SI) and Failure-Internal (FI) scales.

The major findings in the main research are as follow:

● A low and inverse correlation exists between mathematics anxiety and mathematics achievement.

● A moderately high correlation exists between locus of control and mathematics achievement.

● A moderately high correlation exists between locus of control and mathematics anxiety.

● The intercorrelations among the variables, mathematics anxiety, locus of control and mathematics achievement, are not significantly different for male and female students.

● The correlations between mathematics anxiety and mathematics achievement, and between locus of control and mathematics achievement, are significantly different for Arts and Science students.

● There are no significant sex differences in mathematics achievement, locus of control and mathematics anxiety.

● There are significant differences in mathematics achievement, locus of control and mathematics anxiety between Arts and Science students.

The major conclusions in this study are as follow:

● Low mathematics anxiety is associated with higher mathematics achievement. The presence of the mathematics anxiety phenomenon appears to warrant further attention.

● Greater internal control is associated with higher mathematics achievement. Locus of control appears to be an important predictor of mathematics achievement.

● Greater internal control is associated with lower mathematics anxiety. Locus of control appears to have an important link with mathematics anxiety.

● The variables, mathematics anxiety and locus of control, in relation to mathematics achievement, appear to be more important for Arts students than for Science students.

● Sex differences in mathematics achievement, mathematics anxiety and locus of control appear to be tenuous in the Singapore context.

● Differences between Arts and Science students in mathematics achievement, mathematics anxiety and locus of control are highly significant. Arts students appear to have lower achievement in mathematics, be more anxious toward mathematics and are more external in their perception of control in mathematics.

The study concluded with a discussion of the educational implications of the findings and recommendations for further research.Show more 214