Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
  • 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.
      141  28
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Fallacies about the derivative of the trigonometric sine function
    (2021) ; ;
    Tong, Cherng Luen
    In this paper, several fallacies about the extension of the formula \frac{d}{dx} (\sin x) = \cos x to the erroneous formula \frac{d}{dx} (\sin x^\circ) = \cos x^\circ are discussed. In a Commognitive Theory Framework, misconceptions by ‘newcomers’ can be traced to the use of the word “unit”.
      89  173
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Teaching undergraduate mathematics: A problem solving course for first year
    In this paper we describe a problem solving course for first year undergraduate mathematics students who would be future school teachers.
      50  81
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    The evolution of mathematics education research in Singapore

    Up until 1990, the Institute of Education in Singapore was primarily a teaching institute involved in training teachers for Singapore schools. Since the inception of the National Institute of Education (NIE) in 1990, as an institute of the Nanyang Technological University, the focus of the institute has been enlarged to include research in education. This chapter examines, through a documentary analysis, how a research culture specifically in mathematics education at the National Institute of Education was nurtured, developed and supported from 1990 onwards. Development of the culture for Mathematics Education Research (MER) has been in tandem with all other areas of research at the NIE. Both top-down and bottom-up approaches have been adopted to support research as part of an academic’s work at the institute. Policies related to recruitment and promotion of academics were developed to ensure that emphasis was on both teaching and research. Development of research, from individually led bite-sized grains to team-based project with coherent themes, was supported. The setting up of the Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice in 2004 and dedicated funding from the Ministry of Education Singapore for research of the Singapore education system heralded an era of MER that has made significant contributions both nationally and internationally. This chapter will also illuminate the four main areas of focus and sources on MER through examples of studies carried out in Singapore since 2000. In addition, it briefly outlines the contribution of MER in ASEAN countries.

      12
  • 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.
      120  20
  • Publication
    Open Access
    How formal should calculus in the school mathematics curriculum be: Reflections arising from an error in a calculus examination question
    This paper examines the calculus curriculum in the current Singapore secondary and pre-university levels. Two concepts, (1) increasing and decreasing functions and their derivatives, and (2) the second derivative test for the nature of stationary points, are elaborated. An example of an incorrect calculus item in a national examination is brought up in relation to conditional reasoning involving calculus concepts. We reckon that the current emphasis on procedural knowledge in calculus is useful. However, we argue that formal conditional reasoning should not be introduced prematurely for school students.
      274  175