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# Toh, Tin Lam

#### A study of school mathematics curriculum enacted by competent teachers in Singapore secondary schools

2018, Kaur, Berinderjeet, Tay, Eng Guan, Toh, Tin Lam, Leong, Yew Hoong, Lee, Ngan Hoe

#### Mathematical Problem Solving for Everyone (MProSE)

2020, Toh, Tin Lam, Quek, Khiok Seng, Tay, Eng Guan, Leong, Yew Hoong, 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.

#### Diffusion of the mathematics practical paradigm in the teaching of problem solving: Theory and praxis

2012, Quek, Khiok Seng, Leong, Yew Hoong, Tay, Eng Guan, Toh, Tin Lam, Dindyal, Jaguthsing

In this paper, we discuss the diffusion (of an innovation) and relate it to our attempt to spread our initial design of a mathematics practical paradigm in the teaching of problem solving.

#### How formal should calculus in the school mathematics curriculum be: Reflections arising from an error in a calculus examination question

2023, Toh, Tin Lam, Toh, Pee Choon, Tay, Eng Guan, Teo, Kok Ming, Lee, Henry

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.

#### Reading mathematics: A holistic curriculum approach

2017-07, Ho, Weng Kin, Teo, Kok Ming, Zhao, Dongsheng, Yap, Romina Ann Soon, Tay, Eng Guan, Toh, Pee Choon, Toh, Tin Lam, Cheang, Wai Kwong, Zhu, Ying, Dong, F. M., Shutler, Paul, Quek, Khiok Seng

#### Fallacies about the derivative of the trigonometric sine function

2021, Toh, Tin Lam, Tay, Eng Guan, 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”.

#### Teacher preparation for a problem solving curriculum

2009, Leong, Yew Hoong, Toh, Tin Lam, Quek, Khiok Seng, Dindyal, Jaguthsing, Tay, Eng Guan

The role of the teacher is central to the success of any curriculum innovation. Thus, teachers’ professional development has become an increasingly important subject of discussion in recent education literature. In the design and implementation of the project reported here, teachers’ preparation for the problem-solving curriculum featured prominently. This paper discusses the challenges of selecting a suitable problem and ways of using it productively within a professional development programme that the authors carried out for the teachers involved in the project.

#### Mathematical problem solving for integrated programme students

2006-05, Tay, Eng Guan, Quek, Khiok Seng, Dong, F. M., Lee, Tuo Yeong, Lim-Teo, Suat Khoh, Toh, Tin Lam, Ho, Foo Him

#### Assessment in a problem solving curriculum

2009, Toh, Tin Lam, Quek, Khiok Seng, Leong, Yew Hoong, Dindyal, Jaguthsing, Tay, Eng Guan

In this paper we elaborate on the ways for assessing problem solving that goes beyond the usual focus on the products of the problem solving process. We designed a ‘practical’ worksheet to guide the students through the problem solving process. The worksheet focuses the solver’s attention on the key stages in problem solving. To assess the students’ problem solving throughout the process, we developed a scoring rubric based on Polya’s model (1954) and Schoenfeld’s framework (1985). Student response to the practical worksheet is discussed.

#### Reconceptualising problem solving in the school curriculum

2009-07, Dindyal, Jaguthsing, Toh, Tin Lam, Quek, Khiok Seng, Leong, Yew Hoong, Tay, Eng Guan

In this paper, we discuss the development of a very specific problem solving curriculum in an independent school in Singapore as part of the first phase of our research project. We are using a design research methodology to fine-tune the problem solving curriculum in which we are introducing the mathematics practical, an idea borrowed from science education.

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