Master of Education

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    A comparative analysis of secondary school English writing textbooks in China
    (2023)
    Tang, Jingya

    Writing has long been valued due to its significance in language education. Numerous research currently supports writing as the interplay of cognitive and sociocultural acts. Despite the numerous research on the evaluation and analysis of language textbooks in general, little research conducted dedicated analyses of writing textbooks informed by the present writing theories embracing cognitive and sociocultural perspectives. English writing textbooks, as the primary exposure which Chinese learners have to English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) writing, play a significant role to enhance their writing competence. As such, the present study attempts to investigate to what extent writing textbooks widely employed by secondary school students can enhance their writing competence with cognitive and sociocultural writing models.

    To achieve a holistic picture of writing instruction in the textbooks, the present study applied the cognitive and sociocultural writing models proposed by Graham (2018) to analyze the input (i.e., oral dialogues and reading texts) as well as tasks (i.e., controlled composition and free composition tasks) of the selected integrated-skilled textbooks.

    The quantitative and qualitative analyses reveal that while the textbooks essentially provide certain conditions for the development of writing competence, the deficiency of the textbooks includes: (a) The analysis of input, focusing on the knowledge of long-term memory and the sociocultural model, shows that the weaknesses in the integration of different types of knowledge; the lack of multimodal written tools and products, and the insufficiency of appropriate norms, writing identity, audience, and writing platforms lead to the inauthenticity of texts and develop learners' sociocultural awareness. (b) With respect to the writing tasks, the textbooks show insufficient attention to the construction of authentic composition tasks that can immerse learners in more meaningful writing contexts. (c) The weaknesses of input and tasks in the textbooks result in the problematic sequencing of input and tasks.

    Overall, the findings of the present study identify strengths and weaknesses of the textbooks, sensitizing material developers, curriculum designers, and practitioners to crucial issues and potential in future writing textbook projects and classroom instruction.

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    Exploring teachers' metacognition and its support of the development of students' metacognition
    (2023)
    Lee, Sharon Mei Ling
    Teachers play an important role in promoting metacognition in the classroom. This study explores teachers' metacognition in the context of its support for the development of students' metacognition, and aims to understand how teachers draw on their metacognitive practices to impact their instructional practices and support students' metacognition in the classroom. The qualitative study focuses on two Secondary Two Normal Academic mathematics teachers, examining their orientations, resources, and goals through an online survey, an interview using stimulus text, a classroom lesson observation, and a video-stimulated recall interview. The findings emphasise the importance of teachers developing their pedagogical understanding of metacognition and mathematical knowledge for teaching. Additionally, the findings highlight the significance of high-quality professional development experiences and instructional resources in facilitating students' metacognition. This case study also provides valuable insights for the design of effective teacher professional development programmes for metacognition.
      81  47
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    A study of primary school students' musical experiences surrounding their lives and relationships with music classroom experiences
    (2023)
    Seet, Swee Li
    With the onset of globalization and widening demographics in a primary school music classroom, children from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds are capable of learning and imbibing diverse music repertoire. This includes musical experiences not only encountered in classroom music-making in schools but also students’ self-directed musical curation outside of the school.

    As a primary school music teacher in Singapore, I am intrigued by the motivations and contexts of their listening preferences and varied musical trajectories, as well as the roles of musical enculturation and sociological influences in my students’ lives. I observe the diversity and influences as much as I seek to be informed by and enhance my students’ learning as well as their musical preferences. This study seeks to examine how both in-classroom and out-of-classroom repertoire have ramifications for an understanding of the relationship and relevance in primary school-going years. Twelve students across the primary three and primary four levels were selected to share with me their motivations and thoughts behind their musical experiences through focused group interviews.

    Findings from the focused group interviews revealed emerging themes of music repertoire that these students experienced: at home, with peers, friends, parents, extended family, and their preferred repertoire that surrounded their lived experiences.

    These findings provide a basis for which music teachers can be enabled to better engage with their students after learning more about their musical trajectories and musical cultures, making classroom music teaching and learning more relevant in their students’ musical lives.
      114  5
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    Youth mentoring in Singapore through a developmental relationship lens
    (2023)
    Xue, Haoran
    This study examines how mentors and mentees involved in youth mentoring in Singapore construe their mentoring relationship. A Qualitative approach was used to understand the rich experiences that mentors and mentees had in their mentoring. This study aimed to answer the following research questions: 1) How do mentors and mentees in a youth mentoring relationship define the success of their mentoring experience? 2) What elements of developmental relationships are evident in these relationships? 3) Are there any other attributes that contribute to a successful mentoring relationship? This was done by collecting anecdotal data through a semi-structured interview with mentor and mentee dyads about their mentoring relationship. The interviews were analysed through thematic analysis and matched with the themes identified in the developmental relationship framework proposed by Search Institute (2014). Search Institute’s developmental relationship framework includes the five aspects of Express Care, Challenge Growth, Provide Support, Share Power, and Expand Possibilities. Additional themes that describe the mentoring relationship were also identified.

    Participants of this study were five mentors between the age of 25 to 40 years old. Their mentee’s ages ranged from 13 to 19 years old. Of the five mentees, two agreed to participate in the interview. The duration for each of their mentoring relationship ranged from 6 months to 2 years. Results showed that all five themes of the developmental relationship were reported in the mentor-mentee relationships. Of the five themes of the developmental relationship framework, Challenge Growth was the theme reported most in the mentoring. Express care was the second, and Provide Support was the third. Three additional themes of Mentoring Success, Two-way Relationship, and Mentor Strategy were also identified.
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