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Chemistry in the Singapore school curriculum
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Tan, D. K. C. (2009). Chemistry in the Singapore school curriculum. Australian Journal of Education in Chemistry, 70, 17-22.
Singapore adopts a spiral curriculum to help students gain better understanding of the concepts in matter as they progress from primary to upper secondary education. The syllabuses for each year of primary (ages 9 to 12) and lower
secondary science (ages 13-14) are spelt out in detail and are closely followed by teachers. Upper secondary teachers are given the liberty to sequence the learning outcomes but they need to complete the syllabus within two years to
prepare students for the national examination at the end of upper secondary education (age 16). This paper argues that the sequencing of learning objectives in a 'logical' order by teachers, especially in upper secondary, poses problems
for students as they may have difficulty understanding the abstract concepts taught as well as the representational systems used to explain the characteristics and interaction of matter.
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