Master of Education

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    Understanding the relationships between preschool teachers' work climate, their intrinsic motivation to teach and children's learning outcomes in Singapore
    (2024)
    Soh, Huang Chi
    Preschool education is essential as it provides a foundation to later learning. However, the rising challenges that preschool teachers face appears to affect their work experiences and satisfactions, and eventually, influence their motivations at work. Hiring new teachers has been a concern for the early childhood sector, and the relatively slow salary progression adds on to the challenge to retain the current teachers. Teachers are considered as children’s “parents” in school and their influential role in children’s development makes it essential to consider the support given to them, and how this support affects their intrinsic motivation to teach. Using the Self-Determination Theory (SDT)’s mini-theory, Cognitive Evaluation Theory (CET), as the theoretical framework, the current study investigated the relationships between different aspects of preschool teachers’ work climate, their intrinsic motivation to teach, and children’s learning outcomes in Singapore. Participants consisted of 1179 preschool children and their class teachers in the Singapore Kindergarten Impact Project (SKIP) longitudinal study database. During the course of the study, children were assessed on their English reading ability and Mathematics ability at four time points: at the start of their Kindergarten 1 (K1), end of K1, Kindergarten 2, and Primary 1. These two learning outcomes were measured using the Wide Range Achievement Test – 4th Edition’s (WRAT-4) Word Reading Subtest and the Test of Early Mathematics Ability – 3rd edition (TEMA-3). For the current study, only data at K1 were used for analysis. Class teachers completed the Early Childhood Job Satisfaction Scale and the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory’s Enjoyment subscale, which assessed their work climate experiences and their intrinsic motivation to teach, respectively. Linear regression analyses showed that teachers who had reported experiencing good work climate were also more intrinsically motivated to teach. Their intrinsic motivation to teach positively predicted K1 children’s Mathematics ability, but not their English reading ability. Using Hayes’ (2013) PROCESS macro extension, mediation effect of preschool teachers’ intrinsic motivation to teach was only found in the relationship between their co-worker relations and children’s Mathematics ability, but not with the other factors of teachers’ work climate (i.e., supervisor relations, nature of work itself, and working conditions). Findings from the current study highlight the importance of providing a good work climate for preschool teachers in all four aspects, namely co-workers relations, supervisor relations, nature of work itself, and working conditions. This will aid in inculcating an intrinsically motivating environment for preschool teachers to work in, and hopefully, promote the quality of learning in preschools. Furthermore, based on the principles of the CET, the influence of preschool teachers’ intrinsic motivation to teach on K1 children’s Mathematics ability reflects the necessity to educate and nurture teachers to support children’s basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness.
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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.

      42  51
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      15  10
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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.
      82  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.
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