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Lui, E. H. W. (1999). Assessing the assessment of well-being of Singapore secondary school students: Some findings of a NIE longitudinal study. In S. P. Loo (Ed.), Proceeds of the MERA-ERA Joint conference 1999: Educational Challenges in the New Millennium (pp. 373-379). Malacca, Malaysia.
At the end of the 20th Century and the beginning of the new millennium, the
Singapore people is striving to develop a ‘knowledge-based economy’ in order to sustain the
socioeconomic growth of the country. Are they able to cope with the demands in the highly
competitive world? Are the young Singaporeans well prepared for the global challenges?
Singapore’s Ministry of Education is currently advocating ability-driven education,
performance assessment, national education, IT education and total development of students.
Research studies on Singapore adolescents’ well-being may offer some timely suggestions to
the planning and implementation of these new initiatives in education. This paper focuses on
the assessment of the Well-being Checklist which is a new instrument designed by the
researcher to assess secondary school students’ thinking and feelings about themselves, their
friends, families and schools. The Well-being Checklist (WBC), a self-reporting scale, has 30
items and five sub-scales. The five sub-scales are (1) Getting On, (2) Get Help, (3) Get Going,
(4) Getting Sick and (5) Getting Depressed. The first three sub-scales feature the perception of
coping and the last two indicate negative feelings and responses. The range of possible scores
is 30 to 90 on a 3-point rating scale: “Never True”, “Sometimes True” and “Always True”.
This instrument was administered together with Lui’s Self-esteem Checklist (SEC) in the
National Institute Education longitudinal study on the cognitive, psychosocial development and
school adjustment of adolescents in Singapore. This research is funded by the Academic
Research Fund, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
When this study commenced in 1995, it had a sample of 941 Secondary 1 students from 4
neighbourhood schools in Singapore. The sample reduced to less than 800 in 1998. In this
paper, the researcher will report the validity and reliability of the Well-being Checklist and its
inter-scale correlation with the Self-esteem Checklist. Some other interesting findings in this
section of the NIE longitudinal study will also be discussed.
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