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Curriculum innovation
21st century competencies
Teacher learning
Student outcomes
Integrated programme
Cohort study
Issue Date: 
Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore
Tan, L. S., Lee, S. S., Koh, E., Letchmi Devi Ponnusamy, Tan, K. C. K., Koh, K. B., Quek, C. G., Liew, P. Y., & Tan, B. H. (2020). Curriculum innovation and the nurturing of twenty-first century learners. National Institute of Education (Singapore), Office of Education Research.
The implementation of Integrated Programme (IP) to allow students to skip a high-stakes examination at the end of Year 4 is an unprecedented step in the history of Singapore’s education. This study was timely in collecting baseline data at the beginning of the IP within the same school that offers the express (“O” level) track and thus allows the comparison of pre- and post- IP data between the Express and IP students. Such a research design was not possible in an earlier Ministry of Education (MOE) IP study as the schools involved then only had students in the IP path. However, this NIE-study provides more in-depth knowledge about the IP intervention and how it affects learning with greater confidence. Specifically, the data from this study provides multiple forms of comparisons that is, IP versus Express programme outcomes; General Certificate of Education (GCE) “A” levels versus International Baccalaureate learning pathways by which 21st century competencies (that is, critical thinking, creative thinking and readiness for self-directed learning) have been achieved. Finally, this study includes an additional measure of creative thinking, which was absent in the MOE IP study. The study also provides insights into how different school types that is, autonomous versus independent schools, respond to curriculum innovation in the context of IP. The question therefore is will the removal of the high stakes examination in fact provide a conducive space to build teachers’ adaptive expertise (Hatano & Inagaki, 1984) in curricular innovations?
Note: Restricted to NIE staff only. Contact author for access to report.
Project number: 
OER 54/12 TLS
Grant ID: 
Education Research Funding Programme (ERFP)
Funding Agency: 
Ministry of Education, Singapore
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