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Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, 2006
Singapore has a multi-track secondary education system which has the high achievers placed
in the gifted education programme, the Express stream for moderate achievers and the
Normal Academic and Normal Technical (NT) Stream which is lowest. The first cohort in
the NT system was introduced in Singapore schools in 1994 to cater to the needs of students
who are less academically and more technically and vocationally inclined. It provides these
students with an opportunity to complete 10 years of basic education and prepares them for
post-secondary education in technical education institutes. The formal curriculum for this
group includes subjects such as Computer Applications (CPA), Elements of Office
Administration (EOA), Design & Technology and Technical Studies that are not part of the
curriculum for the other streams. The Normal Technical Stream of students are generally
perceived to be lacking motivation to study, have less inclination towards academics, show
more problems in school with respect to behaviour and have very little task orientation. This
paper is a narrative describing how a group of at-risk NT students respond to computer
technology lessons. Descriptively, we try to understand the pedagogical practices in place in
this classroom, the teacher-student interactions taking place, the skills that the students learn
and the level of the student engagement in these lessons. An in-depth understanding of how
this group of at-risk students is involved in these lessons enables our attempts to analyse the
objectives and goals of the proposed CPA curriculum and the pedagogy that surrounds it.
Project number: 
CRP 21/04 MO
Appears in Collections:CRPP - Conference Papers

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