Now showing 1 - 10 of 21
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Examining Normal Academic/Technical students' science learning from a sociological and cultural lens
    (Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2020) ;
    Yeo, Jennifer Ai Choo
    ;
    ;
    Yeo, Leck Wee
    Greater emphasis on helping ''students at-risk'' improve in academic achievements has become a key concern of many countries. The relatively large achievement gaps between high and lower academic groups is an educational issue, and also, a socio-political and socio-economic one as it suggests that a sector of a population is not equipped with the necessary academic qualifications, knowledge, skills, and aptitude to take on certain types of jobs and earn a reasonably good income to sustain their living. In 2008, the school dropout rate in Singapore was 1.6 percent?1 percent was attributed to secondary school dropouts of which approximately 90 percent of these students were from the Normal Academic (NA) and Normal Technical1 (NT) steams (Ministry of Education, March 4, 2008). The dropout rate has decreased over the years. In 2010, the primary one cohort which did not complete secondary school education was 1.0% (Ministry of Education, January 16, 2012). Based on the data drawn from the MOE Education Statistics 2012, NA and NT students make up approximately 29 percent and 12 percent of the secondary school student population, respectively. This research proposal for Examining Normal Academic/Technical Students' Science Learning from a Sociological and Cultural Lens seeks to investigate Singapore Normal stream students' science curriculum experiences. While most science education research focuses on mainstream Express and specialised school students, no studies have focused on how Normal Academic (NA) and Normal Technical (NT) students learn science. As a critical lens on the topic is absent, we are particularly concerned with the lack of deeper insights into the challenges, difficulties, and tensions NA/NT students' experience that may limit their interest and ability to learn science in meaningful and productive ways. The three key research questions we want to address are: 1. How do Singapore Normal Academic and Normal Technical students experience science learning in and outside the classroom? 2. How do structures shape Singapore NA/NT students' science learning? 3. How do Singapore NA/NT students' construct their science discursive identities? We have designed a research study using qualitative methods on case studies and quantitative surveys on a large purposeful sample of mainstream Singapore secondary schools and case studies (one NA and one NT class) in one school to investigate the above issues and identify support needed in the Normal stream science curriculum. Both quantitative and qualitative methods will be used to collect generalised and case specific data. We will apply the sociological and cultural lens, specifically, the theory of agency and structure, to analyse how various cultural schema and resources in the primary and secondary structures enable or limit the students' agency. Related to this, we will also examine the science discursive identities of students using discourse analysis. The overall goal of the study is to improve the teaching and learning of science for all. The short term goal of this research is to gain deeper insights into NA/NT students' experience in science classrooms and include identifying existing schema and resources that they engage with both from within and outside the primary structure (e.g., home, institutional, and social structures) and the secondary structure (e.g., scientific discipline and practice in science classrooms) to make sense of science and to develop their science-related discursive identities. The long term goals of this research are to address current gaps in research on NA/NT students' participation in science classrooms, particularly, how they learn science, how they relate to science, their views about science lessons, the factors and forces shaping their agency, and their motivation and interest to learn and pursue postsecondary education in science-related fields. The intellectual merit of this research is to advance the knowledge base.
      112  33
  • Publication
    Open Access
    “Is the beast finally consumed?” – Critically un-packaging the elusive construct of Distributed Leadership
    A review of the literature reveals broadness in the conceptual and operational definition of the construct, Distributed Leadership (DL) (refer to discussions by Spillane, Gronn, Harris, Bennett, and Leithwood), making it elusive. The elusive nature of DL is due in part to the term 'leadership' which is contested among educational theorists; while the other, is due to the lack of attempts at trying to unpack and measure this construct. The purpose of this study is to unpack and discuss key dimensions of the construct of DL based on a nation-wide survey of school leadership in Singapore. Special care was taken in critically determining these dimensions and not areas or aspects where DL may be applied. In other words, we are more interested in the essence of DL rather than categories of distributed leadership practices, which most leadership researchers employ. This study is especially timely in view of the rising trend in school- based curriculum development and innovation towards growing expansion of student learning outcomes beyond the academic subjects such as the 21st century skills. The growing importance of school-based development and innovation calls for leadership practices that not only improve classroom teaching and learning, but also greater devolvement of decision- making power at the school and classroom levels. In the process of better understanding the DL construct, it is an imperative aim of much multivariate analysis is to reduce the dimensionality of the data collected. This is essentially desirable in the investigative stages of a research to provide a lucid interpretation of the data and theoretical measurement model building. This requires the use of a proper metric. As such, Exploratory Factor Analysis was performed on the Rasch (linearized) standardized residuals (see Linacre, 1998, 2006; Wright, 1994, 1996). The DL instrument consists of 25 items, and the sample involved schools leaders from Singapore (i.e., 224 Principals, 322 Vice-Principals and 686 middle-level school managers). The findings provided evidence that the Rasch residual-based factor analysis yielded 4 possible factors of DL. The discussion on these factors will be presented.
      215  249
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Parallel leadership for school improvement in Singapore: a case study on the perceived roles of school principals
    (2005) ;
    Senthu Jeyaraj
    ;
    Lim, Swee Pei
    ;
    Lee, Bernice
    ;
    ;
    Chew, Joy Oon Ai
    Educational leadership for the 21st century calls for a new and different working relationship between educators. In addition to well-known approaches to educational leadership such as transformational, strategic, educative and organizational styles, the notion of parallel leadership is receiving much attention with growing evidence from Australian schools that this leadership style facilitates school improvement. Parallel leadership challenges teachers and members of the school management to establish a more collaborative working relationship. Such leadership entails mutualism between administrator leaders and teacher leaders, a sense of shared purpose and an allowance of individual expression and action by respective leaders (Andrews & Crowther, 2002). Nurturing parallel leadership involves a change in the roles and responsibilities of principals – to lead in metastrategic development – and of teachers – to lead in pedagogical development. Such leadership is an impetus for essential processes of schoolwide professional learning, culture building and approach to pedagogy which will enhance and sustain school outcomes, thus giving IDEAS schools a cutting edge. This enables the knowledge-generating capacity of schools to be enhanced and sustained. Based on data obtained from interviews and fieldwork observations we introduce an elaborated version of the’ black box’ (Crowther, Hann & Andrews, 2002) and provide a discussion on how three principals in Singapore schools, as part of the IDEAS project, embrace the role of ‘strategic leaders’ in the context of parallel leadership. As these principals progress with developing parallel leadership, we expect valuable insight to emerge as to how parallel leadership is functioning in these schools, thus enabling us to provide at a later stage, a more conclusive answer as to what a parallel relationship between teachers and principals looks like in the Singapore context.
      372  302
  • Publication
    Open Access
      181  271
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Understanding how the Girls To Pioneer programme affect students' attitudes towards STEM and shape their STEM-related identities
    (Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2020) ;
    Yeo, Leck Wee
    ;
    The underrepresentation of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields is a problem that plagues many places in the world. According to the U.S., Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration (2009), women held less than 25-percent of the STEM jobs, and are disproportionately fewer women having earned STEM undergraduate degrees, especially in engineering. In the U.K. (Kirkup, Zalevski, Maruyama, & Batool, 2010), women represented less than 12.3-percent of the workforce in all science, engineering, and technology occupations. Only one in five countries in the world have achieved gender equality in research careers (UNESCO, 2012). While Singapore is well-known for its excellent student performance in international mathematics and science tests such as Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), women make up less than 30-percent of the total researchers in 2012 (UNESCO, 2014). This worldwide phenomenon is often metaphorically described as the leaky STEM pipeline (Blickenstaff, 2005) which posed problems for developing and developed nations looking to harness more diverse ideas, increasing the number of productive workforce, and improving the quality of women's lives. Currently, there are no published studies in the Singapore context that specifically examine how feminist approaches to STEM teaching impact girls' attitudes (e.g., interest, self-concept, STEM career and post-secondary education decisions, and participation) towards STEM, and the construction of STEM-related identities. This is a proposal for a research study about the Singapore Committee for United Nations Women, Girls To Pioneer programme, which is aimed at promoting more women and girls in STEM fields. The programme adopts feminist pedagogies in actively engaging girls to participate in diverse STEM activities so that positive attitudes towards STEM may be developed. Using pre- and post-programme surveys, lesson videos, and interviews, we examine the impact of the Girls To Pioneers programme on diverse participants' attitudes and STEM identities. The participants are girls aged between 10-15 and recruited from schools or private centres (e.g., after school study centres) that have signed up for the Girls to Pioneers programme. The findings will have implications for Singapore STEM educators as they develop greater awareness about gender inequity issues in STEM, and learn about informal STEM efforts that can help to shape girls' attitudes and constructed STEM identities so that they can also emulate and promote such efforts in their everyday teaching.
      156  26
  • Publication
    Open Access
    An investigation of the impact of leadership practices on student learning and development outcomes in Singapore schools
    (Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2020) ;
    Policymakers and the public in many developed countries have demanded for greater public school accountability in the hope of improving academic and non-academic school outcomes, as well as decreasing the achievement gaps among subpopulations of students (Heck & Moriyama, 2010). In response, there has been a growing conversation amongst educational practitioners and researchers on how educational leadership might be linked to effective teaching, and student learning and ‘achievement’ outcomes. Educational-effectiveness researchers have attempted to link (directly and/or indirect) existing research with theory about educational processes to identify contextual, school factors (including leadership), and classroom factors (including teacher effectiveness) to student learning and ‘achievement’ outcomes (Creemers, 1994; Creemers & Kyriakides, 2008; Heck & Moriyama, 2010; Leithwood & Mascall, 2008; Scheerens, 1990, 1992; Stringfield & Slavin, 1992; Teddlie & Reynolds, 2000). Also of interest are (i) possible differences in the contribution of the leadership practices, (ii) whether some practices are better performed by certain people or roles instead of others, and (iii) whether some strategic efforts to implement changes in the school’s instructional practices are more effective than others (e.g., Creemers & Kyriakides, 2008; Firestone & Martinez, 2007; Leithwood et al., 2004; Locke, 2003).

    It is clear that the ‘Principal as the sole decision maker’ conception of leadership and bureaucratic organizational structures are no longer consistent with the new school leadership climate (Pearce & Conger, 2003). Proponents of this view have argued that a dispersed form of leadership is thought to enhance opportunities for the organization to benefit from the capacities of more of its members rather than a single leader (Leithwood & Mascall, 2008). Leithwood and Mascall (2008, p.530) further argued that in so doing, organizational members can develop “a fuller appreciation of interdependence and how one’s behavior affects the organization as a whole”. This clearly reflects the growing appreciation of the informal dimensions of organizations often among those who are not in positions of formal authority (Gronn, 2003; Tschannen-Moran, 2004; Wheatley, 2005). Evidently, leadership and school improvement are increasingly conceptualized as organization-wide phenomena (Manz & Sims, 1993; Ogawa & Bossert, 1995). The evidences from previous studies have provided the impetus for greater understanding of the links between leadership, teaching and learning. Clearly, these issues warrant greater empirical attention. More specifically, educators and researchers are interested in understanding of the following:
    (i) Impact of educational policies and system structures on school leadership practices; (ii) Impact of leadership practices on teaching; (iii) Linkages of core leadership practices in schools (i.e., instructional leadership, distributed leadership, teacher leadership, and transformational leadership); (iv) Impact of leadership practices on student learning; (v) Impact of teacher variables (i.e., teaching competencies, engagement and job satisfaction) on student learning.
      325  163
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Study habits and mathematical performance of 15-year-old students in Singapore
    (2013-09)
    Shaljan Areepattamannil
    ;
    Su, Robyn Hing Chun
    ;
    ;
    Fulmer, Gavin William
      326  276
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Examining Normal Academic/Technical students’ science learning from a sociological and cultural lens
    (National Institute of Education (Singapore), 2017) ;
    Yeo, Jennifer Ai Choo
    ;
    ;
    Yeo, Leck Wee
      440  164
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Leadership and organizational change in Singapore: A baseline study
    (2015) ; ; ; ;
    Chua, Catherine Siew Kheng
    ;
    Reyes, Vicente C.
    ;
    Choy, William
    ;
    ;
    Intan Azura Mokhtar
    ;
    ;
    Teng, Antonia Kit Wah
    ;
    Shaljan Areepattamannil
    ;
    Lin, Tzu-Bin
      507  333