Now showing 1 - 10 of 62
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Knowledge advancement in environmental science through knowledge building
    (2009)
    Yeo, Jennifer Ai Choo
    ;
    This paper describes how five elementary school students learnt about environmental science and the nature of science as they were engaged in Knowledge Building (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 2003) during a Nature Learning Camp project. Unlike the emphasis on "doing" in inquiry-based project work, which precludes making cutting edge discoveries by students, Knowledge Building channels students‘ attention on the continual advancement of group ideas and thus opens the way for appropriating the scientific process of knowledge creation. This is because it takes advantage of a young child‘s inquisitiveness to develop him/her to become a mature knowledge producer as he/she pushes up his/her level of understanding. In this study, we tracked the knowledge development of this group of students and its process as they studied about plants. Using qualitative discourse analysis, we found advancement in students‘ ideas about science process skills and the nature of science. However, much support from the teacher was needed for knowledge advancement to take place; the teacher played an important role in engaging the students in sustained talk around the topic and in directing the focus for on their own, students‘ talk was rather shallow and ideas were fleeting. We conclude that to engage students in Knowledge Building effectively, science argumentation skills are important discourse skills to develop.
      111  133
  • Publication
    Restricted
    The fidelity of implementation of an innovative science program in a secondary school
    (Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2024)
    We wanted to determine the Fidelity of Implementation(FOI) of an innovative school-based science curriculum—SciencePlus—in Chester Secondary in Singapore (all pseudonyms). Although program or outcome evaluations have dominated attention, our research confirms the importance of implementation evaluation through FOI in order for a discipline to advance. Among other things, FOI criteria (dosage, quality of delivery, adherence, participant responsiveness) can both characterize and narrow the separation between program intent and actual implementation. Hence, we examined the curricular adaptations and contingencies that mediated the SciencePlus curriculum.
      211  60
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Knowledge work in science
    (National Institute of Education (Singapore), 2017)
      36  76
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Harnessing popular media for science learning and critical literacy
    (Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2020)
    Tang, Kok Sing
    ;
    ;
    Rappa, Natasha Anne
    ;
    Lee, Jie Yee
    The theoretical framework that informs this study is drawn from the New London Group’s (1996) multiliteracies, which was developed with the goal of preparing students for the diverse nature of literacies in a globalised world. Based on the multiliteracies framework of situated practice, overt instruction, critical framing and transformed practice, a curricular intervention was designed to get students to select and examine an out-of-school media artifact related to physics.
      89  19
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Misconceptions on the biological concept of food: Results of a survey of high school students
    (1998-11) ;
    Diong, Cheong Hoong
    A questionnaire survey was administered to 66 secondary 5 Normal level students in Singapore to sample students' ideas on the scientific concept of food in school biology. Between 30% to 60% of the respondents believed that food yielded energy but this concept was context dependent and not widespread. Primary responses predominated as students felt that the biological functions of food were for sustenance, satiation, growth and general well-being. They seemed to hold a simplistic view that anything that was consumable (edible) was considered to be a food. More than 75% of the sample accepted the idea that food can be in liquid state. Students' understanding of the biological concept of food was anthropocentric and not applied across living organisms in heterotrophs (animals) or autotrophs (plants) as a whole. The components of a balanced diet were understood but many students confused the concepts of nutrients and water, believing the latter to be a food.
      130  730
  • Publication
    Open Access
      93  67
  • Publication
    Open Access
    “A racing car locked in a garage”: Education and training of science teachers in Singapore
    While student achievement has recently been shown to be very successful in international tests in Singapore, both qualitative and quantitative research has shown that classroom teaching here is still largely frontal, directed teaching albeit of a high quality and that students’ epistemic practices are scarce. Longitudinal studies of a “model” secondary school that adopted inquiry science practices also showed that recent reforms did not significantly improve students’ generation of new knowledge just as teaching was mainly confined to traditional methods [3]. Statistical modeling [2] has reported that the logic of teaching in East Asian contexts dictates high-efficiency content coverage in the face of high-stakes assessment regimes and societal expectations of success. The PISA 2012 report has even speculated that high content mastery by students has been a significant reason for their strong achievement in mathematics here that has compensated for fewer problem-solving skills.I claim that this situation is unsatisfactory; teachers in Singapore enjoy high levels of training in curriculum, leadership, and assessment strategies but development in the liberal education tradition appears to be lacking or unable to show itself in the classroom. This is a problem that demands a shift in thinking about what constitutes genuine learning and asks if politicians are serious about the rhetoric of effective learning in the 21st century. As a science teacher-educator, I have been experimenting with practice-based teaching, which I will share during my presentation. These have included a program where preservice teachers mentor after-school inquiry investigations with groups of pupils over a school term. Here, teachers and pupils collaboratively engage in projects whereby there are often no known answers in the textbooks although the teachers explicitly act as facilitators. Such practice-based teaching that follows the US Fifth Dimension program [1] help close the theory-practice gaps and are a viable model also for PD. As well, I share similar work done using a Microbial Fuel Cell with secondary school students and their teachers. We have much theoretical support from the ideas put forth by many from Aristotle to Durkheim, Michael Young and Paul Ricoeur about the need for intertwining abstract and practical knowledge. It is my contention that teachers in Singapore are ultimately underperforming with regard to their potential similar to a powerful car that is imprisoned in a garage and that once education (rather than mere training) is given priority, education for the young can truly advance.
      173  148