Now showing 1 - 10 of 13
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Making cooperative learning work for teaching and learning
    (2017) ;
    Ananthi, P.
    This article is a continuation of the previous article entitled, “Let’s have Cooperative Learning for Lessons!” In this article, how to plan, organize and conduct productive cooperative learning in the primary social studies classroom will be featured. Suggestions on managing challenging student behaviours for successful cooperative learning and the assessment and reflection of such lessons are also highlighted.
      253  389
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Teaching geographical concepts and skills in primary social studies
    Geography is a subject that helps children understand and appreciate the world they live in. The subject enables them to make thoughtful decisions and take responsible actions towards sustainable living. This article focuses on the teaching of geographical concepts and skills in the primary social studies curriculum. Questions on what is geography, why teach geography, what are the key geographical concepts and skills in the primary social studies curriculum and how can these concepts and skills be taught will be elaborated.
      196  437
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Teacher conceptions and practice of discussion in lower primary social studies
    (National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University (NIE NTU), Singapore, 2023) ; ;
    Kho, Ee Moi
    ;
    Sim, Amy
      36  49
  • Publication
    Restricted
    Mentoring and learning to teach primary social studies
    This study examined three cooperating teachers’ understandings of social studies teaching and mentoring, and the influence of those understandings on their mentoring practices and on their student teachers’ learning of teaching. The intention was to extend the knowledge bases of mentoring and learning to teach primary social studies in Singapore.

    Qualitative case study method using multiple inquiry modes, namely, interviews, observations and document analysis, were utilised to explore, describe and explain mentoring and student teacher learning processes through an in-depth study of three pairs of cooperating teachers and student teachers. Data were analysed interpretatively using the constant comparative method of coding, categorising and thematising.

    Aligned with the conceptual framework which was derived inductively from the literature review, the findings showed that the cooperating teachers’ understandings of social studies teaching and mentoring had a strong impact on the way they mentored their student teachers in learning how to teach primary social studies. In terms of understanding of social studies teaching, all the cooperating teachers considered the purpose of the subject to be citizenship transmission with common emphases on the teaching of values, followed by knowledge and skills acquisition. Although they shared the same purpose, they approached their teaching differently which reflected their personal teaching perspectives. However, some commonalities in teaching were observed. These were reliance on the textbook for teaching, values inculcation, teaching of discrete skills for students’ mastery, a lack of development of students’ critical thinking, and assessment of students’ knowledge through quizzes. There was no discussion of issues and inquiry as a teaching approach was not observed. The cooperating teachers’ understandings of social studies teaching were aligned with their teaching practices. In terms of understanding of mentoring, all of them held varied mentoring perspectives: humanistic, nurturing and apprenticeship. Their perspectives were reflected through their differing mentoring foci and practices. Despite the variations, there were more similarities than differences in their understandings and practices of mentoring. Their common emphases were the teaching of social studies for citizenship transmission, and the development of their student teachers’ teaching competency through an apprenticeship model of mentoring where support was the norm. Common limitations in their mentoring were also observed. The cooperating teachers showed that they mentored their student teachers according to their understandings of social studies teaching and mentoring. The findings also revealed that the cooperating teachers’ understandings of social studies teaching and mentoring influenced the way their student teachers learnt how to teach primary social studies. The findings indicated that all the student teachers identified a range of significant learning, comprising academic, technical, practical and personal knowledge and skills, which they learnt from their cooperating teachers. Critical knowledge and skills were not highlighted as part of their learning. All of them learnt to “act” and “know” like teachers. Their learning was personal and they modelled their teaching after their mentors. They showed different amounts of growth in teacher development which were linked to the different amounts of support and challenge provided by their mentors. Overall, the findings of this study underscore the importance of mentor preparation to ensure a more consistent quality of student teacher learning.
      203  70
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Primary social studies fieldwork in children’s localities and beyond
    Children’s localities and beyond offer potential for young learners to connect with and understand their world. This article explores what children’s localities and the merits of doing fieldwork are. It identifies the different children’s localities and themes for fieldwork, examines the inquiry fieldwork approach and suggests how to plan such fieldwork for effective learning. The article also provides two examples of fieldwork in children’s localities based on student teachers’ fieldwork packages.
      102  234
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Exploring the use of WebQuests in the learning of social studies content
    (2004) ;
    Lee, Christine Kim-eng
    ;
    ;
    Kho, Ee Moi
    WebQuest is an approach which uses the Internet as an integral part of teaching any subject at any grade level. Developed by Bernie Dodge at San Diego State University in 1995, it has generated lots of interest. There are now numerous examples of WebQuests available on the World Wide Web. WebQuest has the potential in bringing about more critical thinking and student engagement. This article will (1) explain what WebQuest is all about and explore examples in primary social studies to show its applicability in achieving important instructional goals in social studies teaching and learning, (2) demonstrate how WebQuests were used in a pre-service course for primary social studies teachers at the National Institute of Education, Singapore; and (3) share the responses of pre-service teachers towards the use of WebQuests in learning primary social studies content.
      239  255
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Learning about issues through discussion in the primary social studies classroom: A shared inquiry approach
    This article looks at how primary school children can learn about issues in their social studies lessons through discussion. It first spells out the importance of introducing issues in the social studies curriculum for the development of students to be informed, participative and concerned citizens. It focuses on the selection of suitable issues for primary school children and discussion as a pedagogy for shared inquiry to help teachers achieve academic understanding and citizenship outcomes for their learners. The Walsh and Sattes’ (2015) framework for quality discussion is described as a useful guide for teacher planning and implementation. Research findings on teacher belief and practice of using discussion of controversial issues and the implications on teacher professional development are also discussed. The article concludes with how to be skilful in the facilitation of iscussion of issues for shared inquiry.
      177  190
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Using investigation and discussion to inquire about issues in primary social studies
    This article begins with the inquiry teaching approach for primary social studies and the rationale for its inclusion in the 2013 syllabus by the Ministry of Education, Singapore. It compares traditional instruction and inquiry-based teaching and describes the two types of inquiry that can be implemented in the primary classroom – discussion and investigation. Three useful inquiry models for primary children - Colin Marsh’s (2001) investigation model and two discussion models - Diana Hess’ (2009) town meeting model (TMM) and David Johnson and Roger Johnson’s (1999) structured academic model (SAC) - are elaborated. The application of these models is illustrated in two issue-based, inquiry centred packages designed for primary children by student teachers from the National Institute of Education. The article also discusses the challenges teachers may face when implementing such inquirycentred packages and suggests ways of how they can be overcome.
      371  327
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Conceptual teaching in primary social studies: Teaching the primary three reader, “Making the Little Red Dot blue and brown” in a conceptual way
    This paper looks at what conceptual teaching is about, the differences between conceptual and traditional teaching and the advantages of conceptual teaching. Different deductive and inductive approaches for teaching the big ideas of subject matter, that is, the concepts and generalisations, are described. The paper also focuses on the teaching of the primary three social studies reader entitled, “Making the Little Red Dot Blue and Brown” using some of the conceptual teaching approaches mentioned. The paper concludes with the importance of teacher subject matter knowledge in conceptual teaching.
      224  313
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Let’s have cooperative learning for lessons!
    (2017) ;
    Ananthi, P.
    One cannot assume that learning will necessarily take place just because children are doing group work. To ensure that productive learning takes place, there is a need to infuse elements of cooperative learning into the group activities. In this article, the key principles and structures of cooperative learning as well as the benefits of using cooperative learning are discussed. Some suggestions on the use of cooperative learning, together with classroom examples are also presented.
      182  211