Kee Kiak Nam
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- PublicationOpen AccessInformal learning from video games of three autistic children in a family: A case study(2009-06)Many autistic children are highly interested and motivated by computers (Goodwin,2008; Grynszpan, Martin & Nadel, 2007). Shafer (2006) in his book “How computer games help children learn” revealed that good computer or video games allow “children to live in worlds that they are curious about, or afraid of, or want desperately to try out” (p.24) and implicitly it is because they want to understand the rules, roles and consequences of those worlds. Autistic people do not have impairment in their understanding of physical causality, and may even be superior relative to mental-age matched controls (Baron-Cohen, cited in Wakabayashi, et al.,2007). The purpose of the case study is to explore for evidences of informal learning from computer and video games of three autistic children in family of author directly during period of study of one month and indirectly through reflection of past recollections of significant moments of observed learning. The children have played video games from Nintendo consoles (N64, game cube, WII) , Nintendo portable devices (Advanced gameboy, DS) , Sony playstation console and online internet games and applications. It is the hope of this study to generate interest in considering using computer and video games in special education for learning and literacy (Gee, 2007).
- PublicationOpen AccessRetrospective insights on teaching literacy by parents to their child with autism(2010)Parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are confronted and confounded by the multiple and varied types of evidenced-based interventions as well as complementary therapies (Goin-Kochel, Mackintosh & Myers, 2009) which they have to select, adopt and invest resources to support their child. Many claimed efficacy of through publications in peer-reviewed and non peer reviewed research literature on condition that the principles and devices of intervention are faithfully followed through. However, most if not all, did not include the holistic perspective of considering the need of the caregiver parent sense of coherence (Antonovsky, 1987; Mccubbin, Thompson, Thompson & Fromer, 1998) and perceived self-efficacy (Bandura, 1997) to reinforce and maintain the benefits of whatever interventions that has been adopted by the various organizations. The current paper provides retrospective insights by the researcher parent who has children with ASD on tacit learning, supported by research literature that may empower parents to be effective mediators of their child's learning of literacy that is sustainable and permanent.
- PublicationOpen AccessAssessments for learning in inclusive classroomsThis study builds upon recent research into Assessment for Learning (AfL) practices in Singapore secondary schools (Brown, Deneen, Fulmer, Leong, Tan, & Tay, 2017 April). It aims to extend our understanding of certain AfL competencies highlighted in the latter study in a more specific context of an inclusive classroom, particularly mainstream school classes with students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The incidence of ASD in Singapore is one in 150 children, higher than World Health Organisation's global figure of one in 160 (Ng, 2017). Students with ASD have the cognitive abilities to benefit from the national curriculum, but face challenges in social communication and socialising. They find it difficult to read the intentions of others or see the bigger picture because they tend to use their superior detail-focused cognitive style (Engeland & Buitelaar, 2008; Happe & Frith, 2006). It is challenging for them to benefit from the classroom dialogue in which teachers ask questions to elicit evidence of learning as well as give feedback to advance the students' understanding. However, there is currently no study to help us understand the phenomenon in Singapore schools. To help bridge this gap, this exploratory qualitative study seeks to understand, in the context of an inclusive classroom, a) How would effective questioning and teacher feedback look like, separately and when used together? b) What do ASD children consider to be effective questioning techniques and teacher feedback? Participants will include 6 teachers from schools (both primary and secondary) trained in special needs (TSN) will be observed during a lesson in a class which has ASD student. Both the teacher and the student will be interviewed separately after the lesson. The findings of this study will extend our current understanding of AfL in the context of inclusive education where every child is valued and enabled to learn (UNESCO, 2005).
- PublicationOpen Access
- PublicationOpen AccessHow Montessori materials enhance autistic children mathematics learning: Case study of learning division(2007-05)Dr. Maria Montessori educational pedagogy was originally developed by observing mentally retarded children and learning from special education pioneers, like Jean Itard and Edouard Seguin. Her success with special needs children was extended to normal children. It became so popular and effective for the past eighty years, with normal children in many countries with diverse cultures, that it is now forgotten as a viable pedagogy for special needs education. The purpose of the case study is to study how Montessori materials can help autistic children to learn, operate and apply the mathematical concept of division, which is generally not taught, as it is considered too challenging. It is the hope of this study to generate interest in considering using Montessori materials and educational pedagogy in special education.
- PublicationOpen AccessNumeracy literacy challenges of children with special needs in the twenty first century(2012)Parents of children with special needs generally turn to professionals with specialized knowledge to help their children's developmental needs, believing that professionals alone hold the key to make a difference. Unknown to most parents, numeracy literacy initial development is through prolonged and persistent exposure to sounds, adult modeling of the usage of the sounds and encouragement to participate in making the sounds in multiple social situations. Parents will need to actively provide multiple and repeated opportunities of diverse contexts for the gradual development of language used in numeracy as well as opportunities through trial and error in association of sounds to objects and concepts, where multiple cycles of experimentation, validation and verification lead to the development of number sense.
- PublicationOpen AccessEnhancing maths curriculum through team-based learning.
- PublicationOpen AccessExploring efficacy of a community-based reading programme for at-risk children(2015)
;Law, Janet Siew PohThis study reports an exploratory evaluation of a community-based reading programme kidsREAD. Children (N=186) aged 4 through 8, of different ethnic groups, from 12 reading clubs, were exposed to one hour of reading intervention with trained volunteers at various locations. For one year, volunteers read stories to children once a week in groups less than 30, then divided them up into smaller groups to engage in a variety of reading-related activities. Paired t-tests and intercorrelation analyses were conducted. Parent survey was collated for triangulation. There were significant improvements in use of English language, individual participation and peer interaction, and reading skills, at post-programme evaluation. Effect size analyses pointed to a significant impact of programme participation on changes in reading-related behaviour. Results from the analysis were used to predict the reading success for the programme, illustrated through the equation: RgA → [(UEL)(PAI)(RS)] → RgS. 384 484
- PublicationOpen AccessEffective questioning and feedback for learners with autism in an inclusive classroomThere is limited research regarding how Assessment for Learning (AfL) can support mainstream classrooms that have students with special needs. In current literature, it is assumed that AfL functions in similar ways across different contexts. Studies on how AfL practices can accommodate mainstream and special educational students in the same classroom are very limited. The present study sets out to investigate AfL practices in the context of mainstream classes that include high-functioning students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), focusing specifically on questioning techniques and teacher feedback. Though these strategies are associated with positive learning outcomes, learners with ASD may face difficulty in engaging in such questioning and feedback dialogue because of various challenges (e.g., atypical attentional networks). This qualitative instrumental case study involved observing six mainstream teachers from five schools during lessons and separately interviewing the teachers and the students with ASD. The study found that these teachers used approaches that focused on three considerations: addressing the cognitive needs of students (e.g. precise and direct questions); their socio-emotional needs (e.g. affirmative feedback); and supporting structures (e.g. visual cues). The study expands our current limited understanding of AfL in inclusive classrooms and highlights the implications for classroom practice.
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