Junior College

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."

Serious Fun: Game Design to Support Learning about the Surrender of Singapore

"Chronology, or putting past events in temporal order, is a starting point for making sense of the past (Seixas & Morton, 2013). However, sequencing the past into chronological order requires more than the memorization of events and their dates. Chronological thinking is central to historical reasoning because it enables us to organize our thinking about the past, consider relationships between events, determine cause and effect, and identify the structure or “plotline” of stories told about the past (i.e., those contained in accounts or historical narratives)."

Military Government and its Discontents: The Significance of the British Military Administration in the History of Singapore and Malaya

"The post-war British military government in Singapore and Malaya has often been relegated to a marginal place in historiography. In this article, I argue that this period bears closer study, because its legacies were central to the subsequent turbulent political history of the region, and therefore has much relevance to both researchers and educators. "

Developing Historical and Metahistorical Thinking in History Classrooms: Some Reflections on Research and Practice

"The history of history education, past and present, often resembles a history of contestation, in which rival and polarized understandings of the meanings of ‘history’ and ‘history education’ vie for dominance (Nakou and Barca, 2010). A common polarity in debates on history curricula is the opposition between ‘knowledge’ and ‘skill’, an opposition that has had considerable currency in recent curriculum reform processes in England which have emphasised ‘core knowledge’ (DfE, 2013)."

Sources of Students’ Misconceptions in Economics

"Misconceptions in learning can arise from a variety of sources. This article examines the five sources of misconceptions that may be relevant for understanding learners’ misconceptions in economics classes in junior colleges in Singapore: students’ prior knowledge, their perceptions of what economics is about, their “linguistic mindset”, the influence of student learning preferences, and their perceptions of how graphs are used in economics. Understanding the origin of students’ misconceptions can help junior college teachers anticipate and correct their students’ misconceptions. "

Shifting Scales of Time and Space: Establishing Connections Across the Humanities

"Meaningful understanding of history and geography involves being able to identify and establish connections across time and space scales (An et al., 2015; Bain, 2005; Baker, 2003; Foskett, 1999). Nonetheless, one key problem in the history and geography curricula of schools today is this lack of connectivity and sense of scale. Thus, it is appropriate to find out how to help teachers and students expand their disciplinary thinking towards a more holistic (or interdisciplinary) approach that encourages them to shift scales and make connections across time and space. To answer this question, this article proposes a potential conceptual framework in which History and Geography, as interdisciplinary subjects, can conduct meaningful dialogues with each other so that students and teachers can extend their thinking to deepen their understanding of both disciplines and to identify connections across scales of time and place. This framework will be introduced through two initiatives, The Historian’s Lab (HL) and The Sustainability Learning Lab (SLL), funded by an EduLab grant, and currently being developed by the staff in the Humanities and Social Studies Education Academic Group (HSSE AG) in the National Institute of Education (NIE), (Singapore). However, it is important to note that this framework is a work-in-progress and will be further modified and developed as the project moves forward."

Causal Layered Analysis: Deconstructing Singapore’s 2015 General Election

"In explaining social phenomena, students are taught to explicate the causal mechanism between independent factors and a dependent outcome. However, this could lead to a superficial analysis of the phenomenon if students were to focus on precipitating factors. Hence, this paper contends that JC students should be exposed to complementary analytical approaches in order to transcend conventional frames of analysis. Inayatullah’s (2004) “Causal Layered Analysis” (CLA) could be an appropriate method to encourage students to unpack surface-level factors by drawing out their underlying and deeper causes. The CLA comprises four levels of analysis: the litany (precipitating causes), social causes (systemic causes), discourse/worldview (ideational causes) and myth/metaphor (core narratives). This can be illustrated by applying CLA to Singapore’s GE2015, which would suggest that the electorate’s voting patterns are not just the outcome of varied precipitating factors, but also the product of the existing political system and ideas about the nation-state."

Developing Historical Habits of Mind through Inquiry

"Teaching history is not simply about getting students to learn “the right stories” or getting them to absorb transmitted knowledge about the past; it requires teachers to find means to develop students’ historical understanding and to help these students make sense of the knowledge imparted through daily classroom instruction. As many of us already recognize, the knowledge we have about the past is never “given” or “just there” for the taking; the manner in which we come to know what we know about the past requires questioning, imagining, contextualising and (re-)constructing. History education researchers across many national contexts would agree that students need to be taught to understand the nature of historical knowledge – how such knowledge is constructed, how evidence is used to develop interpretations or support claims, how evidence/interpretation is adjudged as valid or credible, etc. "

How High’s the Water, Mama? A Reflection on Water Resource Education in Singapore

"Iconic American singer-songwriter Johnny Cash recalled in song a boyhood experience of watching his parents monitor flood conditions at their 1937 Dyess, Arkansas, home by counting the number of front steps the water had risen; 1 step = 1 foot (0.305 m): How high's the water, mama? Five feet high and risin' In introducing his 1959 Columbia release, Five Feet High and Risin’, Cash noted (AZLyrics, 2000-2015): My mama always taught me that good things come from adversity if we put our faith in the Lord. We couldn't see much good in the flood waters when they were causing us to have to leave home, But when the water went down, we found that it had washed a load of rich black bottom dirt across our land. The following year we had the best cotton crop we'd ever had."

The Population White Paper: The hidden rationale for Singaporeans’ concern

"Singapore commemorates its golden jubilee this year with a slew of nation-wide events. This celebration serves as a point of reflection for Singapore’s achievement in the past 50 years. However, it is also timely and crucial to reflect on issues that had sparked tensions amongst the citizenry. The promulgation of the Population White Paper (PWP) and its impact on Singaporeans has been an issue widely written by many academics but the rationale for Singaporeans’ reaction over the PWP has yet to be explored in greater depth."

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An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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