World Bank East Asia Regional Conference


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This was presented at the East Asia Regional Conference on Benchmarking Education Systems for Results. The presentation focuses on the case of Singapore.

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  • Thank you Prof. Yeap. I didnt get a chance to talk to you at the conference the other day. You were always with people and I didnt want to intrude. It was a great presentation.

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World Bank East Asia Regional Conference

  1. 1. The Role Of High-stakes Examination in SingaporeYeap Ban Har National Institute of Education<br /><br />Benchmarking Education Systems for Results<br />East Asia Regional Conference, 21-23 June 2010 <br />Singapore<br />
  2. 2. National Examinations in Singapore<br />Part 1<br />
  3. 3. Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) at the end of Grade 6 is the only compulsory national examination<br />National Examinations in Singapore<br />
  4. 4. General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level (GCE O Level) at the end of Grade 10<br />National Examinations in Singapore<br />
  5. 5. General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (GCE A Level) at the end of Grade 12<br />National Examinations in Singapore<br />
  6. 6. Generally, examinations are important in determining subsequent educational paths of students. Examination results is not the only determinant but an important one.<br />National Examinations in Singapore<br />
  7. 7. How the System Use Examinations Results<br />Part 2<br />
  8. 8. Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) consists of tests in English Language and mother tongue (written, oral and listening), Mathematics (written) and Science (written)<br />The Case of Primary School<br />
  9. 9. Three indicators are used by the education system.<br />There is an indicator for students who have not met the minimum requirement to handle subsequent stage in the education system. This is called the U Grade.<br />The Case of Primary School<br />
  10. 10. There is an indicator for students who have met the goals of the curriculum. This is called the Pass Grade (C to A*).<br />The Case of Primary School<br />
  11. 11. There is an indicator for students who have excelled in a subject. This is called the Quality Pass Grade (A or A*).<br />The Case of Primary School<br />
  12. 12. How the Schools Use Examination Results<br />Part 3<br />
  13. 13. ‘Comparable schools' are schools with students of similar socio-economic and family backgrounds. Schools compare their average to a comparable school and if their average is below that of a comparable school, they know that they need to improve their programme.<br />The Case of Primary School<br />
  14. 14. Taken from Northland Primary School’s website<br />
  15. 15. Part 4<br />How Examinations Affect School Programmes<br />
  16. 16. The mathematics examination includes hardly any multiple-choice items - none for Grades 10 and 12 and 20% of the total test score for Grade 6.<br />The Case of Mathematics<br />
  17. 17. A significant proportion of the tasks are new or complex problems. <br />The Case of Primary Mathematics<br />
  18. 18. PSLE 2009<br />
  19. 19. PSLE 2009<br />
  20. 20. PSLE 2009<br />
  21. 21. PSLE 2009<br />chocolates<br />sweets<br />12<br />Jim<br />12<br />12<br />12<br />12<br />12<br />18<br />Ken<br />3 parts  12 + 12 + 12 + 12 + 18 = 66<br />1 part  22<br />Half of the sweets Ken bought = 22 + 12 = 34<br />So Ken bought 68 sweets.`<br />
  22. 22. Students are expected to reach these standards. Classroom practices are geared towards these - procedural teaching is deemed not effective. Teachers provide higher-order thinking tasks. <br />The Case of Primary Mathematics<br />
  23. 23. Teaching for conceptual understanding is essential to have students do well in such examinations<br />The Case of Primary Mathematics<br />
  24. 24. Teachers find their present competency – content and pedagogical – inadequate and seek professional development. <br />The Case of Primary Mathematics<br />
  25. 25. The Case of Primary Mathematics<br />The system provides professional development structures. <br />
  26. 26. The Case of Primary Mathematics<br />Schools are expected to have Professional Learning Communities by 2012.<br />There is a Staff Developer in many schools now.<br />
  27. 27. How National Examinations Bring About Changes in Classroom Practices<br />Conclusion<br />
  28. 28. National examinations demands students to perform challenging tasks. <br />Trilogy<br />
  29. 29. Teachers include them in the instruction but find existing pedagogy inadequate. They find themselves needing professional development. <br />Trilogy<br />
  30. 30. There exist within the structure of the system an array of instruments for professional development.<br />Trilogy<br />
  31. 31.<br />