The Pedagogical Research Lab (RGS PeRL) was set up in Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary), a school which caters to highly able girls, in January 2010. It was officially launched on 28 August 2010 by Mrs Tan Ching Yee, Permanent Secretary for Education, Ministry of Education.
In order to benefit from synergistic wisdom and expertise, we conduct and facilitate research in collaboration with RGS staff as well as external partners such as the National Institute of Education (Singapore). A Letter of Intent between RGS PeRL and the Centre for Research on Pedagogy and Practice (CRPP), NIE was signed in April 2010 to provide for research conversations and joint grant applications with CRPP. With this agreement in place, we hope that such collaboration will broaden the scope of indigenized educational research in RGS as well as in Singapore.
Signing of the Letter of Intent between RGS and CRPP in April 2010
Building on Innovation and Review
The setting up of the RGS PeRL evolves from key developments in the school:
Independant School Status
In 1987, the Ministry of Education introduced the Independent Schools scheme by which selected schools were given autonomy in areas like the curriculum, student admission and staff recruitment. The assumption was that the decentralisation of educational management gives greater flexibility to schools to introduce innovative practices.
When RGS became an independent school in 1991, the impetus to provide a stimulating and innovative curriculum was further sharpened.
The Raffles Programme (2004)
The momentum for curriculum innovation and review was further enhanced with the implementation of the Raffles Programme (RP) in 2004. The RP is a 6-year programme that leads to the 'A' level examinations at Raffles Institution. With this change, an enriched curriculum is further emphasised and sound pedagogy, an imperative.
The setting up of RGS PeRL builds on this momentum of innovation and review in RGS.
Broadening the PeRL Focus
PeRL’s initial focus on Research and Consultancy has broadened to include Professional Learning. Through job-embedded professional learning structures, PeRL guides the staff in standards-based unit design, innovative strategies and practitioner inquiry. Recognizing that quality teaching contributes to quality learning, the entire faculty takes collective responsibility for student achievement. PeRL’s Research Academy strengthens the theory-practice nexus through systematic inquiry into these pedagogical innovations, teacher beliefs as well as student outcomes.
To better reflect the growth in this organization, PeRL is henceforth called the Centre for Pedagogical Research and Learning.