The Pedagogical Research Lab (RGS PeRL) was set up in Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary) in January 2010. It was officially launched on 28 August 2010 by Mrs Tan Ching Yee, Permanent Secretary for Education, Ministry of Education.
PeRL aims to bring educators together to research, develop and implement pedagogical innovations, especially in the education of high ability girls. PeRL has developed a research ecosystem that not only sustains Academic Research to inform decision-making in the school, but importantly, engenders Practitioner Inquiry amongst teachers, honing the habit of Reflective Practice. With the setting up of PeRL, a Specialist track was created, complementing the school’s Teaching and Leadership tracks. The Specialists conduct Academic Research as well as mentor teacher research. They also conduct Consultancy for other institutions, organize symposiums as well as present and publish works on curriculum and pedagogy.
Building on Innovation and Review
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. RGS obtained this status in 1991, a development that heightened
our sense of ownership and accountability for robust curriculum and
professional practices. The implementation of the Raffles Programme (RP) in
2004 enhanced this momentum in curriculum innovation and review.
The setting up of the RGS PeRL evolves from these key developments in the school – the independent school status and the Raffles Programme.
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 steers systematic inquiry into these pedagogical innovations, teacher beliefs and student outcomes.
To better reflect the growth in this organization, PeRL is henceforth called the Centre for Pedagogical Research and Learning.