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Academic Research in RGS

Differentiated instructions for high ability diverse learners in a regular classroom: a case study in an independent school

RGS PeRL is embarking on an Academic Research onDifferentiated instructions for high ability diverse learners in a regular classroom: a case study in an independent school”. The investigators are Ms Tan Yen Chuan and Mr Azahar M Noor.

This exploratory study seeks to develop an understanding on how teachers plan and implement differentiated instruction to address the needs of high ability diverse learners in a regular classroom. This study seeks to gain insight into teachers’ understanding on differentiated instruction, the enablers and their challenges faced when implementing it.

Using a qualitative case study research design, teachers’ understanding on differentiated instruction was investigated through one to one interviews, lesson observations and document analysis. A document analysis was undertaken of the school’s professional development plans. By gaining insights into the actual implementation of differentiated instruction for high ability learners, school administrators and professional development department will understand how teachers use differentiated instruction.

The findings will provide input to the professional development department to address concerns and challenges that teachers might face and support teachers in developing competency in differentiated instruction. This research would also attempt to develop and establish baseline standards for differentiated instruction and provide input for benchmarking so that there will be standardized teacher expectations on the implementation of differentiated instruction.

The Role of a Professional Learning Community in Informing Teacher Practice

According to Kazemi & Hubbard (2008), in order to better understand changes in teachers’ practice while engaging in professional development, there is a need to document and understand the learning that occurs.

In this light, RGS PeRL is conducting a research on "The Role of a Professional Learning Community in Informing Teacher Practice", to find out how Professional Learning Space (PLS) sessions within the school influences teacher practice. The project team comprises Ms Masturah binte Abdul Aziz, Ms Tan Yen Chuan and Mrs Lucille Yap, as well as Ms Thet Thiri Ko, a research intern with PeRL. The project is advised by the Deputy Principal, PeRL & Community Engagement, Mrs Mary George Cheriyan. 

This project aims to investigate the relationship between PLS and the classroom, and how teachers’ participation in these two settings co-evolve in terms of individual classroom practices. From this study, the investigators hope to gain insights into how classroom practices influence or are influenced by participation in the PLS.

This study aims to also highlight insights pertaining to the different learning practices across the PLS. With this study offering snapshots of what occurs in the PLS and the classroom, the findings will enable understanding of the learning that occurs and how teachers apply their knowledge in the classroom. In essence, this study hopes to highlight how the PLS, as a Professional Development (PD) platform, can benefit teaching and learning.