Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Group Research Proposal for "Most efficient way of learning Math"


Research Topic (Global Challenge): Finding the most efficient way to learning Mathematics

1. Statement of Problem (framing our research topic)

Being students ourselves, our teammates understands the difficulties too many students face when coming to Math these days. This issue may seem small, but it actually has quite a large impact on us students.

When students have too many problems while doing Math, they tend to give up and hatred towards the subject builds up. They also lose interest in the subject, and thus pay less attention during Math class. With these in mind, it’s not difficult to see that these students will do badly for Math exams and that definitely isn’t pleasant because it will greatly affect their overall results.

We feel their pain and want to help them. Thus, we chose “Finding the most efficient way to learning Mathematics” as our research topic.

2. Research Objectives
  1. What kind of learning method are students more efficient in?
  2. How does the different teaching styles enable students to focus on the task at hand?
  3. What type of learning method should be used in schools for teaching purposes?
  4. Why should this method be used?
  5. Which type of learning method will spark interest in the students for that particular topic?

3. Literature Review (Brief summary of at least 3 sources that you have consulted with reference to your research topic)
We’ve used the following sources to assist us in our research:

1. "Ministry of Education, Singapore: Press Releases - Every Secondary School To Develop Two Distinctive Programmes For A Holistic Student-Centric Education." Ministry of Education, Singapore: Press Releases - Every Secondary School To Develop Two Distinctive Programmes For A Holistic Student-Centric Education. Ministry of Education, Singapore, 25 Sept. 2013. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.

Applied Learning engages students in an interactive way, through hands on experiments and projects, concepts are taught to the students more effectively.
The Applied Learning programme will serve to connect academic knowledge and skills with the real world. The emphasis is on the application of thinking skills, connecting knowledge across subject disciplines, stretching the imagination and applying these in authentic settings in society and industries. The intent is to help students appreciate the relevance and value of what they are learning in the academic curriculum and develop stronger motivation and purpose to acquire knowledge and skills.
The Applied Learning programme may be developed in areas such as business and entrepreneurship, design, engineering and robotics, environmental science and technology, health services, heritage, journalism and broadcasting, literary arts, simulation and modeling et cetera.
Effective applied learning can be important for college and career readiness. The problem with implementing such applied learning programs in high schools is that no set standards of high quality programs exist. Many education practitioners cannot differentiate between an effective applied learning program and an ineffective program. The number of stakeholders in the situation further complicates the problem. Students, teachers, parents, school administrators, and community members may have differing ideas of what constitutes a high quality applied learning experience.
Without nationally accepted standards for high quality applied learning experiences, groups struggle to advocate collectively for the increased presence of these experiences in schools. A lack of research on the subject further complicates efforts to define high quality applied learning programs. Researchers have completed many qualitative studies on all types of applied learning programs, but they have completed very few quantitative research studies. Therefore, scholars struggle to make definitive statements about the effectiveness of one program compared to that of another.

4. Proposed Hypothesis

My group’s proposed hypothesis is that the current system of teaching is inefficient and not very effective as it is boring. This led to the students quickly losing focus and not fully grasping the concept efficiently We believe that students are able to learn better by more interactive learning as this engaged the students more and allowed them to focus better.

5. Research Plan
Our group has decided to conduct tests on a certain group of 3 secondary one students to collect results. But before letting them do the test, we plan on teaching them using 3 methods:
  • Whiteboard Teaching
Students to be seated in a classroom in a grid format. Teacher will be seated at the front, teaching students like normal lesson
  • Interactive Teaching
Students will be grouped or paired. Project work will ensue.
  • Learning by Experience
Students will attempt the questions first and then will have their mistakes corrected and will have only one chance to retake the test.

There are also mainly 3 questions types, each for a specific teaching method. They are:
  • Factorisation
  • Expand and Simplify
  • Changing the subject
^Note: the questions are of similar difficulty level, to ensure that this experiment is fair.
So to make things clear,
We’re teaching one group of three secondary one students three types of algebra questions. They are factorisation, expand and simplify and changing the subject. The teaching methods we have at hand are whiteboard teaching, interactive teaching and learning by experience.
We decided to use whiteboard teaching to teach factorisation, interactive teaching to teach changing the subject, and learning by experience to teach expand and simplify.
Below is the questions we have generated as tests for the three students:Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 11.41.54 PM.png

6. Analysis of Data
Interactive Teaching:
Whiteboard Teaching:
Learning From Experience:

7.  Research Schedule

Task to be completed
Term 1

Week 4
Research Plan and Literature Review

Week 5
Draft of oral interview and surveys

Week 6
Research on Learning Methods
  1. What causes it?
  2. What are the effects of the different learning methods?
  3. What are the different learning methods?

Week 7
Collection of data
Interactive Teaching: 5
Whiteboard Teaching: 1
Learning From Experience: 2
Week 8
Collection of data
Data is stated above
Week 9
Conclusion and discussion

Week 10
Drafting final research report

Term 2

Week 1

Week 2
Finalising data analysis and document for grading and submission

8. Overall assessment on feasibility and manageability of the research (justify why your research can be managed and results be achieved within the time-frame)
Our research topic was possible but difficult. It required a large amount of time to complete our research as it was difficult to receive the results from the people we tested. However, thanks to the cooperation of the students and the contributions from each of our group members, we were able to complete the task on time. While our group was doing this project, we faced many challenges and obstacles but we manages to overcome them by communicating well with each other and working together as a team.

References (bibliography):
  1. "Ministry of Education, Singapore: Press Releases - Every Secondary School To Develop Two Distinctive Programmes For A Holistic Student-Centric Education." Ministry of Education, Singapore: Press Releases - Every Secondary School To Develop Two Distinctive Programmes For A Holistic Student-Centric Education. Ministry of Education, Singapore, 25 Sept. 2013. Web. 26 Mar. 2014. <>.

From the results of the test, we found out that studying via interactive teaching is the most effective method of learning. The students who learnt using whiteboard teaching gets bored more easily and tend to not focus on the task at hand. Thus , they are not able to grasp the concept as well as the other methods used.

Similarly, the students who learn via mistake are not as efficient as the students who learnt via interactive teaching, mostly due to the fact that they could not understand the topic at first so they had no idea where to start from. However, the method of interactive teaching also had its drawbacks. As that teaching method requires group work to be carried out, there were cases of conflict and also a small number of domestic squabbles that led to a few misunderstandings. This led to a reduced efficiency at some points and also prevented some pupils from learning some things.
Also, we found out that pupils preferred to study using the method of interactive teaching and did not like the method of whiteboard teaching the most. This was mostly because, according to the responses, they prefered to move around to get things done compared to just sitting there.

From this, we can conclude that students learn better by interactive learning rather than learning by the conventional methods of teaching. We can also conclude that the students in SST learn better by tackling the problem heads on with an interactive understanding of the subject.

Change of Research Topic

We have decided to change our previous research topic (Education for Tomorrow) as we felt that it was too vague a topic to research on.

Instead, we decided to research on the efficiency of studying Math using various teaching methods and how they affect students. We decided on this topic because it is quite relatable to the previous one, thus ensuring that our previous efforts have not been wasted.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Research Title

Our research title that we have agreed upon would be the topic of the education for tomorrow

Currently, our research comprises of the following sub-topics:

  • Subjects offered
  • How students learn
  • Areas of learning
  • Teaching, learning and testing techniques/distribution
We chose to pursue this area of research as we shared common controversial thoughts on the current education system that have yet to be resolved and we want to find out what is really going on. Also, we want to try to find out ways that the education system of today can be improved and what effects it will have on the students. 

Monday, 13 January 2014

IRS lesson (T01_W02)

Alternative Energy
Research title:
An investigation of ___ on ___.
Development of ___.
The effects of ___ on ___.

There are many subtopics for Alternative Energy (whatever your chosen topic is):

  • Solar
    - Solar Panels
    - Solar Rays
  • Wind
  • Wave
  • Nuclear
  • Geothermal 
^ You can make tabs for them on the blog :)

What we summarised

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

4th 21st Century Problem - Alternative Energy

Alternative energy is an energy source that is eco-friendly and renewable. Unlike fossil fuels (e.g Coal and petroleum), they do not produce carbon emissions such as carbon dioxide, methane and carbon monoxide. Examples of alternative energy sources include solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, biofuels, etc.

By using alternative energy, global warming can be greatly reduced. We can also reduce water usage as burning coal for energy requires a great amount of water. Coal mining can pollute nearby water sources whereas alternative energy does not or inflicts very little impact the environment.

Water pollution is reduced too as there would be much lesser oil spills. Petroleum is deadly to the marine ecosystem and can kill marine life easily. Also, if we consume fishes polluted with petroleum, it could cause cancer and other illnesses

Fossil fuels also produce a lot of toxic waste materials. Incomplete combustion of petroleum can create methanol, carbon monoxide and also fine particulates which can blacken human and animal lungs and cause heart problems or even death. These toxic materials are dangerous to both living organisms and the environment. Thus, we should consider alternative energy as a new means of obtaining power.

3rd 21st century problem - Education for Tomorrow

Does education need to change in the next 20 years?

"Education has to change, because in theory education needs to reflect the challenges of the society into which young people are entering."-Richard Gerver-

The problem: 

Who said that education now is perfect? I feel that there are many flaws in today's education system.

Firstly, I'd like to address how education as of now is focusing too much on getting good grades. 

Think about it. Students may be studying hard, but for what? Examinations. There should be a better reason for students to be doing their best in school, shouldn't there?

I strongly believe that the education system now is biased. It makes certain people's lives "more difficult" in a way. I'll now explain why. Everyone is different, as they all say. We all have our own unique talents and qualities. There certainly are people who have talents that allow them to get good grades, but what about the others who have talents totally unrelated to that at all (sports etc.)? Wouldn't it be unfair to them? Those people will then have to work extra hard for them to score well for examinations.

The extra fact that society is very judgemental makes things worse. Get amazing grades and top the class, you're a genius, you're smart. Fail your subjects and you "fail in life", are "stupid", etc. This might potentially lead to discrimination among students.

There are many other flaws in today's education system, but I felt that the above mentioned was a must. 

From this, I imagine the future's education system to be:

  • A system that allows student's talents/potential in different aspects to be realised and acknowledged, like how good students that excel in examinations get awards from the school/government.
  • A system that doesn't focus solely on getting good grades. 
Many may speculate that education of the future will be more "technology-based", like what SST is doing for an example. But this won't change the fact that education today is unfair, it will merely improve efficiency of learning. It isn't about what we use to learn, it is about what we learn, and if the system of judging people is fair. Thus, I think that a greater change has to be made.

Overall, it will be a system that's more "fair", where everyone will have the same rate of chances to succeed in life.

2nd 21st Century Problem: Razing of Rainforests

Rainforests are burnt almost annually due to lack of space for farming, enormous challenges for palm oil,  timber trade, green colonialism and biofuels.

This issue can lead to the loss of habitats for animals and may disrupt the ecosystem of other habitats as the animals have nowhere else to seek food and shelter.

Apart from that, the amount of carbon dioxide in the air will be higher as there are not enough vegetation to absorb impurities in the air, thus leading to more air pollution and a poorer quality in the air around the area of the burning and this might eventually spread, causing acid clouds to form as there will not be as many trees left to maintain the atmosphere around the area to remove sulphur dioxide and nitric oxide.

Also the razing of rainforests will loosen the soil as the roots of the trees were holding them together. As the soil is loosened, it may erode and be washed into nearby rivers or lakes during heavy rainfall, thus also polluting the waterways.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

1st 21st Century Problem- Global Warming

Global warming will lead to severe climate change. Unless stopped, it will upset the basic control mechanisms of planet Earth. Here are some various examples as to why global warming will affect Earth tremendously.

1. The amount of oxygen dissolved in the oceans may decline, with adverse consequences for ocean life.

2. There is strong evidence that global sea level rose gradually over the 20th century.There are two main factors that have contributed to observed sea level rise. The first is thermal expansion: as ocean water warms, it expands. The second is from the contribution of land-based ice due to increased melting.

3. Climate change will impact agriculture and food production around the world due to: the effects of elevated CO2 in the atmosphere, higher temperatures, altered precipitation and transpiration regimes, increased frequency of extreme events, and modified weed, pest, and pathogen pressure. In general, low-latitude areas are at most risk of having decreased crop yields.

4. Droughts have been occurring more frequently because of global warming and they are expected to become more frequent and intense in Africa, southern Europe, the Middle East, most of the Americas, Australia, and Southeast Asia.