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KEYNOTE SPEAKER - JONATHAN GOH

Dr. Jonathan WP Goh is an Associate Professor at the Policy and Leadership Studies (PLS) Academic Group, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University (NIE-NTU). He obtained a first-class honors degree in Commerce from Murdoch University in 1994, and a PhD (with Distinction) in Marketing from the University of Western Australia in 2001.

Dr. Goh teaches research methodology, educational marketing and school leadership-related courses in various professional development and graduate programs. His teaching and research interests include research methods, student learning and assessment, measurement (including Rasch analysis, hierarchical linear modeling and structural equation modeling), educational marketing, and cross-cultural aspects in leadership and management. His works have been published in the International Journal of Educational Research, Educational Research, Higher Education, International Journal of Leadership in Education, and School Leadership and Management, and Educational Management, Administration and Leadership.

Jonathan has also led in a large-scale Ministry of Education (Singapore) funded research on baseline study of educational leadership in Singapore, and a programmatic research (which involved four separate but interrelated research) on impact of educational leadership on teacher and organizational outcomes, and student learning and development.

 

Selected Publications

Goh, J.W.P., Lee, O.K. & Hairon, S. (2017). Assessing Students' Growth in Mathematics and English Language in Singapore: The Practice, the Evidence and the Perceptions. In Eryaman, M.Y. and Schneider, B. (Ed.), Evidence-based and Evidence-informed Educational Policy, Research and Practice for the Public Good [Series title: Educational Governance Research] (pp. 97-123). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Hairon, S., Goh, J.W.P, Chua, C.S.K, & Wang, L.Y. (2017). A research agenda for professional learning communities: Moving Forward. Professional Development in Education, 43(1), 72-86.

 

Hairon, S., & Goh, J.W.P. (2015). Leadership for collective learning: A distributed perspective. International Business Education Journal, 8(1), 79-94.

 

Dimmock, C. & Goh, J.W.P. (2011). Transformative pedagogy, leadership and school organization for the 21st century knowledge-based economy: The case of Singapore. School Leadership and Management, 31 (3), p.215-234. 

Keynote Session

Thursday 12 September 4.30pm

Assessment in Singapore: Our Journey Toward a Purposive Teaching and Learning Experience

When discussing assessment, the key considerations are the answers to the questions ‘How’, ‘Why’ and ‘When’. Essentially, teachers need to be clear on what to assess, and the purpose of developing, and administering assessments to the students. This will enable teachers to make accurate decisions on the content, the type of assessment to use, and when to assess.

 

Many education systems around the world (including Singapore) have started to address the concerns of stress and anxiety of assessment in schools (particularly testing and examinations). Instead, the focus now is on promoting learning as fun and enjoyable. Unsurprisingly, there has been much talk about assessing students formatively, using novel techniques such as authentic assessment methods, and even moving away from the practice of comparing student performances. These are indeed interesting developments that aim at (i) promoting the joy of learning and (ii) emphasizing the importance for the child to achieve  personal targets by observing growth over time, without having to compare with others.

 

Can this be easily achieved, and if so, to what extent?

 

For one thing, the sense of competition amongst students, teachers and even schools, would automatically become evident when the important purposes of testing and examination are recognized – that is, for Selection and Placement. Unfortunately, tests for selection and placement are summative in nature. It is thus highly possible that the intent to test students formatively may end up making summative interpretations on student performances on the test. How then can we find a congruence between managing real world demands and challenges, and making learning fun and enjoyable?

 

To achieve this, it is paramount that teachers are critical about the purposes and approaches to assessment, and be willing to adopt more a practical, meaningful and defensible method of assessment of student learning. One possible approach is the use of Rasch model test-equating procedures to determine student learning growth and make fairer comparisons of performances.