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Joseph Yeo Kai Kow
Assistant Head (Mathematics Education Teaching), National Institute of Education
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

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Dr Yeo Kai Kow Joseph is a Senior Lecturer and Assistant Head (Mathematics Education Teaching) in the Mathematics and Mathematics Education Academic Group at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NIE NTU, Singapore).  Dr. Yeo holds a PhD in Mathematics Education from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.  Prior to his academic career, he began his career as a secondary school mathematics teacher and taught in secondary schools for more than 10 years. He had also held the post of Vice Principal and Head of Mathematics Department in secondary schools.  He was part of the team at the Research and Evaluation Branch in the Singapore’s Ministry of Education between 1998 and 2000.  

His research interests include mathematical problem-solving in the primary and secondary levels, mathematics pedagogical content knowledge of teachers and mathematics anxiety.  He has given numerous presentations at conferences held in the region as well as in various parts of the world.  He has more than 40 publications in journals, book chapters and conference proceedings.  His publications appear in regional and international journals.  Presently, he is involved in conducting a range of professional development courses for pre-service and in-service mathematics teachers as well as Heads of Department at primary and secondary levels.  He is also teaching the Master programme course on Singapore Primary School Mathematics.  He was the Treasurer of the Association of Mathematics Educators from July 2016 - July 2018.

Keynote Address: Alternative Assessment: Assessing to Learn and Learning to Assess 

Assessment is a wide-ranging, multidimensional, and critical process integral to teaching and learning. The concept and method of assessment in Singapore schools have undergone some substantial developments, and in a sense, a paradigm shift, over the last decades. Educators have in recent years paid increasing attention to the importance of alternative assessment strategies in instruction to better reflect the desired educational goals and values in education. Numerous educators have debated that the primary purpose of alternative assessment is a formative one of enhancing students’ learning.  When we assess learning, we seek information that allows teachers to find out what students know in order to improve their learning. This means learning to assess all kinds of knowledge teachers identify as essential. By assessing to learn and learning to assess, we could maximise the positive impact of assessment on students’ learning without unnecessary negative consequences. Current perspectives in classroom assessment encourage the use of a range of assessment strategies, tools, and formats, providing multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning, making strong use of formative feedback on a timely and regular basis, and including students in the assessment process. Moreover, classroom assessment usually uses a range of teacher-selected or teacher-made assessments that are most effective when closely aligned with what and how the students have been learning. To listen and respond to students’ thinking, teachers are encouraged to use a variety of formats for assessment, such as classroom questioning, structure interviews or performance tasks.  Furthermore, alternative assessments should provide opportunities for all students to demonstrate their learning and be responsive to the diversity of learners. The presentation will analyse and discuss some research findings on how alternative assessments such as classroom questioning, structure interviews and performance tasks could be used as bridges to enhance learning.  

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