Diana Ng Yee Ping

Progress of Thesis

My study examines the scientific reasoning abilities of school children from Singapore who have just completed their primary education.  A paper-and-pencil test – the Primary Scientific Reasoning Test (PSRT) is constructed to measure their scientific reasoning abilities. I am investigating the construct validity of the PSRT by considering the extent to which explanatory concepts from emerging scientific reasoning research accounts for the children’s test performance. This study addresses the need to develop valid and reliable instruments for testing scientific reasoning skills.

This academic year is my fourth year of study. Having just successfully defended my Confirmation of Status thesis in September 2017, I target to submit my final thesis in August/September 2018 for examination (viva voce). My supervisors are Professor Jo-Anne Baird and Dr Joshua McGrane. Professor David Andrich and Dr Jane McNicholl are my advisors.

Professional and educational background

I started my DPhil at OUCEA supported by a scholarship from the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB). I was a secondary school science teacher before I joined SEAB. During my teaching career, I participated in some award-winning research projects which required conceptualisation, design and evaluation of appropriate assessment instruments. One such project, which had the support of the Ministry of Education, was a three-year Student Action Research (STARS) programme. In STARS, participating students apply the process of Plan-Act-Observe-Reflect to investigate classroom, school or community linked issues. Findings from the STARS research were published and disseminated to all Singapore schools as well as presented at various sharing platforms.

In 2008, I received the country’s highest honour for educators -President’s Award for Teachers. A year later, I joined SEAB where I was in-charge of national examinations of science subjects at various grade levels. In 2012, I received my Master of Education (Educational and Psychological Measurement and Evaluation) degree from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. For the degree, I received the certificate of commendation for the 2012 Singapore Teacher’s Union Gold Medal as one of the top three graduates of the course.

Recent and up-coming conference, paper and poster sessions

Ng, Y. P. D. (2016, November). Pursuing content validity in scientific reasoning tests – is it possible? Paper presented at the 2016 annual conference of the Association for Educational Assessment – Europe, Limassol, Cyprus.

Ng, Y. P. D. (2017, March). Measuring scientific reasoning: Construct validation of the Primary Scientific Reasoning Test using Rasch modelling. Paper presented at the 11th Annual Rasch User Group Meeting, University of Warwick, UK.

Ng, Y. P. D. (2017, May). Measuring scientific reasoning in primary school pupils – Informing policy and practice using Rasch modelling. Poster session presented at the annual Cambridge-Oxford Exchange, University of Cambridge, UK.

Ng, Y. P. D. (2017, June). Construct validity of the Primary Scientific Reasoning Test. Paper presented at the annual National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) Sandra K. Abell Institute for Doctoral Students Programme, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan.

Ng, Y. P. D. (2017). A somewhat brief history of research on scientific thinking and reasoning. In Schultz, E. (Ed.), St. Anne’s Academic Review 7 (pp. 81-90). Oxford, UK: St. Anne’s College Middle Common Room, University of Oxford. Retrieved from http://st-annes-mcr.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/STAAR-7-2017.pdf.

Ng, Y. P. D. (2017, November). Cognitive Interviews – Peeping into Children’s Reasoning. Seminar presented at Qualitative Hub, Department of Education, University of Oxford.

Ng, Y. P. D. (2017, November). Measuring scientific reasoning: Construct validation of the Primary Scientific Reasoning Test (PSRT) using Rasch modelling. Paper presented at the 2017 annual conference of the Association for Educational Assessment – Europe, Prague, Czech Republic.

College: St. Anne’s

Updated 04 December 2017