Professional Certification Program in Secondary Education
Sustaining Student Performance in Geography: A Case Study of Queenstown Secondary SchoolCheryl Chee
This study looks at some possible factors that have contributed to the consistently good performance of geography students at QTSS, a neighborhood secondary school in Singapore. It offers suggestions as to how the success of the geography department can be sustained and replicated in other disciplines. The study yielded three key findings – the importance of teacher quality, the impact of positive relationships and the implementation of a balanced curriculum that addresses the need to prepare students for standardized tests as well as develop knowledge and skills that are specific to the study of geography. In particular, the study examines the value of using fieldwork as a pedagogical tool in teaching and learning. These findings reinforce the important role that teachers play as pedagogical experts in curriculum innovation. In addition, they also highlight the need to constantly develop teachers professionally in order to build their capacity as content specialists and instructional gurus. When teachers have ownership of the curriculum, they are better able to implement the curriculum in ways that engage different individuals so as to ensure high student achievement in geography for every student.