The Singapore experience: Synergy of national policy, classroom practice and design research

  • Chee-Kit LooiEmail author
  • Hyo-Jeong So
  • Yancy Toh
  • Wenli Chen


In recent years there has been a proliferation of research findings on CSCL at the micro and macro levels, but few compelling examples of how CSCL research has impacted actual classroom practices at the meso-level have emerged. This paper critically examines the impact of adopting a systemic approach to innovative education reforms at the macro, meso, and micro levels in Singapore. It presents the case for adopting design research as a methodology for CSCL integration that meets the needs of schools, and discusses a specific CSCL innovation that holds the potential for sustaining transformation in classroom practices. Our driving question is: In what ways can the routine use of CSCL practices in the classroom be supported by exploring systemic factors in the school setting through design research? We will explore the synergistic conditions that led to meaningful impact (at the micro level), mediated by systemic approaches to working with teachers in the schools (at the meso level), guided by Singapore’s strategic planning for scalability (at the macro level).


CSCL practices CSCL impact Sustainability and scaling School-based CSCL Design-based research 



This material is based on the work supported by the National Science Foundation (United States) under Grants 0427783 and 0713711 and by the National Research Foundation (Singapore) under Grant NRF2007-IDM003-MOE-001. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or the National Research Foundation. We are grateful to Mayflower Primary School, Whitley Secondary School, Fu Hua Secondary School, and the School of Science and Technology for collaborating with us on this research.


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Copyright information

© International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc.; Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chee-Kit Looi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hyo-Jeong So
    • 1
  • Yancy Toh
    • 1
  • Wenli Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of EducationSingaporeSingapore

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