Academic Profile : Faculty

Dr Melvin Chan C Y_1.jpg picture
Dr Melvin Chan C. Y.
Assistant Dean, Knowledge Management, OER Education Research
Research Scientist, National Institute of Education - Office of Education Research
Assistant Dean, Knowledge Management, National Institute of Education
Dr. Melvin Chan is Assistant Dean and Research Scientist at the Office of Education Research (OER) and is affiliated with two research centres: Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice (CRPP) and the Singapore Centre for Character and Citizenship. Education (SCCCE). As Assistant Dean of Knowledge Management at OER, he oversees matters related to research data management, data curation and reuse. From 2014-2019, he was Managing Editor of NIE's flagship journal, Asia Pacific Journal of Education. He is currently Review Editor at Frontiers in Psychology.

Dr. Chan is an education and psychological science scholar. His first degree was in psychology. After some years as a social policy analyst in the government sector, he pursued a Masters degree at the School of Demography, Australian National University, where he explored topics on the characteristics of global population changes. In 2014, he obtained his PhD degree in Education from Nanyang Technological University, titled 'Self, identity and agency in reflexive modernization: A case of Singaporean adolescents'.

Since 2014, Dr. Chan won several competitive research grants (amounting to over S$2m as PI ). His primary research focuses on the effectiveness of what works in teaching and learning (e.g., which types of pedagogical practices are beneficial, which are detrimental, and for which outcomes; how do individual and institutional contexts influence educational opportunity and advancement). Hundreds of reports have been disseminated and numerous presentations have been extended to practitioners, specialists and government leaders. He was the co-designer and principal analyst of the conceptual framework and instrumentation (building on work done by his predecessors). An important question remains: how much of what students learn and achieve during Secondary education matters for future post-school outcomes? A longitudinal panel design that captures student experiences across educational levels and life stages can address this complex issue. In 2021, he was awarded an important grant (Examining educational transitions and pathways in Singapore), which follows the same students into post-secondary as well as collecting new samples from the same population. This project integrates two important fields of human development (life course and positive psychology) and is possibly the first in pursuing a large-scale panel study on lifelong learning, well-being and school-to-work transitions (

Dr. Chan's research interests are interdisciplinary, covering aspects of learning, motivation, future-readiness, youth development, and quantitative methodology. Among the topics that he has been invited to speak on locally and internationally are comparative research on student achievement, psychometric measurement, academic motivation, pedagogy and student outcomes, and future-ready learning. Dr. Chan likes to work with complex models and he is well-versed in a range of statistical methods that include structural equation, missing data designs, multilevel and longitudinal modeling, mixture (cluster) modeling, and Rasch models.
Dr. Chan has a diverse research background in educational psychology, human development and quantitative methodology. He is particularly interested in examining individual and institutional contexts and processes (e.g., social class effects, classroom/school compositional effects) and how these factors contribute to student outcomes and future life chances. His recent research on educational transitions and pathways provides the potential to examine not only individual transitions but also longer term trajectories across multiple lifestages of learning and living, from school to higher education to work, and from adolescence to emerging adulthood to full adulthood. Beyond fundamental research topics, he has a strong interest in exploring the use of innovative methods of measurement models appropriate to the measures being examined.
  • Construction and Validation of Scientific Practices Survey Instrument for School
  • Creating lifelong learners: Investigating metacognition as support for learning and learning transfer
  • CRCD Research Infrastructure and Database Project 2
  • CORE 3 Research Programme: Baseline Investigation of Mother Tongue Pedagogies in Singapore's Primary and Secondary Classrooms (C3MT)
  • A Follow-up of the Singapore Kindergarten Impact Project (SKIP) Cohort in Middle Childhood: Social-Emotional, Physical, Academic Outcomes and Predictors
  • The NIE Pathways in Education Longitudinal Study (N-PELS) Development Project
  • DRivers, Enablers and pathways of Adolescent developMent in Singapore (DREAMS): The Singapore Longitudinal Cohort Study (SG-LCS) Phase 1
  • Understand characteristics of educational research data management at NIE
  • Peer Power 2.0: A Longitudinal Investigation of Students' Peer Networks and their Academic, Motivational, Social and Psychological Outcomes
  • An Investigation of Learning and Teaching Supported by Personal Learning Devices (PLDs) in Secondary Schools
  • Research Data Management for Secondary Analysis and Reuse: Foundational Phase Implementation towards a Lifecycle Model
  • Development of a Tool for decision making on subject placement in secondary schools
  • Paving the Way Towards Lifewide and Lifelong Learning: Exploring and Fostering Metacognition for Learning and Transfer
  • Examining educational transitions and pathways in Singapore: From secondary to post-secondary.
  • Understanding the Development and Drivers of Adolescents' EducationalPathways: The Singapore Longitudinal Cohort Study (Phase 1 of Year 1)
Courses Taught
Scale Measurement and Validation in Educational Research (Postgraduate)
Structural Equation Modeling in Educational Research (Postgraduate)
Educational Enquiry (Postgraduate)
Research Methods (Undergraduate)
Social Context of Education (Undergraduate)
Supervision of PhD Students
Regina Lim (Co-supervisor) (Thesis Title: Facilitating Positive Youth Development through Youth Sport: The Role of Motivational Climates and Adult Social Agents in Secondary School Sport Teams) (Completed in 2021)

Wong Zi Yang (Thesis Advisory Committee) (Thesis Title: Student Engagement in Learning Activities: Construct Refinement and Scale Development)