AME Institute for Secondary School Teachers

Problems in Real-World Contexts: Principles of Design

Dr Yeo Boon Wooi Joseph

In this workshop, the participants will learn how to design Problems in Real-World Contexts (PRWC) for O-level and N(A)-level examinations. They will be introduced to four design principles called the Really MAD principles: Realistic Principle, Mathematical Principle, Activity Principle and Documentation Principle. In addition, the participants will be guided through some practical steps on how to incorporate the Really MAD principles in the design of PRWC. Other issues that will be discussed in the workshop include: how to make the PRWC big enough to be worth about 8 to 10 marks, what kind of real-world information should be provided in the PRWC, how open should the PRWC be, when and how to tweak the real-world information, how to write the part-questions, how to write the mark scheme, and how to fit the PRWC in the Table of Specifications when setting an exam paper. The participants will be given time in the workshop to design, either individually or in groups, a PRWC to use for their exam.

Bio: Dr Yeo Boon Wooi Joseph is a lecturer in the Mathematics and Mathematics Education Academic Group at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is the first author of the New Syllabus Mathematics textbooks used in many secondary schools in Singapore, and he has extensive experience in designing activities for learning experiences and for problems in real-world contexts. His research interests are on innovative pedagogies that engage the minds and hearts of mathematics learners, which include the use of an inquiry approach to learning mathematics (e.g. guided-discovery learning and investigation), ICT, and motivation strategies to arouse students’ interest (e.g. catchy maths songs, amusing maths videos, witty comics, intriguing puzzles and games, and real-life examples and applications). He is also the Chairman of Singapore and Asian Schools Math Olympiad (SASMO) Advisory Council, and the creator of Cheryl’s birthday puzzle that went viral in 2015.

Day 1: 13 March 2018 (Tuesday) : 9am – 4pm
Day 2: 14 March 2018 (Wednesday) : 9am – 12pm (Total: 9 hours)

National Institute of Education (Singapore)
Training Room : TR 716
Blk 7, level 1

30 participants


non-AME member $170 Early bird rate: $150
AME member $150 Early bird rate: $130

Early Bird Registration: 15 to 31 January 2018
Normal Registration: From 1 February 2018

Due to overwhelming response, all places have been filled. To be placed on waiting list, please send an email to
We regret to inform that the waiting list has also been completely filled.