Dr. Imelda Santos Caleon is an Assistant Dean on Partnerships and Programme Director of the Lifelong Learning, Cognition and Well-being Research Programme at the Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education (NIE), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. She received Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees from NTU; a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and a Master of Science degree in Teaching Physics from the De La Salle University, Philippines. She was a three-time recipient of the Dean’s Commendation for Research Award from NIE.
She is experienced in conducting studies using both experimental and mixed-methods research methodologies. Her main research interests are in the areas of science education and positive education. In marrying these two fields, her foremost intent was to utilize and develop approaches rooted in positive psychology to facilitate learners' conceptual and mindset change, and build resources (emotional, psychological, social and cognitive) that can help learners, especially students placed at risk, to thrive in school and beyond.
Her research portfolio amounts to about USD2.16M of competitive research funds. She has led a number of research projects, three of which involved the development, application and evaluation of positive education packages to cultivate hope, gratitude, character strengths and resilience among secondary students. The positive education packages that her research team developed have been used by more than 3000 students from several schools in Singapore, as well as in a college and a school system in the Philippines. She has completed two large-scale studies on resilience: the first focused on the mechanisms involved in the development of students’ academic resilience; the second involved an exploration of teaching practices that facilitate the development of students’ academic resilience and well-being. Her research on resilience was featured in The Straits Times. Her research findings have been published in peer-reviewed international journals such as the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Research in Science Education, International Journal of Science Education, European Journal of Psychological Assessment, Educational Psychology, Journal of Early Adolescence and Child Indicators Research. She is an editorial board member of Educational and Developmental Psychologist. She has conducted close to 100 presentations and workshops in Singapore, as well as in other Asian countries; of these presentations, 70 were invited presentations and mostly focused on positive psychology and positive education.
She has been working closely with several schools in Singapore, as a research collaborator or consultant, to develop and implement positive education activities tailored for diverse groups of learners and to assess impact of school programmes. She is currently an appointed member of the School Advisory Committee of Westwood Primary School. She is one of the founding members of the Singapore Positive Education Network. She has also done consultancy work on assessment at the Singapore Ministry of Education.
Before embarking on a full-time research-focused academic career, Dr. Caleon was a physics lecturer for two years and then a secondary school physics teacher for ten years.