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Singapore

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by

Ashlee Anderson

on 20 October 2016

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Transcript of Singapore

Singapore
Finland
Demographics
Finn
Swede/Sami
Conflict Immigration: Arab
Ecnomic Immigration: Turk
Homogeneous... increasingly diverse in urban areas

Welfare State
Solidarity & Social Democratic History
Cradle to Grave Social Safety Net
High-tech capitalism
Globally competitive
Enviable standard of living
Context
Demographics
74.2% Chinese
13.3% Malay
9.2% Indian
Global City State
British colony until 1959
Low skill manufacturing in 1970's
Late 80's – Global center for financial services
Activist Governance
Technically democratic... one party rule since independence
Social unity!
Inter-ethnic violence after independence
Continues to haunt policy-makers
Housing & social engineering
Public-private collaboration
Workforce planning
Structure
National System
Highly centralized
Manpower ministry & education ministry collaboration
Significant student tracking
Gateway exams at each level of schooling
Compulsory: 7-15

Trends
“Thinking Schools, Learning Nation”
Creative thinking & lifelong learning
De-emphasize examination system
STEM & inquiry skills
Build national character
Inter-ethnic violence after independence continues to haunt policy-makers
Broaden Curricula & Assessment
Projects & experiential learning
Portfolios in addition to assessment scores!
Outcomes
Top of PISA
Generally considered to be a meritocratic system
Although students w/ disabilities might beg to differ
Math Curriculum Envy of the World
Covers less material
More depth and application
Use maths to solve problems... not just mechanics
Push back over de-emphasis of gateway exams
Older teachers less than willing to embrace change
Parents' experiences
Long history & deep cultural roots of examination culture!
Goals
Increase democracy
Greater efficiency
Enhance professionalism
3 Decades of Slow Reform
Teachers: MA required
Extensive training in curriculum & pedagogy
Research-based teaching
School Autonomy
Teachers have professional autonomy
Professional development and school-based research
National Curriculum
Loose suggestions
Considerable leeway provided to tailor to student needs
Assessment
Matriculation exam... random sampling techniques
Trends
Consistently high PISA scores
Scores have bee slipping
Rising concern but no major course changes on the horizon
Still above average
Extreme equity
Immigrant student population performs at same level of native student population
Cost efficient
Percent of GDP below OECD average
Outcomes
Approach Taken?
Social Institutional Approach
Professionalism & Autonomy
Sahlberg – 'culture of trust'
Focus on learning... not accountability
Context
Structure
Full Service Schools
Compulsory Ages 7-16
Learning Supplies
Health, dental, mental healthcare provided
Free school lunches

Student Assessment
Teacher made formative assessment
No grades
Random-sampling assessment to gauge system
Primary education (6 years)
Four-year foundation stage
Secondary education (4-5 years)
Based on the results of the Primary School leaving examination, students are admitted to an express (60% of students), normal academic (25%) or normal technical (15%) course in secondary school.
Students in the express course follow a four-year programme culminating in the general certificate of education (gce) o-level exam.
Students in the normal academic course follow a four-year course to gce n-level and may sit for o-levels in year five.
The normal technical programme prepares students for technical higher education, jobs or the postsecondary ite after a four-year programme leading to the gce-n level.
10 years of compulsory education
Decentralization
Give individual schools greater autonomy
Cluster schools under supervisor
Teachers & Administration
Teacher-led professional development University training... MA required
Move from didactic teaching and test prep Collaborative website... exchange ideas
What approach?
Social Institutional Approach
Systemic collaboration
Policy-makers, teachers, business community
Values knowledge already in the system
Capacity building
Transfer of ideas through system
Move away from test prep toward critical thinking & authentic learning
Although there is cultural pushback, largely as the result of the long history of the examination system in Singapore and its deep cultural roots in East Asian testing culture
Let's see it . . .
Full transcript