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Transcript of Singapore
Conflict Immigration: Arab
Economic Immigration: Turk
Homogeneous... increasingly diverse in urban areas
Solidarity & Social Democratic History
Cradle to Grave Social Safety Net
Enviable standard of living
Global City State
British colony until 1959
Low skill manufacturing in 1970's
Late 80's – Global center for financial services
Technically democratic... one party rule since independence
Inter-ethnic violence after independence
Continues to haunt policy-makers
Housing & social engineering
Manpower ministry & education ministry collaboration
Significant student tracking
Gateway exams at each level of schooling
“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!
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
Long history & deep cultural roots of examination culture!
3 Decades of Slow Reform
Teachers: MA required
Extensive training in curriculum & pedagogy
Teachers have professional autonomy
Professional development and school-based research
Considerable leeway provided to tailor to student needs
Matriculation exam... random sampling techniques
Consistently high PISA scores
Scores have bee slipping
Rising concern but no major course changes on the horizon
Still above average
Immigrant student population performs at same level of native student population
Percent of GDP below OECD average
Social Institutional Approach
Professionalism & Autonomy
Sahlberg – 'culture of trust'
Focus on learning... not accountability
Full Service Schools
Compulsory Ages 7-16
Health, dental, mental healthcare provided
Free school lunches
Teacher made formative assessment
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
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
Social Institutional Approach
Policy-makers, teachers, business community
Values knowledge already in the system
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 . . .