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Thinking Schools, Learning Nation

MCT 802 Group Presentation
by

Ann Neo

on 22 October 2012

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Transcript of Thinking Schools, Learning Nation

Thinking Schools, Learning Nation Curriculum Conclusion Implications Salient Points Assessment Launch of TSLN in 1997
MOE’s Vision of TSLN
Education After The Launch of Thinking Schools, Learning Nation in 1997
Strengths of TSLN
Curriculum Ministry of Education's vision of "Thinking Schools, Learning Nation" (TSLN) was first announced by Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong in 1997.
Is designed to be the blueprint for Singapore schools in the 21st century.
The rationale is informed by a human capital ideology and a competitive nationalism that sees education as a social investment in preparing ‘human resources’ )(i.e. students) to participate in a global, competitive economy (Koh, 2002). Assessment
Teacher Professional Development
Salient Points from the Perspectives of MOE and Schools
Implications of TSLN
Conclusion
Reference This vision describes a nation of thinking and committed citizens capable of meeting the challenges of the future, and an education system geared to the needs of the 21st century.
Thinking schools will be learning organisations in every sense, constantly challenging assumptions, and seeking better ways of doing things through participation, creativity and innovation. Thinking Schools will be the cradle of thinking students as well as thinking adults and this spirit of learning should accompany our students even after they leave school. It promotes lifelong learning in our people. The capacity of Singaporeans to continually learn, both for professional development and for personal enrichment, will determine our collective tolerance for change.
It is a vision for a total learning environment, including students, teachers, parents, workers, community organizations, and government (Goh, 1997). 2011 – Enhancing Partnerships, Student-Centric and Values-Driven Education 2010 – SERI, PLC, AST 2009 – PERI, MP3, DOEs, Vision for Teaching Service 2008 – C2015, Enhancing Higher Education Sector 2007-Future Schools @ Singapore 2006 – GROW, Flexible School Infrastructure, Lead ICT @ Schools 2005 – Greater Diversity and Choice, One ITE & Three Colleges, Twinning Programme, SEL, Centres of Excellence 2004 – SEED, IP, DSA, Specialised Independent Schools, TLLM 2003 – I&E, MP2, EPMS 2001 – Edu-PAC 1999 – PRIME, COMPASS 1998 – SEM, Masterplan of Awards, Teachers’ Network, President’s Award for Teachers and Outstanding Youth in Education Award 1997 – TSLN, School Cluster Management System, First Masterplan for ICT in Education Following the launch of TSLN, new initiatives in pedagogy, curriculum and assessment … have also ensued (Koh, 2004) Meets the demands of the globalised economy
Promotes the integration of the various disciplines i.e. mathematics and science together with the English Language ( e.g. IPW)
Introduces the use of an engaging pedagogy to teach skills and values i.e. non-academic programmes (e.g. PAL)
Improves communication skills
Encourages self-directed learning and collaborative learning Curriculum 2 Key Ideas

Teachers to review the core of education
Students to be engaged learners Curriculum Teachers to review the core of education

“Why” and “What” we Teach

“Why”
Learner’s needs, interests and aspirations
Excite Passion
For Understanding
For Test of Life Curriculum Teachers to review the core of education

“Why” and “What” we Teach

“What”
Values, attitudes and mindsets
Process of Learning
Encourage curiosity and critical thinking through CCA, community engagement, whole school experience, and etc. Curriculum Teachers to review the core of education

Quality and not Quantity

10% to 30% content reduction
Curriculum ‘white space’
Customised curriculum Curriculum Students to be engaged learners

Active
Interested
Passionate
Proactive agents Curriculum Less dependence of rote learning, repetitive tests and ‘one size fits all’ instruction, through:

Differentiated teaching
Critical thinking skills
Discovery through experiences
Approaches and strategies
Learning of lifelong skills
Building of character Implementation of Project Work
Introduction of PERI/SERI/JERI

Bite-sized assessments
Qualitative/Formative assessments Assessment Assessments (PSLE, O levels and A levels) have not changed despite the changes made in the curriculum and pedagogies.
Emphasis is still on summative assessment though formative assessment (PW, authentic assessment) is promoted. Assessment Achieved quantity, not quality results
Learners who are disengaged and passive
Learners who are externally driven to perform, yet not inspired to learn
Initiative’s focus more on the ‘how’ rather than the ‘what’ and the ‘why’; i.e. I.T. Assessment Assessment Curriculum How does one tell if quality is achieved?

Has school based curriculum initiative worked?
Has content reduction materialised in reality? What does ‘customisation of curriculum’ refer to or has done?
Have the initiatives rolled out by MOE been more pedagogical based and not curricular based? How does one tell if quality is achieved?

What is the role of ‘bottom-up initiatives’ and ‘top-down support’?
What do they mean? Has it been effective?
How does each complement the other and help in the ‘review of the core of education’? What does engaged learning mean?

Are students more in control of their learning?
Is learning more meaningful and fulfilling?
Have they changed their learning outlook and practices?
Have teachers taken on a different role? Teacher Professional Development Developments in Teacher Professional Development

The establishment of Teachers Network in 1998, which has since evolved to Academy of Singapore Teachers in 2011,
The introduction of Enhanced Performance Management System (EPMS) in 2001,
The call for ‘bottom-up initiative, top-down support’ and school-based initiatives in the spirit of diversity and ‘peaks of excellence’. Professional development has continued to be one of the focuses of educational change and reform as part of official realisation of the need to invest in teachers.
Teo Chee Hean, the then Minister for Education, made the assertion that ‘teachers are key to everything that we do in the education system’ (MOE, 1998). Review of Teacher Professional Development

Professional development should adopt a much wider range of approaches,
Learning need to be collective, collaborative and community-oriented,
Professional development needs to be reflective and inquiry-based in view of growing need to embrace the imperatives of the knowledge economy and society. Review of Teacher Professional Development

Learning needs to be practical and integrated with work,
Professional development needs to be closely linked to educational student outcomes.
Professional learning ought to take place from initial teacher education to retirement,
Professional development needs the support of the organisational and institutional levels.
Cultural Readiness
Singapore’s cultural and social context
Performance-based society
Change in the concept of success
Role of parents and society Cultural Epistemology Readiness
Shift in fundamental ideas on epistemology in education Epistemology Cultural Systemic Epistemology Cultural Systemic Readiness
Structural changes and support (materials)
Assessment Readiness
Singapore’s results-oriented culture and its emphasis on academic excellene
More formative assessments, guidance and feedback, national examinations model
It functions independently off the curriculum review in TLLM

“The purpose of assessment is not primarily intended to enhance the quality of student learning, but in the case of national examinations in particular to function as ‘gatekeepers to educational opportunities throughout the Singaporean education system’.” (Gregory & Clarke, 2003: 70 in Tan, 2008). Assessment Systemic Epistemology Cultural
Teacher/Student Readiness
Change in teacher and student role and responsibilities
Teachers’ emphasis on rote learning

Teachers Professional Development
Professional development experiences need to be of substantial quality and coherently integrated to meet the needs of the students, teachers, schools and the eduational system.
Professional development experiences ought to bring about greater levels of meaning in teachers.
Professional development activities must go hand-in-hand with encouraging teachers’ autonomy. Teachers & Students Assessment Systemic Epistemology Cultural A Critical Perspective

"Thinking schools will be learning organisations in every sense, constantly challenging assumptions, and seeking better ways of doing things through participation, creativity and innovation. Thinking Schools will be the cradle of thinking students as well as thinking adults and this spirit of learning should accompany our students even after they leave school."

The initiatives currently rolled out are not fully consistent and coherent to the realization of the TSLN vision.
Work in Progress = Lost; to be Reclaimed
Finland’s Education Success
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daasAXJxcZM&feature=relmfu
Inside Finland’s Education System
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LpRQvKx6r0&feature=related
Singapore’s 21st Teaching Strategies
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_pIK7ghGw4&feature=relmfu Tan, J., & Ng, P.T. (Eds.). (2008). Thinking Schools, Learning Nation. Singapore: Prentice Hall.
Tan, C. (2006). Creating thinking schools through ‘knowledge and inquiry’: the curriculum challenges for Singapore. The curriculum journal, 17(1), 89-105.
Salleh, H. (2006). Action research in Singapore education: constraints and sustainability. Educational action research, 14 (4), 513-523.
Koh, A. (2004). Singapore education in “new times”: Global/local imperatives. Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education, 25 (3), 335-349. Goh, C. T. (1997). Speech by Prime Minister Goh Chook Tong at the opening of the 7th international conference on thinking on Monday, 2 June at The Suntec City Convention Centre, Singapore.
Koh, A. (2002). Towards a critical pedagogy: creating ‘thinking schools’ in Singapore. Journal of curriculum studies, 34 (3), 255-264.
MOE. Mission and vision statement. Retrieved on 12th Oct 2012, http://www3.moe.edu.sg/corporate/mission_statement.htm. Ng, P. T. (2009). Education reforms In Singapore: from ‘thinking schools, learning nation” to “teach less learn more”. Leadership for learning Group seminar on Thursday 05 November at Faculty of education, 184 Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 8 PQ. A Critical Perspective "Thinking schools will be learning organisations in every sense, constantly challenging assumptions, and seeking better ways of doing things through participation, creativity and innovation. Thinking Schools will be the cradle of thinking students as well as thinking adults and this spirit of learning should accompany our students even after they leave school."

The initiatives currently rolled out are not fully consistent and coherent to the realization of the TSLN vision.
Full transcript