Singapore’s Approach to Developing Teachers Hindsight, Insight, and Foresight
Singapore’s education system has come to international attention due to its commendable performance on the Worldwide Educating for the Future Index produced by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), as well as the students’ continual sterling performance in internationally benchmarked tests such as Trends in International Math and Science Survey (TIMSS), and Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). The accomplishments are the result of a long-haul vision of education, and more importantly, a deep commitment towards developing teachers for the 21st century. Singapore has invested steadfastly from the early years in teachers at the front line of the classrooms in schools. This book explicates the ‘thinking’ behind Singapore’s approach to developing teachers and building the teaching profession. It examines how Singapore strives to attract the best and the brightest people to become teachers, develop them into autonomous professionals, and grow them over their career so that they are able to deliver quality education for every child. The author hopes that by sharing the hindsight, insight and foresight of the system, and looking at Singapore's aspirations and challenges, the book can stimulate reflection and generate discussion, and provide ideas for improving teaching and teacher learning worldwide.
Part I The teaching profession 1. A national priority and a profession 2. Teacher status and symbol 3. Learning as part of the DNA 4. Optimise strengths and support growth 5. The Tripartite partnership Part II Preparing the teachers 6. Rooted in values 7. Significance of ownership 8. Clinical practice and teacher personhood 9. Cutting-edge technology and innovative pedagogy 10. Multiple perspectives and future-orientation
"It is widely known that as part of the national mindset, teachers in Singapore are highly appreciated and the teacher profession is attractive for young people. Woon Chia describes thoroughly in her book "Singapore’s Approach to Developing Teachers: Hindsight, Insight and Foresight", how professional teachers in Singapore are educated, what kind of competences they learn in initial teacher education and how they learn these competences. Woon Chia Liu helps the reader to understand the deep meaning of teacher professionalism through her interesting description on the education context of Singapore. I highly recommend the book to teacher educators, teachers, policymakers and persons who are responsible for the development of teachers at the national level."
- Jari Lavonen, Professor and Chair of the National Teacher Education Forum, University of Helsinki, Finland
"Around the world there is acute awareness of the importance of teachers to help students develop the competencies they need to thrive, but less clarity about how to achieve this. Woon Chia’s careful study of how Singapore prepares teachers could not be more relevant. A careful scholarly analysis of the conceptual underpinnings of Singapore’s framework for teacher education and of the programs of Singapore’s National Institute of Education of teacher education, the book benefits from the unique insights and knowledge of a scholar who has also been an architect and leader of the efforts it studies. Everyone interested in the future of the teaching profession should read this book, it will change the way you think about what it takes to support excellent teachers."
- Fernando M. Reimers, Ford Foundation Professor of the Practice of International Education and Director of the Global Education Innovation Initiative at the Harvard Graduate School of Education
"Teachers play an invaluable role in every society, but not every society appreciates their importance. In this rich and detailed work, Woon Chia reveals the Singaporean strategy of valuing, preparing, and supporting educators to facilitate the learning and development of citizens. This is a critical reading for school leaders, policy makers and researchers around the globe."
- Richard Ryan, Co-Founder of Self-Determination Theory, and Professor, Institute for Positive Psychology and Education, Australian Catholic University, North Sydney