Holdsworth: As someone who has helped train most of the principals in your education system, what is the most common challenge that Singapore principals face, and what advice do you offer? A Cambridge Approach to improving education: Using international insights to manage complexity, NCEE (2016). Good teachers are the pillars of a good education system, which develops the citizens and workforce of the country. Lower attrition, more students having vocational technical opportunities and closer education-economy, fit was achieved. (We saw one example of this in the experimental curriculum design at Nanyang High School (more here)). Disruption is our teacher. They are our future.”. for Holdsworth updates, learning resources and inspiration, Be the kind of leader who shares, not hoards. Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Rowling by Anders Norén. Many Singaporeans explained it was simply because Singapore is small. But visits to other countries have left me in awe of a lesson, a school or a training approach. Singapore’s Education System To Go Through Major Restructuring. Education in Singapore: 4) A creative & critical curriculum? Moreover, teachers, academics, teacher educators and policy-makers know one another, having all progressed within the same, small system. For example, trainee teachers’ final practicums (placements) are ten weeks long, include eight observations and three ‘focused conversations’ between mentors and trainees. Blended learning – a reflection on the past six weeks, How do you catch coronavirus? With the upcoming changes in Singapore education system, I am confident that the Singapore education system flaws will be overshadowed by its benefits. I’ve tried to show how this fits together in the model below: This model is not even complete: there are many more interactions: between schools, through clusters, between the ministry and the National Institute of Education, and so on. Is this cost worth it? Singapore’s secondary system provides different tracks and subjects to meet a range of abilities and needs. I’m particularly grateful to Oliver Caviglioli for his comments on a draft of the system diagram, and to the Singaporean teacher whose comments are included in the discussion of the system. How have you worked to expand on that success? Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. If so, how? Your email address will not be published. In 1966, Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, said: “Just as a country is as good as its citizens, so its citizens are, really, only as good as their teachers.” After primary school, children move onto secondary school, which runs for students aged from around 12, to 16 or 17. This is costing developing countries billions of dollars a year in wasted education funding. To build communication skills, leaders must ensure they are not “hoarding” four important things – information, power, praise and their true self. Improving teaching and learning: ideas for heads of department, 28 hinge questions to use, adapt and refine. Singapore had created a system of ‘high averages’ with high levels of post-secondary participation in further training and education. It is more than filling a vessel with knowledge—it is to light a fire in our young people. As Professor Ng puts it: “The way that Singapore has approached these changes matters even more than the changes themselves (2017, p.179).”  Dr Lim Lai Chang at Singapore Management University made the case even more strongly: “It doesn’t matter what your model is, just stick to one and do it well.”  Success is not a result of any one policy: “Every part of the system is integrated and interacts intensely together to develop and implement a coherent and sustainable action plan (Ng, 2017, p.188).”, Singapore’s approach can be interpreted through the ‘control factors’ described in a recent Cambridge Assessment report (2017). I’m particularly grateful to Oliver Caviglioli for his comments on a draft of the system diagram, and to the Singaporean teacher whose comments are included in the discussion of the system. As a professor, head of the Policy and Leadership Studies Academic Group at the National Institute of Education, and author of Learning from Singapore: The Power of Paradoxes, Singapore’s Pak Tee Ng has spent his career sharing the wisdom of his country’s education system, which has garnered accolades across the world for its effectiveness. Once there, they design excellent curricula and effective support for teachers: this creates a virtuous cycle; good support and leadership attracts and retains teachers, and so on. Education in Singapore: 1) Making sense of Singapore’s priorities, Education in Singapore: 2) The pressure on students. When seen as an investment, one aims only to maximize the return on investment. Ng: First of all, it’s much easier said than done. Ng: One major strength is the great diversity within the system, which allows for pockets of excellence and many innovative practices throughout the country. It’s up to each and every teacher to make the narrative of education more positive. Some 30% o less academically inclined students take vocational and technical subjects, and schools build close links to institutes o technical education and polytechnics. Singapore’s education system has been much lauded for its achievements in ... and improve teaching and learning in the areas tested. An initial teacher trainer described every teacher’s educational philosophy as unique, but it is unclear how sustainable this is in a highly structured system. So, if there is no secret ingredient, what is the secret of Singapore’s success? SINGAPORE - The education system is in the process of being "loosened up" to reduce stress on students, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Wednesday (May 30).. Read more at straitstimes.com. We’re also opening more pathways for students to find success in their own way. As a result, principals in Singapore work more in a “centralized decentralization” paradigm, an approach that aims to achieve “strategic alignment, tactical empowerment.”. This is what Singapore is constantly changing to become – an excellent system of schools for all, not a system with some excellent schools for a few (Ng, 2017, p.188).”, In this, Singapore has been successful – but a tightly aligned system incurs costs too. The National Center on Education and the Economy. Cambridge Assessment (2017). Holdsworth: How do you go about changing the culture of an entire system to reach those new goals? (How do you avoid it? My visit convinced me that there’s a secret, but no ‘secret ingredient’. These carefully-selected teachers receive good training, careful induction and excellent professional development. How has this been achieved? Education in Singapore: 2) The pressure on students Ng: In Singapore, it’s quite clear that the principal is both the head of the school and a member of the leadership fraternity that leads the entire school system. Education in Singapore: 5) Attracting, developing and keeping teachers Singapore’s educational success is due to the cumulative effect of many aligned elements of the system. Education in Singapore: 6) ‘The best trained teachers in the world’. The issue of how the Singapore education system is too stressful, however, is one that is unlikely to be resolved easily. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Posted on March 19, 2017 By Professor Sing-Kong Lee. Education in Singapore: 7) The secret of Singapore’s success. Why is Singapore able to achieve this? The recent “Life Beyond Grades” movement is the latest to tackle the issue of Singapore’s excessive emphasis on grades. Ng, P. T. (2007). Education in Singapore: 4) A creative & critical curriculum? It is about opening doors for our children and giving them hope and opportunities. Would be good if you could develop more in your next post. We believe that in hard times, the way to rise above is with education. In recent years, Singapore’s Ministry of Education (MOE) has also announced several changes to the education system for primary and secondary school students. Education in Singapore: 1) Making sense of Singapore’s priorities Thanks another very interesting post. Teachers aim to develop an intrinsic motivation for learning and an attitude of lifelong learning. Singapore’s Education … Image credit: Nicola Sap De Mitri. I don’t mean this by way of criticism: something amazing is happening. Singapore’s experience and its current efforts to improve the quality of teaching and learning do have important, if ironic, implications for systems that hope to emulate its success. SINGAPORE: Measures will be announced in the coming days to “significantly improve” the education system, said Education Minister Ong Ye Kung on Sunday (Feb 17).