Singapore

Taming “Issue Investigation”: Singapore Secondary Social Studies Teachers’ Accounts of Challenges Encountered and Strategies for Coping

"The upper-secondary Social Studies (SS) syllabus (Express/Normal-Academic) released in Singapore in 2016 introduced an inquiry-based component called “Issue Investigation” (II). Given the relatively recent nature of this introduction, so far there has been little research on II. Drawing on a small qualitative study, this article reports on some of the typical challenges experienced by Singapore SS teachers in implementing and enacting II, as well as the coping strategies they developed. According to these teachers’ accounts, II was from the outset hindered by an exam-driven pragmatic attitude prevalent in Singapore schools; whereas specific enactment challenges included the II’s (perceived) overwhelming scope and depth, time constraints, and deficits of certain skills or preparedness among students and teachers. Faced with these challenges, teachers developed broadly two types of coping strategies—simplification and “piggybacking”—to tame II by making it manageable, both for the students and for themselves."

Teaching Place, “Placing” the Learner: Understanding the Geographies of Place

Immigration, Population, and Foreign Workforce in Singapore: An Overview of Trends, Policies, and Issues

Teaching Cultural Diversity and Sense of Identity in the Primary Two Social Studies Classroom in Singapore: Analysis and Critique

"According to Rose (2016), images display the world in particular ways through “made meanings” or representations that are socially and culturally constructed. Visual images form part of teaching resources used in classrooms and hence play an important role in the construction of knowledge for children. This paper examines how cultural diversity and identity are taught in Singapore in order to understand the extent to which it fosters or hinders the understanding of the complexities of cultural diversity and identity through a curriculum critique of the reader New Girl in Town which is used within Primary Two classrooms as a teaching resource for cultural appreciation. Through semiology as critical visual methodology, this study examines how dominant ideologies of cultural diversity and identity as defined by the state are represented and reinforced through the images presented in the reader. Key findings from this study highlight the implications of representing cultural diversity and identity as static and non-complex constructions of individuals and the extent to which it hinders the understanding of cultural diversity and identity."

The Elected Presidency

"Scheduled for September, the coming presidential election is one of the most anticipated public events of 2017. While the populations of larger democratic countries have to contend with numerous regional and local elections that may cause electoral fatigue, Singaporeans get to express their democratic voice only once every two to three years. This year’s election, though, is especially anticipated by the Malay community because for the first time, the presidential election will be reserved for Malays."

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An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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