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Recruiting, Training, and Supporting a 21st Century Teaching Profession: The Case of Singapore
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Recruiting, Training, and Supporting a 21st Century Teaching Profession: The Case of Singapore


by Goh Chor Boon

by Goh Chor Boon

Published in Education
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  • 1. Recruiting, Training, and Supporting a 21st Century Teaching Profession: The Case of Singapore Dr Goh Chor Boon National Institute of Education Singapore
  • 2.
    • A “Little Red Dot” without natural resources – the development of Singapore’s human resources is the key to its continual survival in a competitive world economy.
    • Hence, the mission of Singapore’s “ability-driven” education system is to develop every young Singaporean to his or her maximal potential. Encapsulated in the “Thinking Schools, Learning Nation” vision launched in June 1997.
  • 3.
    • Basic principle:
    • “ Quality Teacher = Quality Education”
    • Recruitment of teachers is based on the top 30% of each cohort entering the education system, ensuring that education has some of our best graduates moulding the hearts and minds of young Singaporeans.
  • 4.
    • MOE selects the “student-teachers” who are considered employees of MOE and paid a salary while undergoing full-time initial teacher training at the National Institute of Education (NIE).
  • 5. Preparing the trainee and novice teacher
    • Centralized under one well-planned, well-staffed institute to ensure uniformity of standards (at least in terms of content knowledge and pedagogical skills)
    • One-fifth off-loading of the normal responsibility load in first year of teaching so that time can be spent on observing experienced teachers in the classroom and on-the-job training
  • 6. Continual upgrading
    • 100 hours of professional training a year
    • Approved study leave (with either half or full-monthly pay depending on years of service)
    • More public recognition to outstanding teachers
  • 7.
    • Singapore has its “Continual Professional Development Model” (PDCM) which allows several pathways for teachers to progressively acquire higher certifications (including masters and PhDs) through accreditation process.
    • It is envisioned that by 2015, at least 50% of Singapore’s 28,000 teachers will have at least a masters degree.
  • 8.
    • Professionalism of teachers is increasingly emphasized, especially in the concept of lifelong learning through continual professional development.
    • Teachers taking ownership of their own professional development programme.
  • 9.
    • Professional development is inextricably linked to performance appraisal of teachers.
    • Consistent quest for subject knowledge mastery, new pedagogical skills and involvement in action research is seen as critical effort on the part of the teacher to improve his professionalism.
  • 10. Emphasis on developing school leadership
    • Customized leadership programme to match the changing demands of school leaders
    • Entrepreneurial leadership through innovative actions and decision making encouraged
  • 11. Seamless collaboration
    • Seamless flow of decisions and actions between MOE, NIE and schools
  • 12. Critical success factors in sustaining a quality teaching workforce in Singapore
      • Selection of the “right” candidates with passion for teaching.
      • Quality of teacher education programmes offered by NIE.
      • Teacher welfare (including physical and mental well-being) is a high priority exercised by MOE.