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


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by Goh Chor Boon

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

  1. 1. Recruiting, Training, and Supporting a 21st Century Teaching Profession: The Case of Singapore Dr Goh Chor Boon National Institute of Education Singapore
  2. 2. <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Basic principle: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Quality Teacher = Quality Education” </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>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). </li></ul>
  5. 5. Preparing the trainee and novice teacher <ul><li>Centralized under one well-planned, well-staffed institute to ensure uniformity of standards (at least in terms of content knowledge and pedagogical skills) </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul>
  6. 6. Continual upgrading <ul><li>100 hours of professional training a year </li></ul><ul><li>Approved study leave (with either half or full-monthly pay depending on years of service) </li></ul><ul><li>More public recognition to outstanding teachers </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>It is envisioned that by 2015, at least 50% of Singapore’s 28,000 teachers will have at least a masters degree. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Professionalism of teachers is increasingly emphasized, especially in the concept of lifelong learning through continual professional development. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers taking ownership of their own professional development programme. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Professional development is inextricably linked to performance appraisal of teachers. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Emphasis on developing school leadership <ul><li>Customized leadership programme to match the changing demands of school leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Entrepreneurial leadership through innovative actions and decision making encouraged </li></ul>
  11. 11. Seamless collaboration <ul><li>Seamless flow of decisions and actions between MOE, NIE and schools </li></ul>
  12. 12. Critical success factors in sustaining a quality teaching workforce in Singapore <ul><ul><li>Selection of the “right” candidates with passion for teaching. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality of teacher education programmes offered by NIE. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher welfare (including physical and mental well-being) is a high priority exercised by MOE. </li></ul></ul>