Re-conceptualising Teacher Preparation in the Era of New Educational Initiatives in Singapore

Year: 2001

Author: Deng, Zongyi, Gopinathan, S.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This article attempts to provide a better conceptual understanding of the reforms needed in teacher education in Singapore the era of new educational initiatives. It first analyses certain dominant paradigms with regard to teaching, what it means to be a teacher, and teacher education programmes. It next examines Singapore's new initiatives through reviewing policy documents on required changes to teaching and on efforts to professionalise teachers, focusing on the underlying assumptions, logic, and implications. We scrutinise these in the light of empirical evidence on teaching in Singapore and scholarly literature on teaching and teacher education, through invoking the ideas of John Dewey, John Wilson, and Israel Scheffler. The article argues for a more solid conceptual basis for attempts to reform teaching and teacher education. It identifies important questions and problems teacher educators, policy makers, and researchers need to confront if genuine change is to be realised.