Recent changes in primary teacher education in Singapore: beyond design and implementation

Year: 2001

Author: Goh, Khim Chuan, Gopinathan, Saravanan

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Primary teacher education in Singapore has taken on a different emphasis from one that was content biased to one that is more professionally based and integrated in nature. This repositioned degree programme, the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science (Education) was launched in July 2001. This paper outlines some of the thinking that went into the conceptualisation and design of the new degree programme and the objectives set for the programme to achieve. However, issues that go beyond the implementation stage have surfaced which question whether those objectives can indeed materialise. These include content mastery through one academic subject, content security in the other subjects found in the primary school curriculum, clarity of understanding of the curriculum content, and issues dealing with the practicum. In addition, new demands such as drama in education, minor specialisation, and national education to be made more explicit have exerted pressure on the need to further evaluate the degree programme. In short, can the new programme result in a teacher that is competent and confident enough to handle a class of primary school pupils in the future in the context of Singapore? These issues will be examined in this paper.