Art teacher preparation in Singapore: Exploring graduate and diploma beginner Art Teachers' Teaching Practices

Year: 2012

Author: Kehk, Bee Lian

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


The main purpose of this research is to explore the teaching practices of beginner art teachers in secondary schools who have graduated from the different programmes in NIE. Unlike countries such as the USA, Singapore does not have many alternative 'certification' programmes for teacher preparation. Most Singaporean teachers undergo training in NIE since NIE is the only teachers training college in the country. However, there still exist within the institution different initial teacher preparation programmes. In this study, we look at NIE's BA programme which is a 4-year programme and the Diploma programme, which is a 2-year programme since these two programmes have a relatively significant intake. This issue regarding the length of teacher education is highlighted by Arthur Levine, previous president of Teachers College, Columbia University. He laments the lack of standard approach to teacher education, unlike law and medicine (2006) since there is no minimum requirement for the period of teacher education which can range from one year to five years. His comments reflect the situation in art teacher training in Singapore. Unlike subjects such as English, mathematics and sciences which are only taught by graduate teachers in secondary schools, art can be taught by either graduate or diploma teachers. Therefore, we believe that it is imperative to find out more about the teaching practices of these two groups of newly graduated art teachers as it has direct implications for NIE initial teacher training as well as policies regarding teacher education.