University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > ELPEC Group Seminars > Education Reforms in Singapore: From "Thinking Schools, Learning Nation" to "Teach Less Learn More"

Education Reforms in Singapore: From "Thinking Schools, Learning Nation" to "Teach Less Learn More"

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RSVP: Lynday Upex (lju20@cam.ac.uk)

Motivated by a pre-occupation with the future, Singapore’s vision of ‘Thinking Schools, Learning Nation’ (TSLN) was launched in 1997. Thinking Schools aims to develop creative thinking skills, lifelong learning passion and nationalistic commitment in the young. Learning Nation aims to make learning a national culture, encouraging creativity and innovation at every level of society, which goes beyond schools and educational institutions. A suite of reforms followed the launch of the vision, including the adoption of an ability driven education paradigm, National Education and the IT Master-plan.

In 2004, Prime Minister Lee called on Singapore teachers to “teach less” so that students might “learn more”. In 2005, the Ministry of Education clarified this philosophical statement to mean a transformation of learning to focus on quality rather than quantity. This “Teach Less Learn More” (TLLM) initiative attempts to change the fundamental nature of education in Singapore. In this seminar, the speaker presents an overview of the recent education reforms in Singapore, describes the TLLM initiative, and discusses its major implications and challenges for schools in Singapore. In particular, the challenge for schools is to go beyond the form of the initiative to bring real, substantial and sustainable educational change through this movement, a goal that is not easily achieved in a culture of performativity in the education system. Schools are put in a position to think out of the box while doing well within the box.

This talk is part of the ELPEC Group Seminars series.

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