Singapore’s 21st-Century Teaching Strategies
The following video was posted on the wonderful edutopia.org website. It explains the contemporary approaches and strategies Singapore is adopting in their education system.
As a teacher, I want to teach in an environment like this and if I were a student I’d want to go to a school like this. Undoubtedly we only see the best and glossy side of this system in the video, but it clearly is working. Singapore came 5th in the world (averaged across reading, maths and science) in the 2009 PISA tests. The UK came 25th.
I particularly admire the way the schools are embracing social networking technologies, reclaiming them for learning purposes. Also, the way in which the head teacher says he considers fun an important ingredient in school is very refreshing.
The following Fast Facts were taken directly from the Edutopia article which can be accessed here.
Singapore Fast Facts
- When Singapore gained its independence in 1965, most of its population of two million people were unskilled and illiterate.
- The government invested in education, and by the early 1970s, all children had access to lower secondary education.
- In 2009, the first year Singapore participated in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests, they placed near the top for all tested subjects: fifth for reading, second for mathematics, and fourth for science. See all 2009 PISA scores.
- Teaching is a highly-respected and well-compensated profession in Singapore. All teachers are trained at the country’s National Institute of Education (NIE).
- All new teachers are paired with experienced teachers for mentoring, and peer feedback is built into the schedule.
- Teachers are entitled to 100 low or no-cost hours of professional development each year.
- There are approximately 522,000 students attending about 350 schools in Singapore’s education system.
- Class sizes are large, especially at the secondary level, averaging 36 students per class.