HSSE 'Brown Bag' Seminar  Education, culture and the Singapore developmental state, 1955-2004

HSSE 'Brown Bag' Seminar Education, culture and the Singapore developmental state, 1955-2004

Date & Time

05 February 2014, 00:00

Venue

NIE 3-02-27

Department

Humanities & Social Studies Education (HSSE)

Events Details

About the Topic

This presentation is based on Dr Chia’s upcoming book titled Education, Culture and the Singapore Development State: The Loss of the ‘World Soul’? Dr Chia examines the role of education in the formation of the Singapore developmental state, through a historical study of education for citizenship in Singapore (1955 – 2004), where the interconnections between changes in history, civics and social studies curricula, and the politics of nation-building are explored. This is in effect a historical study of citizenship education in Singapore, in which a comparative study of history, civics and social studies curricula, and the politics and policies that underpin them are examined. Building on existing scholarship on education and state formation, the presentation goes beyond the conventional notion of seeing education as providing the skilled workforce for the economy, to mapping out cultural and ideological dimensions of the role of education in the developmental state. The story of state formation through citizenship education in Singapore is that of a culture of crisis management that is driven by an innate sense of vulnerability and a survivalist mentality of the People’s Action Party (PAP) government. Essentially, it is also the story of the management of crises (imagined, real or engineered) by the developmental state of Singapore, and how the changes in history, civics and social studies curricula, served to legitimize the state, through the educating and moulding of the desired “good citizen” and nation building. Underpinning these changes is the state’s use of cultural values such as Confucianism and Asian values to shore up its legitimacy.

About the Speakers

Dr. Chia Yeow Tong is a Lecturer in History Curriculum Education in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney. A NIE alumnus, Dr. Chia was a history and social studies teacher, and was a National Education Officer in MOE HQ before pursuing his doctoral studies. He received his Ph.D. from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto in the fields of history of education as well as comparative, international and development education. His research interests include history education and citizenship education in Singapore and Australia, the teaching of Chinese history in Ontario’s high schools, Chinese Canadian history in Canadian history education, and education and developmental state formation.