Singapore Curriculum Philosophy: A study of Singapore teachers' beliefs about teaching and learning

Project Number
SUG 13/14 TLS

Project Duration
September 2014 - May 2016

Status
Completed

Abstract
This study aims to investigate teachers’ beliefs about curriculum and how their beliefs are associated with their pedagogical practices which in turn shape students’ learning. Research evidence from the OECD (2009) shows that teachers’ beliefs, practices and attitudes are closely associated with teachers’ strategies to shape students’ learning, school improvement and effectiveness, as well as teachers’ professional development. Specifically, teachers’ beliefs about curriculum guide their pedagogical practices in the classrooms. It is pivotal to understand teachers’ beliefs about curriculum as the teacher contributes to about 30% of student learning outcome (Hattie, 2003). Although curriculum orientations have been widely discussed in the literature, in Singapore, the extent to which teachers hold these curriculum orientations is not documented and research on teachers’ beliefs and curriculum orientations are scarce. Moreover, Singapore has attracted much international attention after her significant, sustained, and widespread gains in student outcomes academic attainment such as the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). It is timely to examine the implied curriculum philosophies underpinning the Singapore system in collaboration with the Curriculum Policy Office (CPO) at the Ministry of Education (MOE) as they are embarking on a nation-wide documentation of teachers’ beliefs about curriculum and pedagogical practices. The analyses of this system-wide study might likely surface curriculum ideologies which are unique to Singapore’s context.

Funding Source
MOE

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