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    Associate Professor Kevin Blackburn was one of a group of historians who were asked by the National Museum of Singapore to advise them on their Witness to War: Remembering 1942 exhibition, which opened in September 2017. He was also one of the invited academic speakers at the international conference that was held to mark the opening of the exhibition, called ‘Exhibiting the Fall: Remembering and Representing War and Its Aftermath in Asia’. He spoke together with Associate Professor Ryoko Nakano from Kanazawa University in Japan on ‘Memory of the Japanese Occupation and Nation-Building in Southeast Asia.’ Their joint paper will be published in 2018 by the National Museum of Singapore in the planned book, Exhibiting the Fall. 


    On 21 November 2017, Associate Professor Kevin Blackburn was one of several historians featured in the Channel News Asia documentary, Japan’s Militarist Emperor. The documentary was an episode of the series, Asian Century. It featured a number of historians specializing on war in twentieth century Asian history, such as Rana Mitter, Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China at Oxford University. These historians discussed the responsibility of Emperor Hirohito for Japan’s wartime atrocities. Prof Blackburn covered how brutal was the Japanese Occupation of Southeast Asia. 


    On 25 July 2017, the National Institute of Education (NIE) was the venue for the 4th History Symposium, a teachers’ conference jointly organised by NIE’s Humanities and Social Studies Education (HSSE) Academic Group (AG), the History Unit in the Curriculum Planning and Development Division (CPDD), and the History Subject Chapter at the Academy of Singapore Teachers (AST). This annual event aims to provide a platform for history educators, at secondary and junior college levels, to share instructional strategies and resources, and works to promote a ground-up, teacher-driven collaborative culture in schools. A total of 147 history teachers attended this year’s event, together with CPDD officers, AST Master Teachers, NIE student teachers, museum educators and staff members from HSSE AG. read more

    LKY 23 Mar 5 Apr

    In March 2018, the Humanities and Social Studies Education (HSSE) Academic Group (AG) marked the third anniversary of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s passing in March 2013 by a board display in the Student Hub of the AG’s exclusive collection of photographs. The exhibition which started on 23 March and ended on 4 April featured the AG’s permanent photograph collection usually located in the Archives Room. The HSSE 2018 exhibition shared the AG’s collection of exclusive photographs taken by student, Mr. Muhammad Tirmidzi Khalid and a personal account by student, Mr. Laffyette Mitchel Didi with the rest of the NIE community through the display in the Student Hub.

  • Collaboration with History Association of Singapore

    Mr Chelva Rajah assumed the position of President in 2017. 

    The main mission of HAS is to promote the love for history through improving the teaching and learning of the subject in schools. 
    HAS celebrated its 50th Anniversary last year at the National Gallery. The main activities of HAS includes inviting historians and archaeologists to give talks, organising local and overseas field trips, and holding sharing sessions for teachers. HAS also invites nominations from schools annually for the Outstanding History Teacher Award. 

    Through HAS, HSSE is well-positioned to serve the interest of History teachers nationwide.

    Collaboration with MOE Teachers

    HSSE provides opportunities for Humanities teachers to collaborate and work with HSSE staff on areas of common interest such as research and writing.

    Ms Eulalia Han from CHIJ (Toa Payoh) worked with Dr Suhaimi Afandi on an article entitled ‘Developing Historical Habits of Mind through Inquiry’.

    HSSE also welcomes teachers to engage HSSE staff in meaningful conversations on issues related to classroom pedagogy, subject content as well as assessment and evaluation. 

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    Education, Industrialization, and the End of Empire in Singapore 

    In 2017, Associate Professor Kevin Blackburn, published the bookEducation, Industrialization, and the End of Empire in Singapore with Routledge. The book is one of the first works in the new series, ‘Routledge Studies in Educational History and Development in Asia’. It examines how the process of decolonization in the aftermath of the Japanese Occupation of Singapore affected how the state used education as an instrument of economic development. The work sees the origins of the Singapore developmental state, and its well-known ‘education-economy’ nexus, as lying in Singapore’s colonial past, and not, as commonly assumed, the result of Singapore’s ‘survivalist’ ethos after gaining independence.

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