Social Studies and Social Studies Education

This strand includes courses that address specific topics within the Social Studies syllabus such as governance and public policy. Other courses include Social Studies and curriculum theory, and Citizenship Education in a global age.

Social Studies and Social Studies Education (4AUs)
MAS 910 Governance and Public Policy
MAS 916 Social Studies in Today’s Schools
MAS 917 Citizenship Education in a Global Age
MAS 918 Social Studies and Curriculum Theory
MAS 938 Economic Issues in Social Studies
MAS 939 Action Research for Social Studies Teachers
MAS 940 Curriculum Leadership in Social Studies
MAS947 Sociology of Education


Course Synopses

MAS 910 Governance and Public Policy

This course aims to provide an introduction to issues and research in governance and public policy. Key objectives include learning about different theoretical approaches and research studies, conducting a critical examination of important issues, and understanding the rationales for the varied approaches to governance and public policy making in Singapore and other national contexts. The sessions that are designed for this course are intended to engage the class participants in a process of defining and learning about the structures and agency in governance as well as the translation of decisions concerning national and local issues into public policy.

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MAS 916 Social Studies in Today’s Schools

This course explores the history and theory of the idea of social studies as an interdisciplinary, social issues oriented subject. Concepts such as citizenship, multicultural education and global education will be examined. A variety of approaches to using information from history and the social sciences in the exploration of social issues will be reviewed and analyzed. The focus of the course is on social studies in schools.

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MAS 917 Citizenship Education in a Global Age

This course considers the implications for education of the young in a globalising world and the challenges posed to nationhood, nation-states and national identity as well as citizenship. In a context like that of Singapore’s which emphasises economic success in a global stage and has introduced a foreign talent policy, the challenge is to develop in the citizenry the sense of citizenship, belonging and national identity particularly among the most mobile of the citizens – the young, brightest and most highly skilled.

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MAS 918 Social Studies and Curriculum Theory

This course is a general overview of major modern curriculum theorists and the ways in which they have influenced the development of the social studies. Debates about the meaning of curriculum and various approaches to the development and understanding of curriculum will shed light on current social studies curriculum in Singapore. Students will become familiar with processes for the development and analysis of the planned curriculum in social studies.

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MAS 938 Economic Issues in Social Studies

Economic considerations factor significantly in decision-making by governments in the provision of healthcare, education, defence and other public services. International relations also entail consideration of economic benefits from trade, business, investment and employment that directly impact a country’s living standard and its citizens’ well-being. This course will enable participants to examine public policy decisions by governments, in particular, in the context of Singapore, from the economic perspective. It will be particularly useful for teachers who do not have a basic degree in economics, as it will allow them to acquire an understanding of basic economic concepts and theories and their application in public policy issues.

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MAS 939 Action Research for Social Studies Teachers

This course seeks to encourage critical and systematic inquiry and collaboration amongst social studies practitioners through action research. It aims to bring about reflective practice and professional learning anchored on a commitment to improve one’s teaching practice. This course will focus on the work of scholars in the fields of action research and social studies, examining the key concepts of action research and its theoretical underpinnings, as well as its current status and relevant research methods. Participants will plan and conduct an action research project situated in their own teaching practice and through it, reflect upon issues of national education, values and citizenship education.

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MAS 940 Curriculum Leadership in Social Studies

Social Studies is one of the most important subjects for citizenship education. Many issues and challenges are involved in the implementation of Social Studies. This course therefore aims to prepare participants to lead in curriculum development, pedagogical innovations and professional development. Participants will be encouraged to examine the distinction between curriculum management and leadership in addition to opportunities for collaborative curriculum design and professional discourse on the theory and practice of curriculum leadership.

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MAS947 Sociology of Education

This course introduces students to key perspectives and themes in the sociology of education. Sociology of education studies education as an integral part of larger social systems and institutions, often with a critical view on the ways in which education is implicated in the relations of power and inequality that traverse these systems and institutions. Theoretical perspectives covered in this course include the functionalist, the Marxist/Marxian, and various other critical perspectives hinging on social differences such as culture, power, gender, race/ethnicity. Other important themes such as neoliberal-ism/ization, globalization and inter-/trans-national mobility, curriculum, critical pedagogy and alternative education, are also examined.

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