The Policy and Leadership Studies Academic Group offers two kinds of courses to ALL pre-service teachers in the National Institute of Education. The first kind consists of compulsory modules that introduce teachers to the major factors that shape education policy in Singapore.
The module for the Diploma in Education programme considers the changing socio-economic environment in Singapore; the functions of schools; the school as an agent of innovation and change. Key education policies are also examined, for example, critical and creative thinking; National Education; and the move from an efficiency-driven education to an ability-driven education. Students are also exposed to influences on schooling: the home background and educational attainment. A philosophy component in this module encompasses topics including the aims of education and authority and discipline.
The module offered to Postgraduate Diploma in Education students also has a Social Context of Teaching and Learning bias. Topics for study include the structure and organisation of the Singapore education system; sociological perspectives on teaching, learning and socialisation; effective school organisation; and teaching as a profession. Philosophical perspectives include the concept of education; moral education; and authority, freedom and education.
Trainee teachers enrolled in all BA/BSc courses have to take the essential module The Teacher and Society. This module seeks to expose undergraduates to important concepts and themes designed to encourage them to think about their roles as future teachers in contemporary Singapore society. These include the notion and effects of globalisation, the information society and constructivism in the classroom on teacher values, beliefs and attitudes. The course allows for a variety of learning modes including lectures, small group tutorials and seminar presentations.
The Policy and Leadership Studies Academic Group also offers a number of elective modules. These range from comparative issues in educational policy; home influences on school effectiveness; educational ideas and contemporary teaching issues; and moral issues in cross-curricular perspective.
The core modules are designed to familiarise students with basic educational concepts and principles. The elective modules allow choices which are intended to provide trainee teachers with an opportunity for in-depth and rigorous study of some significant areas in the field of education and to serve as a basis for the application of educational principles in a variety of instructional contexts