Building an Evidence-Base for Teacher Education: Phase II

Project Number
OER 14/13 LEL

Project Duration
January 2014 - September 2017


This is the fourth in a suite of four projects which aim to establish an initial evidence-base for the continual review and enhancement of initial teacher education (ITE) and early career teacher professional learning and development (TPL&D) within Singapore. The core purpose of this project is to account for and characterise the development of teachers' professional competence and identity during ITE and into their early career work. Specifically, the project will study the impact of ITE programmes and subsequent teacher professional learning and development (TPL&D) on the development of professional competencies and teacher identity, both within NIE's ITE programmes and for the first 1-2 years of teaching. This, and the earlier related OER 13/09 LEL, OER 4/10 LEL, and OER 15/11 LEL work, is the first systematic attempt in Singapore to provide empirical evidence that can inform policy on, and practice of, both ITE and TPL&D programmes. Conceptually, we see 'competence' as aligned with the notion of teacher identity. Apart from the development of professional competencies, learning to teach is regarded as an ongoing process of constructing an identity in the midst of systems of roles and relations. In particular we understand this process as being based in the experiences that ITE participants have had prior to entry, have during their ITE programmes, and then have when they are fully employed as teachers in school settings. Importantly, those systems of roles and relations extend beyond formal education settings to larger social (particularly involving the family) and cultural systems. Thus the focus of inquiry involves the nature, qualities and impact of those experiences on the development of both 'competence' and teacher identity. Given the focus on professional competencies and teacher identity, this project aims to develop this chain of evidence by addressing three overarching research questions. 1) What impact does ITE have on participants' development of professional competencies and identity? 2) What impact do early career experiences have on the ongoing development of professional competencies and identity? 3) What impact does the development of professional competencies and identity have on graduates' teaching practices? The proposed project is directly aligned with NIE's research priority which is precisely to understand the development of teacher professional competencies and identity as a result of ITE and early career experiences for the purpose of continual improvements in teacher learning. Additionally, it also addresses the Ministry of Education's concern that educational research MUST help to inform both policy formulation and the educational/pedagogical practice.

Funding Source

Related Links
NIE Research Briefs No. 16-007: The Contribution of Teacher Education in Singapore to the Development of Teacher Competencies and Identity

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