Values-based Education (VBE)
Values-based Education (VBE) in NIE aims to offer a holistic education, create a learning environment that enhances the students’ knowledge and skills attainment, and develop teachers who possess positive values as well as social and relational skills.
VBE in NIE encompasses three core courses, namely the Meranti Project, Group Endeavours in Service Learning (GESL), and the Singapore Kaleidoscope (SgK). Through these courses, student teachers share and articulate their core beliefs, clarify their own assumptions, and challenge themselves to examine their personal values.
The Meranti Project revolves around ‘Myself’ and aims to develop one’s resiliency, self-awareness, affirmation, and personal motivation. Through the Meranti Project, student teachers are able to understand care, trust, and friendliness, learn the importance of respecting others, and embrace diversity.
GESL allows one to understand ‘My Community’ through a service-learning community engagement project. Student teachers will have the opportunity to learn to serve and learn by serving others.
Finally, SgK allows students to develop an appreciation and understanding of national challenges and issues and develop their own perspectives of ‘My Nation, Singapore’. Through the course, student teachers will be able to engage with different perspectives, experience Singapore through a range of lenses, and explore the social, cultural, physical, environmental, and geo-political landscape of Singapore.
The ‘Expanding Environment’ approach (i.e., from self to community to nation) was adopted to structure these three courses and ensured that they were grounded on VBE in NIE. This approach allowed our student teachers to better visualise the relevance and focus of each course within the larger VBE framework as well as reference their learning to the V3SK model that underpins the philosophy of teacher education at NIE.
NIE utilises digital tools to make VBE engaging and relevant for student teachers. What student teachers learn from these courses are captured and synthesised in a single, dynamic digital platform. Developed in December 2018, the VBE platform is a web-based platform that allows student teachers to aggregate and integrate their learning experiences from The Meranti Project, GESL, and SgK.
It is designed to be intuitive and easy to use so that it becomes a one-stop platform wherein student teachers can learn at their own pace. It is also interactive and works like a typical social media platform (e.g., FB, Instagram) where users can give comments as well as share pictures and videos with their peers and tutors. With this innovative platform, we hope our student teachers will enjoy and find greater meaning in their VBE learning journey in NIE.
The "Expanding Environment" Approach