Singapore’s 21st- Century Teaching Strategies

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Education Everywhere Video Series

This new video series takes a look at high-achieving education systems and model schools around the world to see what makes them successful. This series is a co-production with the Pearson Foundation; visit their “Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education” page for more information about Singapore.

Singapore Fast Facts

  • When Singapore gained its independence in 1965, most of its population of two million people were unskilled and illiterate.
  • The government invested in education, and by the early 1970s, all children had access to lower secondary education.
  • In 2009, the first year Singapore participated in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests, they placed near the top for all tested subjects: fifth for reading, second for mathematics, and fourth for science. See all 2009 PISA scores.
  • Teaching is a highly-respected and well-compensated profession in Singapore. All teachers are trained at the country’s National Institute of Education (NIE).
  • All new teachers are paired with experienced teachers for mentoring, and peer feedback is built into the schedule.
  • Teachers are entitled to 100 low or no-cost hours of professional development each year.
  • There are approximately 522,000 students attending about 350 schools in Singapore’s education system.
  • Class sizes are large, especially at the secondary level, averaging 36 students per class.

In the coming months, look for episodes about Canada, Shanghai, and Germany. See the Finland episode here or visit our global learning resource page for more resources.

Source: Singapore: Rapid Improvement Followed by Strong Performance PDF report by the OECD, from the Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education: Singapore page by the Pearson Foundation.

In Singapore sixth grade students are working on solving math problems that 95% of US students don’t attempt until the 8th grade at the earliest. There are 40 students per classroom, the parents speak three different languages at home, the textbooks, teachers guides and related are all printed in English and are paperback, their supplemental math program is which was developed in India. A well thought out, well executed very effective process.

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About teacherstone

I am an assistant principal of a K-4 elementary school. I have taught grades 2nd-5th and served as an instructioanl technology coach for the district for six years. I am a NBCT, STAR teacher, and DEN teacher. I am also a technology adjunct professor at UAB Birmingham. I am currenlty working on my PhD in Educational Leadership and Instructional Technology Curriculum.

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