Preschool Curriculum and Policy Changes in Singapore

Josephine Ng
page. 91~122 / 2011 Vol.5 No.1


Educational reforms are happening around the world and policy changes are commonlyinitiated by governments for political or economic reasons. Singapore governmentrecognizes the importance of building a knowledge-based economy and is reflectedin the continuous rounds of education policy development and reforms. Since2003, the Singapore Ministry of Education’s policy change in relation to the preschoolcurriculum, have been geared towards more child-centred teaching with anemphasis on play. In promoting preschools to adopt the play curriculum the governmenthas introduced nationwide training for all preschool teachers and principals. Inthe past, the approach to education has been a meritocratic system and this has stronglyreflected and shaped Singapore culture and way of life. The dramatic educationalchange means a shift from years of rigorous academic rote learning to a playcurriculum. This will not be unproblematic.A qualitative case study research methodology was used to study the lived experiencesof the stakeholders in a kindergarten. The implications of the policy change andthe challenges faced by teachers will be explored.

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