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Singapore as a model for teaching excellence

Finland has long been recognized for teaching excellence. Singapore is now getting its share of attention. Why do schools in Singapore “produce” successful learners when other schools do not (even when, as the article notes, they are using the same curriculum as some American schools)? The article argues that better teaching is due to rigid selection, higher pay, and greater respect for the profession. Now, of course, none of those things produce better learning, or even a better teacher. But these incentives do create a climate where bright and motivated individuals enter the field of teaching. What they do in the classroom and how they interact with learners is what produces learning success. How much they are paid and respected only gets them into (and keeps them in) the classroom.


  1. Reggie wrote:

    Being an American that grew up in Jakarta and Singapore and having taught at the American school in Singapore, I agree with the article in terms of respect for teaching. However having lived next to a ‘good’ school in Singapore, it was my understanding that higher class sizes, an emphasis on a teacher centered instructional model and a system that tracked students from an early age would be aspects other countries might not want to replicate.

    Singapore is a highly structured society in which many freedoms of choice are regulated. Being small and nimble, they can afford the type of choices and decisions that larger, more democratic societies might not choose.

    Wednesday, March 25, 2009 at 6:50 am | Permalink
  2. Cassie wrote:

    I find it interesting that schools in SIngapore may have a better education system because they have a rigid selection, higher pay, and more appreciation for the profession. I believe that the article has a very good point in saying that teachers are not better because they are paid more and the students do not learn more because of this, but I definitely think that there is point to be made after reading this information. Obviously something about the way Singapore is doing things, has had an impact on the students, as well as, the teachers.

    Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 11:51 am | Permalink