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STINT Teaching Sabbatical 2017: Final report
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education. (UMSER)
2018 (English)Report (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract [en]

The report presents overview of educational system in Singapore with focus on teacher education. The National Institute of Education (NIE) is the only teacher training institute in the country. It is an autonomous institute of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. NIE staff not only conducts research in education but also “content research”, meaning pure science research. At the Department of Natural Sciences & Science Education (NSSE)  a majority of publications are in the fields of pure physics, chemistry and biology. NIE’s plasma research group is world-leading in their area of specialization. Therefore, the number of publications and citations from NSSE is very high in comparison to the amount of publications done by similar Swedish departments. Value-work and leadership training are central for all educational programs. Voluntary work is promoted for NIE students with regular advertisements on the website and around campus. Staff members are expected to be role-models for the students. Diversity is a major slogan at NIE. This includes diversity in research but also Cultural Diversity. NIE is active in international exchange programs. It also organizes regular study visits and developmental work actions in the region. In some programs students have to spend six months at foreign institutions. NIE also has some specific rules, for example a code of conduct and dress code for student teachers on campus. As stated in the code of conduct, NIE aims to develop student teachers into cultured teachers. “A cultured teacher is one who is smart looking, confident, caring, creative, and a mentor, learner and leader. As part of the desire to project a positive total image of teachers, a code of conduct and dress code for student teachers on campus has been established and student teachers are expected to observe the code.” The admission of students into teacher education is a very selective process in Singapore. It can be compared to the admission to medical faculties in Sweden. When demographic situation in the country is changing, as it is now, with fewer children in schools, Singapore needs fewer teachers. As a result the selection procedure is becoming even tougher.

The balance between research and teaching is strict at NIE. Professors cannot freely disperse their time between teaching and research but must instead, even if they have funding for research, teach courses according to the needs of the department. Everybody should teach undergraduate and masters students. Masters courses are normally given on evenings, not an attractive time, but old professors and young lecturers will do their teaching duty in master courses. People often joke that “research is considered more like hobby for the staff – they find time anyway to do it, but teaching is a holy activity”. Everybody takes teaching very seriously. The status of pedagogical merits is high at NIE. It is comparable, but not equal to, research merits. Teachers are expected to do a lot of curriculum work, develop new courses, new laboratory activities, ICT-solutions: apps, animations, etc. They participate as judges in science fairs and competitions. These activities are voluntary, but an important part of their pedagogical work. They also supervise school students’ preparation for such competitions. Most of the courses are technology rich, in the sense that they use ICT and laboratory facilities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm, 2018. , p. 10
Keywords [en]
Singapore, technology in education, teacher education
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-151725OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-151725DiVA, id: diva2:1247084
Available from: 2018-09-11 Created: 2018-09-11 Last updated: 2018-09-12Bibliographically approved

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Popov, Oleg

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Citation style
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