Excellence and Equity of Teacher Professional Development in Singapore

Friday, 20 July 2018: 09:15
Oral Presentation
Bo-Ruey HUANG, Chinese Culture University, Taiwan
Excellence and equity are important concepts and contradictory issues of educational systems in various countries. Economic strength and educational achievement in Singapore are internationally visible, and Singapore's student achievement has also been outstanding in many international surveys, such as TIMSS, PIRLS and PISA. The wide income disparity of Singapore citizens, however, is also quite large. This income divide also decreases the intergenerational social mobility and promotes social inequity. Inequity, in Singapore educational policy text, often uses a pluralistic or diversity metaphor and moral discourse to legitimize the discriminative treatment in educational system, and also forms a unique elite ruling and meritocratic values of Singapore. These values are also reflected in the Singapore teacher preparation and professional development process, which, for the ensuring high standards and continuous refinement of teachers’ quality, as well as the establishment of moral significance and excellent culture in teachers and teaching profession. Therefore, teacher professional development is also considered as one of the important factors in the outstanding performance of Singapore students. In view of this, this article firstly discusses concepts of excellence and equity in Singapore's education. Followed by reviewing the role of Singaporean professional development in the dialectics between excellence and equity. Not only original structural elements of teacher education and professional development but cultural and social factors also play key roles in the process. TALIS survey results will be used as the basis for the discussion of teacher professional development in Singapore, it includes: teachers' commitment, the effectiveness of professional development, the ways supporting professional development and the exclusion of obstacles.