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Home » Research » List of Journals & Articles » Citizenship & National Education articles

Citizenship & National Education articles

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Citizenship & National Education articles
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Social studies educators and researchers might also find these articles on civics and moral education, National Education, and religion relevant to their work.


Chew, J. (1998). Civics and moral education in Singapore: Lessons for citizenship education? Journal of Moral Education, 27(4), 505-524.

Gopinathan, S., & Sharpe, L. (2004). New bearings for citizenship education in Singapore. In W. O. Lee, D. L. Grossman, K. J. Kennedy & G. P. Fairbrother (Eds.), Citizenship education in Asia and the Pacific: Concepts and issues (pp. 119-136). Hong Kong: Kluwer Academic Publishers.


Han, C. (2000). National education and "active citizenship": The implications for citizenship and citizenship education in Singapore. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 20(1), 63-74.


Han, C. (2007). History education and 'Asian' values for an 'Asian democracy: The case of Singapore. Compare, 37(3), 383-398.

ABSTRACT. Where some of the papers in this volume deal with nation building in the democratizing former East European states in the wider ideological context of liberal democratic thought, this paper aims to present a view of democracy and democratization from an alternative, ‘Asian’ perspective. South East Asian nations, such as Singapore, have attempted to articulate and practise forms of ‘Asian’ democracy as a response to, and in rejection of, Western liberal democratic models. In these countries, there is not so much a programme of reform and liberalization, as an attempt to evolve a form of democracy suited to an ‘Asian’ society. To this end, efforts have been made by political leaders to articulate what ‘Asian’ values are, and Singapore will be used as an example of how a government has promoted a set of values regarded to be congruent with their form of ‘Asian’ democracy. By examining the history texts in Singapore, and comparing the different contexts in which European and ‘Asian’ values are embedded and used, the paper will elucidate the ways in which the nature of ‘Asian’ values and democracy differ from that of those advocated in Europe, and the implications of this for citizenship education.

Koh, A. (2004). Singapore education in ``New Times'': Global/local imperatives. Discourse: Studies in the cultural politics of education, 25(3), 335-349.

ABSTRACT. This paper critically examines recent education reform in Singapore launched under the rhetoric of ``Thinking Schools, Learning Nation'' (TSLN). I will make explicit the context and the premises underlying the new state-initiated TSLN education reform. I argue that the re-alignment of education change is a response to the trajectories of (global) economic conditions, concomitantly framed by (local) sociopolitical and cultural-ideological needs. Next, I tease out and critique the pedagogical problems and contradictions embedded in the TSLN education reform. The paper concludes by asking what critical perspectives can be drawn from the Singapore case vis-à-vis globalisation and education reform.

The recent restructuring of education policy can be aptly explained by recourse to an understanding of globalisation. However, we also need to understand the microhistories, cultures, and politics of local practices of educational restructuring as they are implicated in the multiple flows of globalisation. (Lingard, 2000, p. 79)

Koh, A. (2005). Imagining the Singapore "Nation" and "Identity": The role of the media and National Education. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 25(1), 75-91.

ABSTRACT. This article presents an analysis of two state ideological apparatuses in Singapore to understand how the city-state constructs its sense of nationhood and national identity. The analysis shows how Singapore uses the media to represent its impoverished national identity, and through a state-led curriculum intervention, uses National Education to re-mediate its lack of a national identity. The conclusion points to the difficulties and paradoxes of Singapore’s national project of constructing a preferred (national) identity over other identities.

Tan, C. (2007). Islam and citizenship education in Singapore. Education Citizenship and Social Justice, 2(1), 23-39.

ABSTRACT. The religious diversity of Singapore, coupled with the current phenomenon of Islamic revivalism, makes the management of religion a paramount concern for the Singapore government. By examining the developments of Islam in Singapore, this article explores the challenges and implications these developments have on citizenship education in the country. This article argues that there is a need for a form of citizenship education in Singapore that takes into consideration the multiplicity, complexity and intersection of religion and citizenship. It is further argued that what is needed is not just socialization into a particular state-sanctioned set of values and views, but an awareness and appreciation of the different religions, especially Islam. The Singapore experience provides a useful case study on the issues and challenges faced by the governments and citizens of plural societies in the midst of Islamic revivalism.

Tan, C. (2008). Creating ‘good citizens’ and maintaining religious harmony in Singapore. British Journal of Religious Education, 30(2), 133-142.

ABSTRACT. This article discusses how the concept of "good citizens" in Singapore is linked to the principle of harmony, characterised by collectivism and a strong interventionist government. The value of religious harmony is actively promoted by the Singapore government and supported by the religious leaders. This article argues that the principle of religious harmony helps to ensure that there are relative peace and tolerance among the various religious communities. But with religious revivalism and continual terrorist threats from some Islamist groups, it has become increasingly difficult for religious believers in Singapore to balance their national and religious identities, loyalties and duties. The on-going challenge for the Singapore government is to promote a conception of "good citizens" that takes into consideration the multiplicity and complexity of religion and citizenship.

Tan, T. W., & Chew, L. C. (2004). Moral and citizenship education as statecraft in Singapore: A curriculum critique. Journal of Moral Education, 33(4), 597-606.

ABSTRACT. This is a brief review of the Civics and Moral Education programme currently in use in Singapore schools. The paper offers an appraisal of the rationale provided in policy statements and of selected official and students' workbook descriptions of curricular content, activities and pedagogic theories. It shows that the Civics and Moral Education programme is more a matter of training students to absorb pragmatic values deemed to be important for Singapore to achieve social cohesion and economic success, rather than moral education as the development of intrinsic commitment to and habituation in the practice of values, defended on autonomous moral considerations and not mere national expediency. Whilst educationists would be inclined to take issue with the programme's ultimate stand on values, they might warm to the pedagogy it prescribes in terms of the need for character-building by practice and experience, and also the importance of reasoning in the resolving of disputes and dilemmas.

Wang, C. K. J., Khoo, A., Goh, C. B., Tan, S., & Gopinathan, S. (2006). Patriotism and national education: Perceptions of trainee teachers in Singapore. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 26(1), 51-64.

ABSTRACT. The effective teaching of national education requires from the teacher a sense of commitment and personal conviction. The teacher has to demonstrate confidence in what is said and taught in class and, more importantly, through his or her personal values and convictions. In other words, the teacher is required to be patriotic. This paper examines the different types of patriotism among trainee teachers in Singapore, and how these types of patriotism influence their perceptions of citizenship values, the importance of national education, and the extent to which national education is viewed as government propaganda. The results revealed four homogenous clusters that differed significantly in terms of their perceptions.