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Moral and citizenship education as statecraft in Singapore: a curriculum critique

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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.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University Singapore

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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