Steering Debate and Initiating Dialogue: a review of the Singapore preschool curriculum


Ling-Yin, Lynn Ang 2006. Steering Debate and Initiating Dialogue: a review of the Singapore preschool curriculum. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood. 7 (3), pp. 203-212.
AuthorsLing-Yin, Lynn Ang

This article presents a discussion of the new kindergarten framework in Singapore. The
recent launch of the framework indicates a step forward in the field of early years, with a clear recognition of the importance of the early childhood experience. However, it also raises pertinent issues about the social, cultural, and political maxims that surround the curriculum. Looking closely at the preschool context in Singapore, this article considers the conflicting paradigms that underpin the curriculum: the idealised aspirations of policy makers and early years professionals in creating a childcentred, interactional curriculum; the ideology of a Chinese, Confucian culture which extols scholastic achievements and the pursuit of academic, moral and cultural attainments; parental expectations; and the demands of a meritocratic, economically driven society which perceives education as a commodity to be obtained for financial success and social mobility. In seeking to initiate dialogue and steer debate, this article therefore forces readers to consider some of the tensions and conflicts that underpin the new kindergarten curriculum, and questions the ways in which the curriculum can be conceptualised by practitioners amidst these competing maxims.

Keywordskindergarten; nursery school; early years; childhood experience; preschool; education; curriculum; teaching; parental expectations; Chinese; education theory; Singapore
JournalContemporary Issues in Early Childhood
Journal citation7 (3), pp. 203-212
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Deposited10 Jun 2009
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Ang, Lynn Ling-Yin (2006) 'Steering Debate and Initiating Dialogue: a review of the Singapore preschool curriculum' Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood 7 (3) 203-212.

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