What is quality education? How can it be achieved? The perspectives of school middle leaders in Singapore
- 1.1k Downloads
This paper presents the findings of a research project that examines how middle leaders in Singapore schools understand ‘quality education’ and how they think quality education can be achieved. From the perspective of these middle leaders, quality education emphasises holistic development, equips students with the knowledge and skills for the future, inculcates students with the right values and imbues students with a positive learning attitude. Quality education is delivered by good teachers, enabled by good teaching and learning processes and facilitated by a conducive learning environment. The challenge of achieving quality education is to find the balance between lofty ideals and ground realities. One critical implication of the research findings is that policymakers should appeal to the ideals of practitioners to drive change.
KeywordsSingapore School leadership Middle leaders Quality education Teachers Curriculum Pedagogy Learning environment Change
- Adams, D. (1993). Defining educational quality. improving educational quality project publication no. 1: biennial report. Arlington: Institute for International Research.Google Scholar
- Barrett, A. M., Chawla-Duggan, R., Lowe, J., Nikel, J., & Ukpo, E. (2006). The concept of quality in education: review of the ‘international’ literature on the concept of quality in education working paper no. 3. Bristol: EduQual.Google Scholar
- Benavot, A. (2012). Policies toward quality education and student learning: constructing a critical perspective. Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, 25(1), 67–77.Google Scholar
- Chenail, R. J., 1995. Presenting Qualitative Data. The Qualitative Report, 2 (3), http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR2-3/presenting.html, January 1, 2008.
- Crossley, M. (1999). Reconceptualising comparative and international education. Compare, 29(3), 249–267.Google Scholar
- Delors, J., et al. (1996). Learning: the treasure within. Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
- Drucker, P. F. (1993). Post-capitalist society. New York: Harper Business.Google Scholar
- Drucker, P. F. (2000). Knowledge work. Executive Excellence, 17(4), 11–12.Google Scholar
- Florida, R. (2005). The flight of the creative class. New York: Harper Business.Google Scholar
- Gunter, H., & Rutherford, D. (2000). Professional development for subject leaders: needs, training and impact. Management in Education, 14(1), 28–30.Google Scholar
- Hargreaves, A., & Shirley, D. (2009). The fourth way: the inspiring future for educational change. Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press.Google Scholar
- Harris, A. (2011). Distributed leadership: current evidence and future directions. Journal of Management Development, 30(10), 20–32.Google Scholar
- Heng, S. K., 2012. Speech by Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Education, at the MOE Work Plan Seminar 2012, at the Ngee Ann Polytechnic Convention Centre, Singapore, 12 September, http://www.moe.gov.sg/media/speeches/2012/09/12/keynote-address-by-mr-heng-swee-keat-at-wps-2012.php, June 4, 2013.
- Heng, S. K., 2014. Speech by Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Education, at the MOE Work Plan Seminar 2014, at the Ngee Ann Polytechnic Convention Centre, Singapore, 23 September, http://www.moe.gov.sg/media/speeches/2014/09/23/keynote-address-by-mr-heng-swee-keat-at-the-ministry-of-education-work-plan-seminar-2014.php, September 23, 2014.
- IIEP-UNESCO. (2011). External quality assurance: options for higher education managers. module 4 understanding and assessing quality. Paris: International Institute of Educational Planning (UNESCO).Google Scholar
- Irons, E. J., & Harris, S. (2006). The challenges of no child left behind: understanding the issues of excellence, accountability, and choice. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield Education.Google Scholar
- Lee, H. L., 2010. Speech by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Pre-University Seminar, at the University Cultural Centre, National University of Singapore, 1 June, http://www.pmo.gov.sg/content/pmosite/mediacentre/speechesninterviews/primeminister/2010/June/speech_by_mr_leehsienloongprimeministeratthepre-universitysemina.html#.VHqOxyEZ5eU, June 1, 2014
- Perry, T., Moses, R. P., Cortes, E., Jr., Delpit, L., & Wynne, J. T. (2010). Quality education as a constitutional right: creating a grassroots movement to transform public schools. Boston: Beacon.Google Scholar
- Pintrich, P. R., & Schunk, D. H. (2002). Motivation in education: theory research, and applications. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
- Reich, R. (1991). The work of nations. New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
- Rinehart, G. (1993). Quality education: applying the philosophy of Dr. W. Edwards Deming to transform the educational system. Wisconsin: ASQC Quality Press.Google Scholar
- Schleicher, A., & Stewart, V. (2008). Learning from world-class schools. Educational Leadership, 66(2), 44–51.Google Scholar
- Schmoker, M., & Wilson, R. B. (1993). Transforming schools through total quality education. The Phi Delta Kappan, 74(5), 389–395.Google Scholar
- Schweisfurth, M. M. (2013). Learner-centred education in international perspective: whose pedagogy for whose development? New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Sergiovanni, T. J. (2001). Leadership: what’s in it for schools? London: RoutledgeFalmer.Google Scholar
- Sim, J. B. Y., & Ho, L. C. (2010). Transmitting social and national values through education in Singapore: tensions in a globalized era. In T. Lovat, R. Toomey, & N. Clement (Eds.), International research handbook on values education and student wellbeing (pp. 897–917). Netherlands: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Tharman, S., 2005. Achieving quality: bottom up initiative, top down support. Speech by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Minister for Education, at the 2005 MOE Work Plan Seminar at the Ngee Ann Polytechnic Convention Centre, Singapore, September 22, http://www.moe.gov.sg/media/speeches/2005/sp20050922.htm, June 4, 2013.
- UNESCO. (2005). Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report 2005: the quality imperative. Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
- UNICEF. (2000). A paper presented by UNICEF at the meeting of The International Working Group on Education Florence, Italy, June, 2000. New York: UNICEF Working Paper Series. Defining Quality in Education. Google Scholar
- Westera, W. (1999). Paradoxes in open, networked learning environments: towards a paradigm shift. Educational Technology, 39(1), 17–23.Google Scholar
- Wiseman, A. W. (2013). Policy responses to PISA in comparative perspective. In H. Meyer & A. Benavot (Eds.), PISA, Power, and Policy (pp. 303–322). Oxford, UK: The Emergence of Global Educational Governance. Symposium Books.Google Scholar