Lee Kuan Yew’s Educational Legacy

The Challenges of Success

  • Oon Seng Tan
  • Ee Ling Low
  • David Hung

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Oon-Seng Tan, Ee-Ling Low, David Hung
    Pages 1-13
  3. Education: The Man and His Ideas

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 15-15
    2. Oon-Seng Tan
      Pages 17-28
  4. Foundational Pillars of Singapore’s Education

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 55-55
    2. Eng Guan Tay
      Pages 79-88
    3. Oon-Seng Tan, Rebecca P. Ang
      Pages 89-102
    4. Gwendoline Choon Lang Quek
      Pages 103-113
  5. Education for Nationhood and Nation-Building

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 115-115
    2. Charlene Tan
      Pages 127-137
  6. Twenty First Century Readiness and Adaptability

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 139-139
    2. Oon-Seng Tan, Ee-Ling Low, David Hung
      Pages 161-168
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 169-171

About this book


The late Mr Lee Kuan Yew (1923–2015) laid the foundations for the creation of a first-world education system in Singapore. Like many other issues concerning the country, his ideas for education were transported in a red box, which he took with him wherever he went, even up to his last days. Inside it was always something designed to help create a better life for all Singaporeans. 

The editors of this volume were inspired by the idea of Mr Lee’s red box and by the Founding Father’s selfless drive to continuously improve the country he loved. As such, the book explores in detail Mr Lee’s plans, including chapters on Education: The Man and His Ideas; Foundational Pillars of Singapore’s Education; Education for Nationhood and Nation-Building; and 21st Century Readiness and Adaptability. The chapters also include the authors’ visions, no matter how great or small, for the future of education in Singapore. They explore how Mr Lee’s educational policies resulted in a system that attracts the right and best candidates to become teachers; that forms them into effective teachers, specialists and leaders; that ensures they and the education system are able to deliver the best possible learning for every child; and that establishes a legacy that has allowed the education system to continue to move forward while tackling the challenges of its success. 

From the little red box came the ideas that led to the country’s meteoric rise. Likewise, the editors hope this book will lead to a brighter future in education.


21st century readiness and adaptability Lee Kwan Yew Singapore education system Singapore teacher education bilingualism in Singapore education for nationhood

Editors and affiliations

  • Oon Seng Tan
    • 1
  • Ee Ling Low
    • 2
  • David Hung
    • 3
  1. 1.National Institute of EducationSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.National Institute of EducationSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.National Institute of EducationSingaporeSingapore

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Singapore
  • eBook Packages Education
  • Print ISBN 978-981-10-3523-4
  • Online ISBN 978-981-10-3525-8
  • Buy this book on publisher's site