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Education for future-oriented citizenship: Implications for the education of 21st century competencies
Character education
Citizenship education
Civic education
Moral education
Thinking Schools
Learning Nation
Citizenship 21
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Lee, W. O. (2012). Education for future-oriented citizenship: implications for the education of 21st century competencies. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 32(4), 498-517.
Globalization and the knowledge economy have opened up worldwide agendas for national development. Following this is the emphasis on the social dimension, otherwise known as social capital. Much of social capital includes “soft skills” and “21st century skills”, which broadly cover critical, creative and inventive thinking; information, interactive and communication skills; civic literacy, global awareness and cross-cultural skills. Proactively, the Singapore government is preparing for Curriculum 2015, a new curriculum that would develop student attributes, embedded in the “confident person”, “self-directed learner”, “active contributor”, and “concerned citizen”. Significantly, a new curricular initiative, Character and Citizenship Education, emphasizes the integrative nature of citizenship and 21st century competencies and has been implemented in all schools in Singapore from 2011. This future-oriented approach to citizenship education emphasizes the significance of individual initiatives and the intellectual capital of citizens. This paper analyses features of this particular approach to citizenship education, and its strengths and significance, which may be viewed as an integrative “total curriculum approach” with a “whole-society” perspective. In addition, the challenges of teaching 21st century skills will also be highlighted. This departs from the conventional paradigm of socialization, but to help students develop attributes for a future society to come.
This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Asia Pacific Journal of Education. The published version is available online at:
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