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Title: 'Our shared values' in Singapore: A Confucian perspective
Authors: Tan, Charlene H. P. (Charlene Hwee Phio)
Issue Date: 2012
Citation: Tan, C. (2012). 'Our shared values' in Singapore: A Confucian perspective. Educational Theory, 62(4), 449–463.
Abstract: This paper offers a philosophical analysis of the Singapore state’s vision of shared citizenship from a Confucian perspective. The state’s vision, known formally as 'Our Shared Values', consists of communitarian values that reflect the official ideology of multiculturalism. This paper points out that underpinning the Shared Values are pejorative interpretations of 'individual rights' and 'individual interests' as ideals that are antithetical to national interests. Rejecting this antithesis, this paper argues that a dominant Confucian perspective recognises the correlative rights of all human beings that are premised on the inherent right to human dignity, worth and equality. Furthermore, Confucianism posits that it is in everyone’s interest to attain the Confucian ethical ideal of a noble person in society through self-cultivation. The paper concludes by highlighting two key implications arising from a Confucian perspective of the Shared Values for Singapore: schools in Singapore should place a greater emphasis on individual moral development for their students, and more avenues should be provided for residents to contribute actively towards the vision of shared citizenship.
Description: This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Educational Theory. The published version is available online at
ISSN: 0013-2004 (print)
1741-5446 (online)
Other Identifiers: 10.1111/j.1741-5446.2012.00456.x
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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