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Teacher professional development
In-service teachers
Teacher learning
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Bautista, A., Wong, J., & Gopinathan, S. (2015). Teacher professional development in Singapore: Depicting the landscape. Psychology, Society, & Education, 7(3), 311-326.
This article depicts the landscape of teacher professional development (PD) in
Singapore, one of the world’s top-performing countries in education. We provide an
overview of the resources available to the approximately 30,000 teachers within the 350
primary and secondary schools run by the Ministry of Education (MOE). We focus on the
three main PD providers: the National Institute of Education, the Academy of Singapore
Teachers and six Centers of Excellence, and schools themselves. Guided by the “Teacher
Growth Model,” these providers aim at making PD coherent with teachers’ interests, the
needs of schools, and the national curriculum. Teachers in Singapore are given the
exceptionally high allotment of 100 voluntary hours of PD per year. There are multiple
types of activities teachers can engage in, ranging from formal/structured courses and
programs to more informal/reform-based initiatives (action research, lesson study).
Teachers with different levels of expertise and career paths have access to different PD
opportunities. Most PD is subject-specific and provides teachers with opportunities for
networked learning, collegial sharing, and collaboration. In fact, all MOE schools have been
recently mandated to become Professional Learning Communities (PLC). We conclude that
this comprehensive set of PD resources, considered as a whole, presents the features of
“high-quality” PD described in the international literature. However, we suggest that more
research is needed to examine the extent to which such an ambitious PD model is enhancing
teachers’ knowledge and pedagogies, and ultimately students’ learning.
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