Moral Education in Singapore: a critical appraisal

Journal of Moral Education 23 (1):61-73 (1994)

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Abstract Moral education in Singapore, ever since political independence, has been pragmatically aimed at forging together, by promoting shared values, the four major racial and cultural communities which at various stages had threatened to polarise. It has also been used for preserving a cultural and national identity against the perceived erosion of Asian roots by Western education. Social cohesion and moral ballast have been seen as instrumental towards a strong economy, including the attraction of foreign investors. In these ways, moral education has been regarded as a means for nation?building. In its implementation, it has been considered necessary to teach Asian values and preserve cultural identities via transmission of the mother tongues of the respective races. Religions have also been recognised as being important for moral ballast and effectiveness. This article surveys the implementation of these policies in Singaporean education, and at the same time indicates areas of possible tension and internal contradiction, and where questionable assumptions may have been made. Explanations are suggested for the perceived ineffectiveness in cultural and moral transmission. Strengths of the policies are also indicated and appraised
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DOI 10.1080/0305724940230105
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