Singapore’s educational policy through the prism of student voice: recasting students as co-agents of educational change and ‘disrupting’ the status quo?

M. Akshir Ab Kadir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper examines the implementation of Singapore’s landmark policy, ‘Thinking Schools, learning Nation’ (TSLN), in developing ‘thinking students’ through the prism of student voice. In the context of twenty-first century education and the growing importance of student voice in education, this paper argues that the time might be right to ‘disrupt’ Singapore’s education status quo and incorporate meaningful student voice in education policies. Instead of perceiving students as mere subjects of educational policy enactment, and seeing policy as something that is done to them, it should be reconceptualised as something which is done with them; importantly, students should be recast as key co-agents of educational change, consistent with TSLN’s reconceptualization of learners as ‘thinking students’. Basing its arguments on findings from a qualitative case study of students’ perceptions and schooling experiences of critical thinking in TSLN, this paper considers the case for the inclusion of significant student voice in Singapore’s educational policy reforms. It fills gaps in research on student voices in Singapore’s educational reforms and TSLN’s research from students’ perspective. The paper suggests that the inclusion of student voice in educational reform might be the next landmark step in ‘disrupting’ its educational landscape after the ‘big bang’ of TSLN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-576
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Education Policy
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • critical thinking
  • educational policy
  • Singapore education
  • Student voice

Cite this