IDEAS IN SINGAPORE: THE EXPERIENCE OF THREE SCHOOLS
ANDREWS Dorothy, University of Southern Queensland, Australia
CHEW Oon Ai Joy, National Institute of Education, Singapore
NG Foo Seong David, National Institute of Education, Singapore
School Change and Leadership
This paper reports on the experience of three schools in Singapore as they implemented a whole school revitalisation (improvement) project, Innovative Designs for Enhancing Achievement in Schools Project (IDEAS). The IDEAS project was developed in the Australian school context by researchers at the Leadership Research Institute, University of Southern Queensland and was launched in three Singapore schools in June 2004. The IDEAS approach towards school revitalisation recognizes pedagogical issues and harnesses the hidden capacity of the teaching profession as crucial elements of school revitalization. Of particular interest was the applicability of concepts developed and trialled in Australia to another cultural and societal context. To this end a research project was established with the Ministry of Education, Singapore, National Institute of Education and LRI/USQ.
The project was closely monitored by a research team at NIE and assisted by researchers from the LRI. The project reports how the staff in the three trial schools engaged in developing a school vision and a pedagogical framework that is being used for future action by the school professional community. Teacher leadership has been a key to the development of the project which in turn has challenged the roles and relationships between teachers, students and formal leadership positions within each of the school contexts. The outcomes provide particular implications for the transfer of context specific projects across countries. They also reveal important insights about how teacher leadership can be fostered and strengthened with appropriate supportive structures and professional development activities.
Keywords: School Change and Leadership; Teacher Culture