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Education, Culture and the Singapore Developmental State


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Table of Contents

1. Education and the Developmental State: Importance of Culture 2. Crisis of National Survival 3. Crisis of 'Deculturalisation' and Invention of 'Asian Values' 4. Intensification of Asian Values 5. Historical Amnesia Crisis and 'National Education' Response 6. National Education Institutionalized in Curriculum 7. Final Thoughts on the 'World-Soul' of Singapore

About the Author

Yeow-Tong Chia is Lecturer at the University of Sydney, Australia.


“Chia has consulted rich primary sources to construct a very detailed narrative of how citizenship education has played an important role in the politics of Singapore’s nation building. This is perhaps the greatest strength of this book. … This book is a useful resource for scholars, policy makers and students in the fields of development economics, citizenship education, history and social studies education.” (Ai Lian Chee, Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, May, 2016)

“The book will resonate with young Singaporeans like myself who experienced and encountered many of these policies and pedagogical materials. … This contribution will help students and scholars unfamiliar with Singapore to understand the central role the national education system plays in nation-building and state-formation through ‘socializing students into their roles as future citizens in Singapore’ … .” (Edgar  Liao, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Vol. 47 (1), February, 2016)

“This book is a must-read for policy-makers, scholars and the engaged citizen. This book makes a valuable contribution to the conversation concerning the relationship between culture, education and economic development, especially in the era of globalisation.” (Richard O. Welsh, Parna Banerjee, History of Education, Vol. 47 (1), June, 2017)
“Chia’s book is a commendable effort to document and analyse five decades of citizenship education in Singapore. … The book is useful reading for academics who wish to obtain deeper insight into how the Singapore state has tried to shape citizenship education to its preferred purposes. … the impact of recent demographic changes in Singapore and the advent of social media on citizenship education makes fertile ground for future researchers.” (Jason Tan, Asia Pacific Journal of Education, Vol. 37 (2), April, 2017)
“A comprehensive account of Singapore’s citizenship education by providing intimate insights into the education experiences of teachers, curriculum planners and Members of Parliament, while maintaining his distance as an academic, critiquing the government’s intentions, implementation of policies and programmes and the works of other scholars. … provides a useful perspective for policymakers and academics to study curriculum changes in other nation states and to mediate the future of citizenship education in Singapore.” (British Journal of Educational Studies, Vol. 64 (3), 2016)

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