Teacher professional development in Singapore: Depicting the landscape


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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. Copyright © 2015 Psychology, Society, & Education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-326
JournalPsychology, Society, and Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Bautista, A., Wong, J., & Gopinathan, S. (2015). Teacher professional development in Singapore: Depicting the landscape. Psychology, Society, and Education, 7(3), 311-326. doi: 10.25115/psye.v7i3.523


  • Teacher professional development
  • Singapore
  • In-service teachers
  • Teacher learning
  • Alt. title: Desarrollo profesional docente en Singapur: Describiendo el panorama


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