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Alternative Approaches to the Development of Early Childhood Education in Singapore

  • Yong Yik Wei
  • Aekapol Chongvilaivan
  • Chew Jing Yang

A knowledge-intensive, innovation-driven economy needs innovative and creative individuals in business, government, and the various professions. Singapore’s education system has an important role to play in equipping the young with the right qualities. This could be better achieved by moving away from an overly rigid education system that places undue emphasis on rote learning and examination scores, to an education system that develops students’ creativity and critical thinking abilities, and encourages their innate curiosity and willingness to experiment. We examine, as a backdrop, various economic theories of entrepreneurship and, believing that it is important to begin with a good educational foundation, the features of some alternative approaches to pre-school education. We also examine Singapore’s attempts to promote independent thinking and creativity among Singaporean students, and other countries’ experiences, in particular those of Finland and the Netherlands. Among other issues, emphasis is placed on play and the fostering of students’ love of learning, in less structured settings, as the media of learning during early childhood education.

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Paper provided by National University of Singapore, Department of Economics, SCAPE in its series SCAPE Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 0808.

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Date of creation: Nov 2008
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Handle: RePEc:sca:scaewp:0808
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  1. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1979. "A General Equilibrium Entrepreneurial Theory of Firm Formation Based on Risk Aversion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 719-48, August.
  2. Bianchi, Milo & Henrekson, Magnus, 2005. "Is Neoclassical Economics still Entrepreneurless?," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 584, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 02 Feb 2005.
  3. Kanbur, S M, 1979. "Of Risk Taking and the Personal Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 769-97, August.
  4. Wilson, William W., 1998. "U.S. Grain Handling And Transportation System: Factors Contributing To The Dynamic Changes In The 1980s And 1990s," AE Series 23081, North Dakota State University, Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics.
  5. Vaughn,Karen I., 1994. "Austrian Economics in America," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521445528, October.
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