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Alternative Approaches to the Development of Early Childhood Education in Singapore

Author

Listed:
  • Yong Yik Wei
  • Aekapol Chongvilaivan
  • Chew Jing Yang

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Yong Yik Wei & Aekapol Chongvilaivan & Chew Jing Yang, 2008. "Alternative Approaches to the Development of Early Childhood Education in Singapore," SCAPE Policy Research Working Paper Series 0808, National University of Singapore, Department of Economics, SCAPE.
  • Handle: RePEc:sca:scaewp:0808
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    File URL: http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/ecs/pub/wp-scape/0808.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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 769-797, August.
    2. Milo Bianchi & Magnus Henrekson, 2005. "Is Neoclassical Economics still Entrepreneurless?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(3), pages 353-377, July.
    3. 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 719-748, 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, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Entrepreneurship; Pre-school Education; Play-based Learning; Reggio Emilia approach; Montessori Method; Teach Less; Learn More (TLLM) initiative;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • I29 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Other

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