Investing in Our Teachers: Enhancement of Postgraduate Diploma in Education Programmes

Published Date: 20 November 2015 12:00 AM

News Press Releases

1. In our continual joint efforts to raise the quality of teachers in Singapore, the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the National Institute of Education (NIE) are enhancing and expanding the scope of the current 1-year Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) Programmes.

2. As social-cultural, geo-political, and technological changes add new demands on education, to develop our students to be 21st century learners, we continue to need teachers who are both skilful and committed, with strong professional grounding and greater adaptability to meet the evolving challenges of the modern-day classroom. Teachers need to reflect and think critically about their profession and their practice in light of these changes. This can only be achieved if teachers have deep understanding of learners, strong content and pedagogical mastery, and the ability to apply theory and research to their practice..

3. While the current 12-month PGDE has prepared Beginning Teachers who have the necessary knowledge and skills to manage their responsibilities, to better respond to the changing needs in education, it will be extended from the current 12 months to 16 months.

4. With this extension, the key enhancements to the PGDE programmes will include an additional 4-week Teaching Practice, and greater coverage of topics for deeper understanding of learners and learning. There will be new courses on teachers’ roles as form tutor and to build their capabilities for deeper engagement with parents. Another new course, “Singapore Kaleidoscope”, provides a rich, multi-faceted perspective on Singapore, acquainting pre-service teachers with our natural and cultural heritage, and deepening their appreciation of Singapore’s position in the world.

5. The extended programmes will bring about enhancements in the scope and depth of the teacher preparation coverage, and to the programme structure. They are aimed at preparing teachers who are well guided by their professional ethos, strong in pedagogical content knowledge, and better prepared professionally for the many demands of teaching.

6. By deepening and expanding the scope of the PGDE programmes in these ways, our teachers will have stronger professional grounding to better meet the needs of our diverse learners. The additional time and space allows a more immersive approach to teacher preparation and more opportunities for practice. The enhanced programmes will also cover in-depth educational psychology and subject-specific pedagogical knowledge and skills which will provide pre-service teachers with a deeper understanding of students’ psyche. This will allow them to better engage and support students in their development and learning.

7. The first cohort of the extended PGDE will be matriculated at the end of 2016. This will apply to the primary, secondary and junior college general tracks, as well as the specialisation tracks in mother tongue, art and music. The only exception is the PGDE Physical Education Programme, which is already a 2-year programme.

8. Director-General of Education, MOE, Mr Wong Siew Hoong, said: “The extended PGDE will give pre-service teachers the time and space to imbibe our professional ethos, deepen their pedagogical content knowledge, and strengthen their classroom practice. This is aligned with the Ministry’s and NIE’s aim to develop teachers who are not only grounded in their professional competencies, but are reflective and capable of inquiring into their own practice so that they will continue to grow as a teacher throughout their teaching career. All these will uplift the quality of teaching and learning in our classrooms, strengthen our work with our students and help our students develop competencies needed for the future.”

9. Professor Tan Oon Seng, Director of NIE, shared: “The PGDE extension is in line with NIE’s emphasis on quality and innovation as we prepare teachers for a more complex world. The additional investment allows for better consolidation of professional learning and thinking as well as opportunities for deeper immersion into practice. With more time, pre-service-teachers are also able to engage in more collaborative activities, develop stronger collegial bonds and build peer learning communities for longer term professional growth.”

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