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Preparing Teachers for the 21st Century

Lim Kam Ming, Tay Eng Guan


The quality of any education system is signifi cantly dependent on the quality of teachers in that system. A 21st century teacher professionalism requiring specialist knowledge and skills is essential for ensuring the quality of teachers. This paper will describe the key features of the teacher education model used in Singapore. In addition, the paper will discuss some key challenges for the teaching profession in the 21st century and possible ways to prepare teachers for the 21st century. Since its establishment as the Teacher Training College in 1950, the National Institute of Education (NIE) has served as the national teacher education institute in Singapore. NIE provides all levels of teacher
education, from initial teacher education programmes to professional development programmes as well as higher degree programmes. The NIE’s Teacher Education Model for the 21st Century (TE21) and how this model addresses several key challenges for teacher education are explained in this paper. NIE’s TE21 Model revolves around the Values, Skill and Knowledge (V3SK) model which focus on three value paradigms: Learner-centredness, Teacher Identity, and Service to the profession and community. Finally, the paper will outline some possible issues relevant for the improvement of teacher education.

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