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Title: FOR A POLITICS OF PEDAGOGY AND CANON The making and enacting of Geography in Junior Colleges of Singapore
Keywords: Canons, education, kanonikos, power, pedagogy, policy
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: MICHELLE HO MIN (2017). FOR A POLITICS OF PEDAGOGY AND CANON The making and enacting of Geography in Junior Colleges of Singapore. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Geographical canons remain largely underexplored in relation to their pedagogic role in education. This thesis addresses the lacuna in canon debates by using Mayhew’s (2015) concept of kanonikos to examine the twin ways in which geographical canons are influenced in education: by both the politics of canon, and the politics of pedagogy. This thesis is guided by two main aims: first, it aims to interrogate the the multiple forces acting upon the geographical syllabus in Singapore, second, it evaluate the theoretical conceptualisation of geographical canons in education by using Singapore’s geography education as a case study. To do this, the concept of kanonikos is used as a conceptual framework to guide a mixed-methods approach combining critical discourse analysis of past Singapore syllabus documents for Junior College (JC), as well as interviews with Singaporean JC teachers to understand how they translate discourse into practice. This thesis argues that the JC Geography syllabus both reflects and reifies dominant state narratives of national educational policy and economic development. Investigating the politics of canon reveals that over time, content, concepts, and knowledge frameworks were each emphasized and canonized in turn, ostensibly an attempt of gradual deregulation of content on the part of the state. On the other hand, the politics of pedagogy reveals the potential for teachers can utilize the narratives canonised by the state to destabilize the state’s own dominant hegemonic narratives. Ultimately, this thesis aims to reveal the contradictory and paradoxical nature of kanonikos with respect to Sinagpore’s JC Syllabus. In doing so, it aims to act as a preliminary foray into Singapore’s educational canons, while demonstrating how kanonikos can open up spaces for the analysis of power and production of syllabi in Singapore.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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