Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/155613
Title: HOW TO BE HUMAN: THE MORAL POLITICS OF NEGOTIATING CHINESE LANGUAGE EDUCATION REFORM IN 1970S SINGAPORE
Authors: KOH HIN YEE
Keywords: bilingualism
Mother Tongue
moral-cultural values
teachers’ unions
Issue Date: 22-Apr-2019
Citation: KOH HIN YEE (2019-04-22). HOW TO BE HUMAN: THE MORAL POLITICS OF NEGOTIATING CHINESE LANGUAGE EDUCATION REFORM IN 1970S SINGAPORE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: When the People’s Action Party (PAP) came to power, they advocated for a bilingual education whereby the Mother Tongue instilled cultural identity and the English language gave access to western knowledge and technology. Chinese teachers agreed with the bilingualism policy and played an integral part in Singapore’s development. They were not passive recipients of top-down educational policies. Instead, they had a sustained contact with the government and gave feedback on educational changes. The pragmatic Chinese second language teachers focused on language proficiency while the moralistic Chinese school teachers believed that education was more than language acquisition. The latter had the noble goal of inculcating the moral-cultural values through Mandarin. At first glance, the PAP shared the same moral vision for education. However, the Anglophone PAP fundamentally did not possess a common worldview as the Chinese school teachers. Their negotiation over educational changes was fraught with an underlying politics of morality. The Special Assistance Plan (SAP) rolled out in November 1978 was seen as a bargain between the two in an attempt to secure both cultural inculcation and language proficiency in a select number of Chinese schools. This thesis shows the vibrancy of the discussion over Chinese language education in Singapore, restores the community voices of those who once courageously expressed themselves, and shines a spotlight on the 1970s language education discourse that has been thus far hidden.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/155613
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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