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Singapore Teachers’ Pre-service Training and Professional Development. S.K. Lee Dean, Graduate Programmes & Research National Institute of Education Nanyang Technological University. National Institute of Education. More than 50 years of history

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Singapore Teachers’ Pre-service Training and Professional Development

S.K. Lee

Dean, Graduate Programmes & Research

National Institute of Education

Nanyang Technological University

National Institute of Education

  • More than 50 years of history

  • Almost all teachers in Singapore are trained in NIE

  • Autonomous institute within Nanyang Technological University

  • All budget funding is provided directly from the Ministry of Education

  • Provide pre-service training, professional development, school leadership preparation and educational research

Pre-service Training

  • Early model involves work & training together

  • Full time training programmes

  • All trainees are recruited by the Ministry of Education and are employees of the Ministry while under training

  • All trainees are fully sponsored by the Ministry of Education

Pre-service Training

The programmes available provide opportunities to different groups of trainees

  • 1-year Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) for graduates

  • 4-years degree BA/BSc (Education) Programme for high school graduates

  • 2-years Diploma Programme for high school graduates

Developing Education Professionals




Pre-Service Training

Framework for Initial Teacher Education Programmes

Innovation Independent learning Critical thinking, Commitment and Service.

Desired Attributes Framework



  • Educational Foundation & Policies

  • Content

  • Curriculum

  • Pupil

  • Pedagogy

  • Self

  • Pedagogical Skills

  • Interpersonal Skills

  • Reflective Skills

  • Personal Skills

  • Administrative & Management Skills


Desire for continuous learning, excellence & innovation

Commitment and dedication to the profession

Belief that all pupils can learn

Care and concern for all pupils

Respect for diversity

Collaboration, sharing and team spirit

Curriculum Studies

Education Studies

Content Knowledge


Main Areas of Programmes

Education Studies

Education Studies

Develop key concepts and principles in education for effective instruction and reflective practice

Education Studies

  • Include topics such as

  • Pupil development

  • Individual differences

  • Social context of education

  • Educational Psychology

  • Classroom management

  • Use of ICT in teaching

Curriculum Studies

Curriculum Studies

Equip student teachers with methods and approaches to teach different subjects.

Curriculum Studies: Primary Programmes

  • Art

  • English Language

  • Mother Tongue Languages

  • Mathematics

  • Music

  • Physical Education

  • Science

  • Social Studies

Curriculum Studies: PGDE (Sec)Dependent on subjects studied at university

  • Biology

  • Chemistry

  • Design & Technology

  • Mathematics

  • Physics

  • English Language

  • Mother Tongue Languages

  • Computer Applications

  • Elements of Office Administration

  • Home Economics

  • Physical Education

  • Art

  • Economics

  • English Literature

  • Geography

  • History

  • Music

Content Knowledge – Two Types

  • Academic Subjects which develop understanding of fundamental concepts and principles in specific disciplines.

  • Subject Knowledge modules which provide content mastery and depth for topics relevant to primary curriculum.

Academic Subjects

  • Only for Degree Programmes

  • 2 Academic Subjects for Secondary strand (corresponding to CS subject)

  • 1 Academic Subject for Primary strand

English Language

English Literature




Chinese Language

Chinese Literature


Malay Language

Malay Literature


Academic Subjects - Degree

For BA (Ed)





Family and Consumer Science

Physical Education and Sports Science

Academic Subjects - Degree

For BSc (Ed)

Subject Knowledge

Subject Knowledge Modules

  • In diploma and degree programmes (primary strands)

  • In upper primary strand of the PGDE(P)

  • Linked to the choice of curriculum studies



  • Teaching competencies are developed on site in schools/Junior Colleges

  • Mentoring by Co-operating Teachers and by NIE staff


  • A developmental model – through School Experience, Teaching Assistantship and Teaching Practice

  • Different periods to have different objectives and different assessment modes






Multicultural Studies Module

  • Now only in degree programme

  • To introduce student teachers to the implications of living in a diverse society, to understand the dynamics suggested by multiculturalism, multiracialism

Group Endeavours in Service Learning

  • All student-teachers

  • Community projects in arts, culture, education, environment, health, sports, others

  • Complete within 1st yr of studies (Degree – 2nd yr)

  • Facilitated by academic staff

GESL: Parameters & Deliverables

  • 20hrs minimum (excluding planning time)

  • Address organisation/community needs – mutually agreed scope

  • Conduct needs analysis

  • Specify project objectives

  • Presentation (including ‘product’)

  • Assessment framework: MOE’s PW

Professional Development

  • 100 hours provided for every teacher

  • 27,000 teachers

  • Update knowledge and skills

  • Pursue certification, eg Master

  • Financially supported by Ministry of Education

Professional Development

  • The Professional Development Continuum Model (PDCM)

  • Study at own pace

  • Building block approach

  • Leads to certification - Advanced Diploma, Advanced Postgraduate Diploma & Masters

Leadership Programme

  • Diploma in Departmental Management (DDM) for middle level managers

  • Senior Teachers Programme (STP) for potential master teachers

  • Advanced Senior Teachers Programme (ASTP) for master teachers

  • Leaders in Education Programme (LEP) for potential principals

  • Leader for Leaders Programme (LLP) for senior leaders

Leadership Programmes

  • Leaders in Education Programme (LEP)

    • Changing educational landscape

    • A shift from the competency-based model

      to focus on values and mindset change

    • 6-month executive programme to equip

      potential School Principals

    • Innovation being a key emphasis

    • Industrial attachment

    • Overseas visit

    • Journal and future school project

Leadership Programmes

  • Diploma in Departmental Management (DDM)

    • 17-week course for Heads of Department

    • Emphasis on innovation

    • Elements of self-learning

    • Support for Principal

Postgraduate Programmes

  • Doctor of Philosophy

  • Master by Research

  • Master by coursework

    • Master of Arts (Applied Linguistics)

    • Master of Arts (Applied Psychology)  

    • Master of Arts (Educational Management)

    • Master of Arts (Instructional Design and Technology)

    • Master of Arts (Social Studies)

    • Master of Education

    • Master of Science (Exercise and Sport Studies)

    • Master of Science (Life Sciences)

Thank you

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