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Curriculum Development and Textbooks in Singapore. Dr Ang Wai Hoong Singapore. Reliance on imported textbooks MOE started on Civics textbooks Published by MOE EPB. 1965 1969. Pioneering efforts in textbook development by MOE Civics textbooks in four languages

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dr ang wai hoong singapore

Curriculum Development

and Textbooks in Singapore

Dr Ang Wai Hoong


evolution of curriculum and textbook development 1965 to present

Reliance on imported textbooks

MOE started on Civics textbooks

Published by MOE EPB



  • Pioneering efforts in textbook development by MOE
  • Civics textbooks in four languages
  • Designed textbooks for innovative teaching



Institutionalized innovation in textbook development

Curriculum Development Institute of Singapore (CDIS) setup to provide textbooks for Primary and Secondary levels of the New Education System



CDIS closed in 1996. MOE focused on curriculum frameworks and syllabuses

* commercial publishers provide textbooks

* MOE authorize and approve



Evolution of Curriculum and Textbook Development 1965 to present

syllabuses to teaching materials
Syllabuses to Teaching Materials

MOE SyllabusesTeachersStudents

ProvideObjectivesSelect,prepareUse & learn

Content topicsteachingmaterialsteacher-prepared


importance of textbooks
Transmit knowledge, skills, attitudes, values

Shortage of qualified and well-trained teachers

Lack of relevant teaching and learning resources

High stakes examinations influence placement in good schools, scholarship/bursary award, job prospects

Importance of Textbooks
phase i 1965 1969
Vernacular Schools

showed strong orientation to migrants’ motherland

MOE set up Education Publication Bureau (EPB)- publish textbooks for Civics and Mother Tongue languages

Phase I 1965 - 1969
phase ii 1970 1979
Commercial publishers supplied textbooks

MOE provided textbooks for innovative projects to improve teaching and learning

Education for Living

Integration of Civics, History and Geography in Mother Tongue languages

Primary Pilot project

Integration of English, Mathematics and Science

Phase II 1970 - 1979
phase ii 1970 19791
Chinese Language Project

Emphasis on oracy and literacy

Lower Secondary Science

Emphasis on concepts, scientific skills and attitudes

Phase II 1970 - 1979

Both projects joined CDIS and were successfully implemented in schools

phase iii 1980 1996
Implementation of New Education System (NES)

Curriculum Development Institute of Singapore (CDIS) set up to develop quality textbook packages

On time for sale and use in schools

Affordable prices

Phase III 1980 - 1996
structure of cdis



Writing Teams

Administration Department

Department of Education Technology



Mathematics & Science

Structure of CDIS
main functions of cdis
Main Functions of CDIS
  • Administrative Department
  • Human Resource
  • Staff
  • Production
  • Specification
  • Time lines
  • Work with Publishers
  • Tenders
  • Publication dates
  • Costs/pricing
  • Project Team
  • Develop conceptual framework
  • Write materials
  • Trial material in Schools
  • Assist in evaluation by NIE
  • Conduct dissemination workshops

Department of Education Technology

Develop Audio Visual materials

Produce Educational Television Programs

Provide imported AV materials for loan to Schools

Conduct workshops on the use of Education Technology for teachers

requirements of textbooks
Generally one textbook and work/activity book per grade per subject in primary and secondary levels

Each textbook and work/activity book published in two parts for two semesters a year

preserve better

lighter to carry

Requirements of Textbooks
phase iv 1997 to present
CDIS closed in 1996

Curriculum Planning and Development Division

Prepares syllabuses (except Civics and Moral Education and Mother Tongue languages) for commercial publishers

Controls authorization process to ensure quality and affordable prices of textbooks

Lists all approve textbooks and prices on website

Phase IV 1997 to present
available teaching resources



Imported textbooks

Imported textbooks

Locally published textbooks

Library resources



CDIS multimedia textbooks packages

Imported textbooks

Locally published textbooks

Library resources



Local commercially published textbooks

Imported textbooks

Commercially available multimedia teaching resources (computer softwares, websites, e-books)

Library multimedia resources



Available Teaching Resources
singapore s experience1
Textbooks transmit

National values – nation building

Knowledge and skills – national


Singapore’s Experience
singapore s experience3
Dissemination workshops to model effective use of textbooks for teachers to

adopt teaching approaches

teach content

prescribed by MOE syllabuses to achieve

desired outcomes

Singapore’s Experience
singapore s experience5
Textbooks for all students

Parents to buy textbooks

MOE free textbook scheme for needy students

Assistance from schools and other organizations

Singapore’s Experience