Singapore teachers pre service training and professional development
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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

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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

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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

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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

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Developing Education Professionals




Pre-Service Training

Framework for Initial Teacher Education Programmes

Innovation Independent learning Critical thinking, Commitment and Service.

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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

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Curriculum Studies

Education Studies

Content Knowledge


Main Areas of Programmes

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Education Studies

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

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Education Studies

  • Include topics such as

  • Pupil development

  • Individual differences

  • Social context of education

  • Educational Psychology

  • Classroom management

  • Use of ICT in teaching

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Curriculum Studies

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

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Curriculum Studies: Primary Programmes

  • Art

  • English Language

  • Mother Tongue Languages

  • Mathematics

  • Music

  • Physical Education

  • Science

  • Social Studies

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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

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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.

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Academic Subjects

  • Only for Degree Programmes

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

  • 1 Academic Subject for Primary strand

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English Language

English Literature




Chinese Language

Chinese Literature


Malay Language

Malay Literature


Academic Subjects - Degree

For BA (Ed)

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Family and Consumer Science

Physical Education and Sports Science

Academic Subjects - Degree

For BSc (Ed)

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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

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

  • Mentoring by Co-operating Teachers and by NIE staff

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

  • Different periods to have different objectives and different assessment modes

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Professional Development

  • The Professional Development Continuum Model (PDCM)

  • Study at own pace

  • Building block approach

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

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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

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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

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Leadership Programmes

  • Diploma in Departmental Management (DDM)

    • 17-week course for Heads of Department

    • Emphasis on innovation

    • Elements of self-learning

    • Support for Principal

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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)