Global-local dynamics of curriculum policy development: a case-study from Singapore

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Abstract

Non-government education is often a highly emotive and frequently irrational area of educational debate, especially when it centres on the degree of government funding and support. Frequently people take fortified positions, being either for or against it, often on political grounds and often without taking into account the cultural contexts and complexities involved. The purpose of this article is to look beyond these confines. It is based on a research project focusing on 'whole' curriculum policy at the individual school level in non-government schools in a variety of English-speaking countries in the developed world. The article is in three parts. The first part outlines the conceptual framework employed to guide our research project on curriculum policy. The second part presents a case-study of Chinese High School (CHS) in Singapore. This is an exemplar of the type of case-study of curriculum policy in non-government schools being undertaken as part of our research. Also, it is an interesting case in its own right; while the school has developed a global orientation to its curriculum policy and has incorporated 'the global' into 'the local' extremely rapidly, this curriculum transition has not been without its tensions and costs. The third part of the article offers a discussion of the 'bigger picture' implications of the findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-370
JournalCurriculum Journal
Volume14
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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