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Racialised Education in Singapore

  • Michael D. BarrEmail author
Article

Abstract

The Singapore education system plays a central role in the mythology of the young country’s nation building project. The education system is portrayed as the cradle of Singapore’s multiracialism, fostering racial harmony and understanding. Yet this historical study of primary school English textbooks from the 1970s to the present reveals that since the beginning of the 1980s they have been systemically designed in such a way that they evoke high levels of racial consciousness, and at their worst have displayed a pro-Chinese bias that has deprived non-Chinese children of inspiring role models. This study helps to explain the results of recent sociological research that has cast doubt on the effectiveness of the Singapore education system as an instrument for promoting racial harmony.

Keywords

English textbooks ethnicity multiracialism pedagogy primary school race racism Singapore stereotyping teaching English 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of History, Philosophy, Religion and ClassicsThe University of QueenslandSt. LuciaAustralia

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