Negotiating the School Curriculum for the Malay Muslims in Singapore

Chapter

Abstract

This chapter examines how the Malay Muslim community in Singapore negotiated their objective situation and their subjective everyday practices in the school curriculum. We begin with a brief historical survey of the Malay Muslims in Singapore and their schooling experiences during the colonial period under the British. This is followed by an analysis of how they negotiated their curriculum since Singapore’s self-government from the British in the late 1950s. The next section focuses on current efforts to ‘modernise’ the madrasah curriculum, with a case study of the recent changes that have taken place in one madrasah in Singapore. The chapter ends with some observations about the negotiation processes and outcomes for the Malay Muslims as well as the prospects for madrasahs in Singapore.

Keywords

Muslim Community Curricular Change National School Academic Subject English School 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowlegement

The authors thank the Nanyang Technological University for funding their research project; the chairman, staff, parents, students and other stakeholders of the madrasah for the research materials and their interviews; and Ms Diwi Binte Abbas for rendering valuable research assistance.

References

  1. Ahmad, S. (1971). Singapore Malays, education and national development. Suara Universiti, 2, 41–45.Google Scholar
  2. Ali, H. (1996). Culture, cognition and academic achievement of Malay students in Singapore. Unpublished PhD dissertation, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University.Google Scholar
  3. Aljunied, S. M. K. (2009). British discourses and Malay identity in colonial Singapore. Indonesia and the Malay World, 37(107), 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Aljunied, S. M. K., & Hussin, D. I. (2005). Estranged from the ideal past: Historical evolution of madrasahs in Singapore. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 25(2), 249–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Attorney-General’s Chambers. (2009). Singapore statutes online. http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/. Accessed 21 Aug 2009.Google Scholar
  6. Bakar, M. A. (2006). Between state interests and citizen rights: Whither the madrasah? In N. A. A. Rahman & A. E. Lai (Eds.), Secularism and spirituality: Seeking integrated knowledge and success in madrasah education in Singapore (pp. 29–57). Singapore: Marshall Cavendish.Google Scholar
  7. Buang, S. (2008). Religious education as locus of curriculum: A brief inquiry into madrasah curriculum in Singapore. In A. E. Lai (Ed.), Religious diversity in Singapore (pp. 342–361). Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and Institute of Policy Studies.Google Scholar
  8. Chee, M. F. (2006). The historical evolution of madrasah education in Singapore. In N. A. A. Rahman & A. E. Lai (Eds.), Secularism and spirituality: Seeking integrated knowledge and success in madrasah education in Singapore (pp. 6–28). Singapore: Marshall Cavendish.Google Scholar
  9. Djamour, J. (1953). Family structure of the Singapore Malays: Report to the Colonial Social Science Research Council (Scheme R. 281). London: Colonial Office.Google Scholar
  10. Doraisamy, T. R. (Ed.). (1969). 150 years of education in Singapore. Singapore: Teachers’ Training College.Google Scholar
  11. Funston, J. (2006). Singapore. In G. Fealy & V. Hooker (Eds.), Voices of Islam in Southeast Asia: A contemporary sourcebook (pp. 71–75). Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.Google Scholar
  12. Haikal, H., & Yahaya, A. G. (1997). Muslims in Singapore: The colonial legacy and the making of a minority. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 17(1), 83–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kadir, S. (2004). Islam, state and society in Singapore. Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 5(3), 357–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kong, L. (2005). Religious schools: For spirit, (f)or nation. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 23, 615–631.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Marsh, C. (2004). Key concepts for understanding curriculum (3rd edn.). London: RoutledgeFalmer.Google Scholar
  16. Millard, M. (2004). Jihad in paradise: Islam and politics in Southeast Asia. Armonk: ME Sharpe.Google Scholar
  17. Mutalib, H. (2008). Islam in Southeast Asia. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.Google Scholar
  18. Ooi, G.L. (2005). The Role of the Developmental State and Interethnic Relations in Singapore. Asian Ethnicity, 6(2), 109–120.Google Scholar
  19. Othman, A. B. (2007). The role of madrasah education in Singapore: A study on the philosophy and practice of madrasah education in a secular state and plural society. Unpublished Master’s thesis, International Islamic University Malaysia, International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation.Google Scholar
  20. Roff, W. R. (1967). The origins of Malay nationalism. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Rukhaidah, S. (2001). Language and identity among Singapore madrasah students. Unpublished honours thesis, National University of Singapore.Google Scholar
  22. Sahib, H. B. (2000). Islamic education in Singapore: Past achievements, present dilemmas and future directions. In I. Alee & H. Madman (Eds.), Islamic studies in ASEAN: Presentations of an International Seminar (pp. 69–85). Pattani: College of Islamic Studies, Prince of Songkla University.Google Scholar
  23. Siddique, S. (1986). The administration of Islam in Singapore. In T. Abdullah & S. Siddique (Eds.), Islam in Southeast Asian studies (pp. 315–331). Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.Google Scholar
  24. Tan, C. (2007a). Islam and citizenship education in Singapore: Challenges and implications. Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, 2(1), 23–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Tan, C. (2007b). Narrowing the gap: The educational achievements of the Malay community in Singapore. Intercultural Education, 18(1), 71–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Tan, C. (2008). (Re)imagining the Muslim identity in Singapore. Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, 8(1), 31–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Tan, C. (2009). Globalisation and the reform agenda for madrasah education in Singapore. Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education, 3(2), 67–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Tan, C. & Hairon, S. (2008). Continuing madrasah education in Singapore: towards teachers as reflective practitioners. Educational Awakening: Journal of the Educational Sciences, 5(1), 81–101.Google Scholar
  29. Zoohri, W. H. (1990). The Singapore Malays: The dilemma of development. Singapore: Kesatuan Guru-Guru Melayu Singapura [Singapore Malay Teachers’ Union].Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Policy and Leadership StudiesNational Institute of EducationNanyang WalkSingapore
  2. 2.Policy & Leadership Studies, National Institute of EducationNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

Personalised recommendations