Negotiating the School Curriculum for the Malay Muslims in Singapore

  • Charlene Tan
  • Salleh Hairon


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.


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.



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.


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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

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