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Means to an End: A Comparative Review of Finland and Singapore’s Basic Education Systems

Lau, Wilfred LU (2015) WPMM42 20151
Sociology
School of Social Work
Abstract
Singapore and Finland, despite having very different approaches to basic education, both perform highly in standardized testing and are respected internationally for their education systems. This paper takes a policy-planning view in analysing what makes these systems tick, looking specifically for similarities in these contrasting systems, or a “different process same outcome” approach. This means focusing on factors that can be affected via policy means. By doing this, factors that contribute to academic excellence are isolated, given that they remain as constants even when the surrounding conditions are changed dramatically. Analysis shown reveals that many “popular” categories, such as homework, class size and even educational... (More)
Singapore and Finland, despite having very different approaches to basic education, both perform highly in standardized testing and are respected internationally for their education systems. This paper takes a policy-planning view in analysing what makes these systems tick, looking specifically for similarities in these contrasting systems, or a “different process same outcome” approach. This means focusing on factors that can be affected via policy means. By doing this, factors that contribute to academic excellence are isolated, given that they remain as constants even when the surrounding conditions are changed dramatically. Analysis shown reveals that many “popular” categories, such as homework, class size and even educational philosophy, all of which are wildly different when comparing Singapore and Finland, are not unique to good education systems. Rather, when stable political, social and economic climates are assumed, what matters is structural cohesiveness within the education hierarchy, and a high overall quality of teachers, which can be achieved through a robust training and recruitment program along with powerful incentives to keep them in the industry, if not the career. Finally, this paper presents a model detailing the necessary conditions for a good education system to exist, as well as some measures that can be taken to improve it. (Less)
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author
Lau, Wilfred LU
supervisor
organization
course
WPMM42 20151
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Singapore, Finland, Education, Policy, Planning, Teachers, Evaluation
language
English
id
5469230
date added to LUP
2015-06-09 08:49:01
date last changed
2015-06-09 08:49:01
@misc{5469230,
  abstract     = {Singapore and Finland, despite having very different approaches to basic education, both perform highly in standardized testing and are respected internationally for their education systems. This paper takes a policy-planning view in analysing what makes these systems tick, looking specifically for similarities in these contrasting systems, or a “different process same outcome” approach. This means focusing on factors that can be affected via policy means. By doing this, factors that contribute to academic excellence are isolated, given that they remain as constants even when the surrounding conditions are changed dramatically. Analysis shown reveals that many “popular” categories, such as homework, class size and even educational philosophy, all of which are wildly different when comparing Singapore and Finland, are not unique to good education systems. Rather, when stable political, social and economic climates are assumed, what matters is structural cohesiveness within the education hierarchy, and a high overall quality of teachers, which can be achieved through a robust training and recruitment program along with powerful incentives to keep them in the industry, if not the career. Finally, this paper presents a model detailing the necessary conditions for a good education system to exist, as well as some measures that can be taken to improve it.},
  author       = {Lau, Wilfred},
  keyword      = {Singapore,Finland,Education,Policy,Planning,Teachers,Evaluation},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Means to an End: A Comparative Review of Finland and Singapore’s Basic Education Systems},
  year         = {2015},
}