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ERIC Number: EJ1143433
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0272
"Freedom Can Only Exist in an Ordered State": Harmony and Civic Education in Singapore
Ho, Li-Ching
Journal of Curriculum Studies, v49 n4 p476-496 2017
This paper uses the concept of stories of peoplehood to examine how the Singapore government has constructed a story of harmony and to consider how this story has influenced two important school subjects focused on civic education: Social Studies and Character and Citizenship Education. Stories of peoplehood, including constitutive, economic and political power stories, play a central role in the political project of people-making which involves defining the nature of membership in a political community and promoting a collective political identity. This study provides an alternative way of conceptualizing the goals and curriculum content of civic education and it also offers an example of how a nation state with a strong Confucian tradition has chosen to address the educational goal of living together through the promotion of values such as social cohesion and community relationships within a story of harmony. The study also shows how Singapore political leaders construct a narrow and limited discourse of harmony within the curricula and use it to legitimize policies that privilege particular groups, limit political freedoms, marginalize groups with less power or status, and circumscribe the kinds of actions a citizen can legitimately take.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A