The Challenge of Teaching Political Science in Singapore: A Case Study of the Module on Government and Politics of Singapore

By Bilveer Singh.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Since the Department of Political Science was established in the mid-1960s, due to the various national constraints, teaching political science has always had its own challenges. Many staff members had in the past been disciplined, including some asked to leave due to their political leanings and where the authorities are believed to have been ‘upset’ with their political stance. In this context, as the National University of Singapore has moved towards ‘general education’, teaching political science, especially a module such as Government and Politics of Singapore, has thrown up different kind of challenges. This study analyzes how the module has been taught over the years and what innovations have been introduced to ensure effective teaching and learning takes place. Two surveys were conducted in this endeavour. The key thrust of the study is the challenge of effective teaching in big classes in political science in Singapore.

Keywords: Singapore, Department of Political Science, National University of Singapore

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp.215-224. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 567.340KB).

Assoc Prof. Bilveer Singh

Lecturer, Associate Professor, Political Science Association of Singapore, Singapore

I have been teaching political science, focussing on international relations and comparative politics. I am also involved in pedagogical innovations as well as looking for ways to enhance teaching and learning. I led a field study group to Indonesia in 2005, being the first of its kind. I have written on what motivates a teacher, how to enhance peer evaluation as well as on how to conduct an effective field study in political science. Presently I am undertaking a study on how to undertake effective teaching of political science in Singapore, especially in the context of big classes.


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