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Home » Pedagogy » Teaching Strategies » Conceptualizing Chapter 1 - Page 2

Conceptualizing Chapter 1 - Page 2

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Conceptualizing Chapter 1
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Purpose of ”The Singapore Story” Official narrative


Appreciate progress


Singapore has made and limitations that Singaporeans need to continue to work on i.e. understand Singapore has come a long way, not to take progress for granted, some factors influencing perceptions are permanent (e.g. physical size) and some will take time to shift  (e.g. our sense of  history).


Importance of understanding official narrative as basis for critiquing


Ways of seeing the official narrative as context and understanding how it is constructed


  • Prevalence of official narrative/founding myths/stories.

    Every country has an official narrative that is used to forge national identity and guide its thinking and behavior. It is especially vital in early days of independence, but will continue to exert a strong influence on the country’s identity and behavior.
  • Understanding construction of official narrative and impact.

    How did Singapore’s road to independence shape its approach to meeting nation building challenges? How did each phase affect approach in all domains of social action/issues highlighted in textbook (Governing, Bonding and Conducting International Relations)?

    • e.g. Impact of Japanese Occupation: lessons learnt from speed with which Singapore fell and impact of oppressive occupation had distinct impact on national defense & diplomacy strategy; impact of Japanese treatment of different ethnic groups reinforced importance of maintaining ethnic stability; the way Singapore manages relations with China/Taiwan will be shaped by how we understand the legacy of Japanese Occupation on these two countries.
    • e.g. Impact of road to independence: the political upheavals of the 50s and early 60s will shape perceptions of multi-party democracy, reinforce impression of fragility of ethnic stability as well as influence Singapore’s relations with Malaysia. 


How do I bring in other ‘narratives’?

  • Sources on early Singapore (i.e. pre-1819) History, other versions of post 1819, post 1965 history. Especially material that looks at non-political aspects of Singapore’s development in the post-independence period. Stories by and about common Singaporeans to provide perspectives about non-political life in Singapore.
  • Sources of/by/about other founding fathers, e.g. Goh Keng Swee, S. Rajaratnam to provide perspectives on the challenges of nation building.



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