Beyond high-stakes exams
Based on the broad interpretation of performance, this chapter examines the education policies and practices in Singapore, Shanghai, and Hong Kong that centre on a well-rounded education. The analysis of Singapore, Shanghai, and Hong Kong draws upon Hargreaves and Shirley's framework of the Fourth Way. With reference to the Fourth Way, the pillars of purpose are expressed through an inspiring dream to bring about a student-centred, values-driven education. The pillars of purpose are accompanied by the principles of professionalism. The well-respected teaching profession in Singapore is fortified by the stringent selection of teachers from the top one-third of the high school cohort. The pillars of purpose and principles of professionalism are strengthened by the catalysts of coherence. In the specific field of assessment, prudent and professional approaches to testing are employed to enhance rather than inhibit student learning. Ministry of Education is aware of the danger of an overemphasis on high-stakes exams and test scores.