chapter  6
15 Pages

Pragmatism in Singapore

WithCharlene Tan

This chapter amplifies the essence of an East Asian Educational Model (EAEM) by investigating the appropriation of Confucian habitus and educational harmonisation in Singapore, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Singapore manifests an EAEM primarily through the ideology of pragmatism. The chapter highlights the qualities of pragmatism in Singapore and elucidates its application using the example of teaching critical thinking in Singapore schools. The value of harmony in Singapore calls for and is reinforced by policy alignment that minimises social disruption. The chapter illustrates the two noteworthy qualities of pragmatism – the preservation of social harmony through policy alignment and strategic adaptation to produce tangible results – in the example of the teaching of critical thinking in schools. Consistent with the maintenance of social cohesion, a collegial and communal conception of critical thinking is propagated by the authority and supported by the educators in Singapore.