School of Education News

Li-Ching examines, ‘How should Singapore teachers manage issues of race in the classroom?’

August 01, 2017

UW-Madison's Li-Ching Ho recently authored a commentary for Channel NewsAsia headlined, “How should Singapore teachers manage issues of race in the classroom?”

Li-Ching, a faculty member with the School of Education’s No. 1-ranked Department of Curriculum and Instruction, explores whether students should be encouraged to discuss controversial issues related to race in the classroom -- and what’s stopping teachers from doing so.

Li-Ching Ho
Writes Li-Ching: “If we truly believe in the democratic and educative value of discussing controversial issues, we need to ensure that Singapore teachers receive high levels of explicit support from school administrators and the Ministry of Education, even though some of the topics they address may be unpalatable or difficult to discuss.”

She adds: “Teachers should also be provided with more curricular resources and professional development opportunities so that they can create thoughtful and meaningful lessons for their students, and learn to manage the overtones of such difficult discussions. In the era of fake news, political and religious extremism, and the proliferation of multiple sources of information, it is abundantly clear that we need to move away from top-down conceptions of education.”

Li-Ching concludes by writing: “Research shows that one of the most effective ways of doing this is providing students the chance to discuss controversial public issues in-depth.”

Li-Ching’s commentary is part of Channel NewsAsia’s series on learning and education.

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