National Institute of Education



The National Institute of Education (NIE) is Singapore’s only teacher training institution.1 In addition to engaging in initial teacher preparation, the NIE also provides continuing education and life-long learning to teachers, and conducts extensive, cutting-edge research in education that enhances NIE programmes.2

Teachers’ Training College
The NIE has its origins as the Teachers’ Training College (TTC), which was established on 1 March 1950. It was originally set up to provide formal fulltime training for English-medium teachers, who would attain a certificate in education at the end of their course.3 The college was first located at Cairnhill and later moved to Paterson Road.4


The TTC was set up to meet the demand for teachers after World War II.5 It initially trained only primary school teachers; the task of training teachers for secondary schools fell to the University School of Education. By 1969, however, the TTC was also involved in the training of secondary school teachers. It became the only teacher training institute in Singapore when the School of Education closed at the end of 1971.6

In 1971, Ruth Wong, the director of research at the Ministry of Education, was appointed principal of the TTC.7

Institute of Education
In April 1973, the TTC was revamped to become the Institute of Education (IE), which comprised the schools of professional studies, curriculum studies, technical studies and continuing studies.8 In addition to the fulltime two-year Certificate in Education programme for non-graduates, the IE also started a fulltime one-year Diploma in Education programme for graduates.9 Wong, former principal of the TTC, was appointed its first director.10


Under the Institute of Education Act enacted in 1970, the IE was commissioned to provide teacher training courses at all levels; establish the necessary facilities conducive to the provision of such courses; and promote research in education.11 The legislation also meant that the IE had become an independent institute that could grant degrees and institute professorships.12

As the inaugural director, Wong played a significant role in the early development of the IE.13 She restructured the teacher training curriculum and pushed for a multidisciplinary approach to teacher training. She also argued for the inclusion of collaborative work, use of objectives, and research-based assignments to replace examinations. These policies helped establish a new curriculum for teacher education, focusing on both the teacher’s professional competence and the student’s personal growth.14

In 1981, the IE moved to a campus in Bukit Timah.15 In July 1984, the College of Physical Education was established as an autonomous college at the IE, providing a two-year Diploma in Physical Education programme.16

NIE as part of Nanyang Technological University
In 1991, following a report by eminent British educationist and chemist Frederick S. Dainton, who had been asked to review the development of university education in Singapore, the IE and the College of Physical Education were merged to form the NIE. The resultant entity became part of the Nanyang Technological University.17 The NIE opened with the School of Arts, School of Science, School of Education and the Centre for Applied Research in Education.18 Gloria Lim was appointed director of the NIE.19


This development was accompanied by the introduction of four-year Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree programmes.20 In July 1992, the NIE also started offering master’s and doctoral postgraduate programmes.21

In December 2000, the NIE moved to a new S$400-million campus at Yunnan Garden in Jurong. Designed to create an environment that would challenge and motivate trainee teachers, the campus includes a purpose-built art gallery that opened on 16 March 2009.22

NIE today
NIE programmes fall under two major categories: teacher education and undergraduate studies; and graduate studies and professional learning.23 The former – consisting of postgraduate Diploma in Education, undergraduate degree programmes, diploma programmes – provides academic and professional development that prepares student teachers for effective teaching in schools.24 The latter – comprising higher-degree programmes, leadership programmes, professional development programmes and courses – helps teachers who want to enhance their competence and knowledge within a constantly changing educational milieu.25


In addition to providing pre-service training, the NIE is also the only institution in Singapore with a research focus on education. The institute has established a number of research centres, including the Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice and the Learning Sciences Laboratory.26 Since 2008, the NIE has produced over 600 journal papers, and several of its journals have an international reach.27 It is also in collaborative partnerships with many overseas educational institutions.28

Timeline
1950: Launch of TTC.

1973: Launch of fulltime Diploma in Education programme with practicum.29
1981: IE moves to Bukit Timah campus.
1984: Establishment of College of Physical Education. Launch of two-year Diploma in Physical Education programme.
1991: Merger of IE and College of Physical Education to form NIE, which becomes a part of Nanyang Technological University.30 Gloria Lim is appointed first director.
1992: NIE offers postgraduate programmes leading to the award of master’s and doctoral degrees.
1994: Launch of the NIE Centre for Educational Research and the Principals’ Executive Centre.31
1998: Launch of the Singapore Centre for Teaching Thinking.32
2000: NIE moves to Yunnan Garden campus in Jurong.
2001: NIE wins the Singapore Innovation Award.33
2003: Establishment of the Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice.
2008: Launch of Programme Review and Enhancement initiative.34 Office of Education Research established to lead efforts in spearheading programmes grounded in the principles of advancing research, development and innovation.35
2009: Launch of TE21 (A Teacher Education Model for the 21st Century) strategic blueprint.36



Author

Gerrie Kow




References
1. National Institute of Education (Singapore). (2002). Moulding lives, shaping tomorrow: The NIE story. Singapore: National Institute of Education, pp. 10–11, 14. (Call no.: RSING q370.732095957 MOU)
2. Goh, K. C., et al. (2010). Forging ahead: Embracing the future. Singapore: National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, p. 46. (Call no.: RSING 370.71095957 GOH); National Institute of Education (Singapore). (2002). Moulding lives, shaping tomorrow: The NIE story. Singapore: National Institute of Education, pp. 28, 31. (Call no.: RSING q370.732095957 MOU)
3. ‘War’ to destroy illiteracy starts. (1950, March 2). The Straits Times, p. 9. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; National Institute of Education (Singapore). (2002). Moulding lives, shaping tomorrow: The NIE story. Singapore: National Institute of Education, p. 20. (Call no.: RSING q370.732095957 MOU); Sim, W. K., & Ho, W. K. (1990). 25 years of teacher education. In J. S. K. Yip & W. K. Sim (Eds.), Evolution of educational excellence: 25 years of education in the Republic of Singapore. Singapore: Longman Singapore, p. 158. (Call no.: RSING 370.95957 EVO); Goh, K. C., et al. (2010). Forging ahead: Embracing the future. Singapore: National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, p. 21. (Call no.: RSING 370.71095957 GOH)
4. Cheong, H. C. (1950, August 9). The colony’s new college. The Straits Times, p. 6; Rooms become ready – they walk in. (1956, April 16). The Singapore Free Press, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; National Institute of Education (Singapore). (2002). Moulding lives, shaping tomorrow: The NIE story. Singapore: National Institute of Education, p. 20. (Call no.: RSING q370.732095957 MOU); Goh, K. C., et al. (.2010). Forging ahead: Embracing the future. Singapore: National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, p. 21. (Call no.: RSING 370.71095957 GOH)
5. Goh, K. C., et al. (2010). Forging ahead: Embracing the future. Singapore: National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, p. 21. (Call no.: RSING 370.71095957 GOH); Taylor, W. (1980). Teacher education in Singapore 1980: The role of the Institute of Education. Singapore: Photoplates, p. 13. (Call no.: RSING 370.73095957 TAY)
6. Ho, W. K. (1995). The educational legacy of Dr Ruth Wong Hie King. Singapore: Centre for Applied Research in Education, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, p. 49. (Call no.: RSING 370.95957 HO); University’s School of Education to close soon. (1971, November 10). The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Teachers’ Training College gets its first woman head. (1971, June 15). The Straits Times, p. 8. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Lee, S. K., & Chor, B. G. (2008). Making teacher education responsive and relevant. In S. K. Lee, et al. (Eds.), Toward a better future: Education and training for economic development in Singapore since 1965. Washington, DC: The World Bank, p. 98. (Call no.: RSING 370.9595709045 TOW); Taylor, W. (1980). Teacher education in Singapore 1980: The role of the Institute of Education. Singapore: Photoplates, p. 13. (Call no.: RSING 370.73095957 TAY); National Institute of Education (Singapore). (2002). Moulding lives, shaping tomorrow: The NIE story. Singapore: National Institute of Education, p. 24. (Call no.: RSING q370.732095957 MOU); Ho, W. K. (1995). The educational legacy of Dr Ruth Wong Hie King. Singapore: Centre for Applied Research in Education, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, pp. 49, 50. (Call no.: RSING 370.95957 HO); Goh, K. C., et al. (2010). Forging ahead: Embracing the future. Singapore: National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, p. 21. (Call no.: RSING 370.71095957 GOH)
9. National Institute of Education. (n.d.). Corporate information. Retrieved 2016, December 22 from National Institute of Education website: http://www.nie.edu.sg/about-us/corporate-information/
10. National Institute of Education (Singapore). (2002). Moulding lives, shaping tomorrow: The NIE story. Singapore: National Institute of Education, p. 114. (Call no.: RSING q370.732095957 MOU); Ho, W. K. (1995). The educational legacy of Dr Ruth Wong Hie King. Singapore: Centre for Applied Research in Education, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, p. 49. (Call no.: RSING 370.95957 HO); Lee, S. K., & Chor, B. G. (2008). Making teacher education responsive and relevant. In S. K. Lee, et al. (Eds.), Toward a better future: Education and training for economic development in Singapore since 1965. Washington, DC: The World Bank, p. 98. (Call no.: RSING 370.9595709045 TOW); Sim, W. K., & Ho, W. K. (1990). 25 years of teacher education. In J. S. K. Yip & W. K. Sim (Eds.), Evolution of educational excellence: 25 years of education in the Republic of Singapore. Singapore: Longman Singapore, p. 159. (Call no.: RSING 370.95957 EVO)
11. Taylor, W. (1980). Teacher education in Singapore 1980: The role of the Institute of Education. Singapore: Photoplates, p. 13. (Call no.: RSING 370.73095957 TAY); Singapore. Parliament. Official reports – Parliamentary debates (Hansard). (1970, November 4). First reading of the Institute of Education Bill (Vol. 30, cols. 306—308). Retrieved from Parliament of Singapore website: https://sprs.parl.gov.sg/search/report.jsp?currentPubID=00069230-ZZ
12. Taylor, W. (1980). Teacher education in Singapore 1980: The role of the Institute of Education. Singapore: Photoplates, p. 13. (Call no.: RSING 370.73095957 TAY); Singapore. Parliament. Official reports – Parliamentary debates (Hansard). (1970, November 4). First reading of the Institute of Education Bill (Vol. 30, cols. 306–308). Retrieved from Parliament of Singapore website: https://sprs.parl.gov.sg/search/report.jsp?currentPubID=00069230-ZZ
13. National Institute of Education (Singapore). (2002). Moulding lives, shaping tomorrow: The NIE story. Singapore: National Institute of Education, p. 114. (Call no.: RSING q370.732095957 MOU)
14. Ho, W. K. (1995). The educational legacy of Dr Ruth Wong Hie King. Singapore: Centre for Applied Research in Education, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, pp. 49, 51, 54. (Call no.: RSING 370.95957 HO); Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame. (n.d.). Ruth Wong Hie King. Retrieved 2017, May 23 from Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame website: http://www.swhf.sg/the-inductees/16-education/136-ruth-wong-hie-king
15. Farewell to Paterson campus. (1981, November 8). The Straits Times, p. 7; IE moves into new home in Bukit Timah. (1981, November 15). The Straits Times, p. 8. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
16. National Institute of Education. (n.d.). Corporate information. Retrieved 2016, December 22 from National Institute of Education website: http://www.nie.edu.sg/about-us/corporate-information/; Peng, A. (1984, January 5). All systems go for physical education college. The Business Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
17. National Institute of Education (Singapore). (2002). Moulding lives, shaping tomorrow: The NIE story. Singapore: National Institute of Education, pp. 20, 24. (Call no.: RSING q370.732095957 MOU); Sim, W. K., & Ho, W. K. (1990). 25 years of teacher education. In J. S. K. Yip & W. K. Sim (Eds.), Evolution of educational excellence: 25 years of education in the Republic of Singapore. Singapore: Longman Singapore, p. 159. (Call no.: RSING 370.95957 EVO); Goh, K. C., et al. (2010). Forging ahead: embracing the future. Singapore: National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, p. 22. (Call no.: RSING 370.71095957 GOH)
18. National Institute of Education. (n.d.). Corporate information. Retrieved 2016, December 22 from National Institute of Education website: http://www.nie.edu.sg/about-us/corporate-information/; Ex-university don gets top education institute job. (1991, February 12). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
19. National Institute of Education (Singapore). (2002). Moulding lives, shaping tomorrow: The NIE story. Singapore: National Institute of Education, p. 114. (Call no.: RSING q370.732095957 MOU); Ex-university don gets top education institute job. (1991, February 12). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
20. National Institute of Education (Singapore). (2002). Moulding lives, shaping tomorrow: The NIE story. Singapore: National Institute of Education, p. 20. (Call no.: RSING q370.732095957 MOU); National Institute of Education. (n.d.). Corporate information. Retrieved 2016, December 22 from National Institute of Education website: http://www.nie.edu.sg/about-us/corporate-information/
21. Excelling in teacher education and educational research. (2015, April). NTULink, (91), 4–8, p. 4. Retrieved from Nanyang Technological University website: https://www.ntu.edu.sg/Alumni/publications/Documents/2015/Apr15.pdf
22. Goh, K. C, et al. (2010). Forging ahead: embracing the future. Singapore: National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, pp. 23, 94. (Call no.: RSING 370.71095957 GOH); National Institute of Education (Singapore). (2002). Moulding lives, shaping tomorrow: The NIE story. Singapore: National Institute of Education, pp. 22, 25, 28–29. (Call no.: RSING q370.732095957 MOU)
23. National Institute of Education. (n.d.). Office of teacher education. Retrieved 2016, December 22 from National Institute of Education website: http://www.nie.edu.sg/our-people/programme-offices/office-of-teacher-education; National Institute of Education. (n.d.). Office of graduate studies and professional learning. Retrieved 2016, December 22 from National Institute of Education website: http://www.nie.edu.sg/our-people/programme-offices/office-of-graduate-studies-and-professional-learning
24. National Institute of Education. (n.d.). Office of teacher education. Retrieved 2016, December 22 from National Institute of Education website: http://www.nie.edu.sg/our-people/programme-offices/office-of-teacher-education
25. National Institute of Education. (n.d.). Office of graduate studies and professional learning. Retrieved 2016, December 22 from National Institute of Education website: http://www.nie.edu.sg/our-people/programme-offices/office-of-graduate-studies-and-professional-learning
26. Hogan, D., Teh, L., & Dimmock, C. (2011). Educational knowledge mobilization and utilization in Singapore, pp. 3, 6. Retrieved from Ontario Institute for Studies in Education website:http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/oise/UserFiles/File/Singapore.pdf; Goh, K. C., et al. (2010). Forging ahead: Embracing the future. Singapore: National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, p. 23. (Call no.: RSING 370.71095957 GOH)
27. National Institute of Education. (n.d.). Office of education research. Retrieved 2016, December 22 from National Institute of Education website: https://www.nie.edu.sg/research/research-offices/office-of-education-research; National Institute of Education. (n.d.). Publications. Retrieved 2016, December 22 from National Institute of Education website: https://www.nie.edu.sg/about-us/publication/
28. National Institute of Education. (n.d.). Global connections. Retrieved 2016, December 22 from National Institute of Education website: https://www.nie.edu.sg/about-us/global-connections/
29. National Institute of Education (Singapore). (2002). Moulding lives, shaping tomorrow: The NIE story. Singapore: National Institute of Education, p. 24. (Call no.: RSING q370.732095957 MOU); Goh, K. C., et al. (2010). Forging ahead: Embracing the future. Singapore: National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, p. 22. (Call no.: RSING 370.71095957 GOH)
30. National Institute of Education (Singapore). (2002). Moulding lives, shaping tomorrow: The NIE story. Singapore: National Institute of Education, pp. 20, 24. (Call no.: RSING q370.732095957 MOU); Goh, K. C., et al. (2010). Forging ahead: Embracing the future. Singapore: National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, p. 22. (Call no.: RSING 370.71095957 GOH)
31. National Institute of Education (Singapore). (2002). Moulding lives, shaping tomorrow: The NIE story. Singapore: National Institute of Education, p. 25. (Call no.: RSING q370.732095957 MOU)
32. National Institute of Education (Singapore). (2002). Moulding lives, shaping tomorrow: The NIE story. Singapore: National Institute of Education, p. 25. (Call no.: RSING q370.732095957 MOU)
33. PM’s blueprint for innovative S’pore. (2001, November 17). The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
34. National Institute of Education. (n.d.). Teacher education 21. Retrieved 2016, December 22 from National Institute of Education website: https://www.nie.edu.sg/about-us/corporate-information/corporate-identity/teacher-education-21
35. National Institute of Education. (n.d.). Corporate information. Retrieved 2016, December 22 from National Institute of Education website: http://www.nie.edu.sg/about-us/corporate-information/; Hogan, D., Teh, L., & Dimmock, C. (2011). Educational knowledge mobilization and utilization in Singapore, p. 8. Retrieved from Ontario Institute for Studies in Education website: http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/oise/UserFiles/File/Singapore.pdf
36. Goh, K. C., et al. (2010). Forging ahead: Embracing the future. Singapore: National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, pp. 24, 46, 147. (Call no.: RSING 370.71095957 GOH); National Institute of Education. (n.d.). Teacher education 21. Retrieved 2016, December 22 from National Institute of Education website: https://www.nie.edu.sg/about-us/corporate-information/corporate-identity/teacher-education-21



The information in this article is valid as at 2009 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic. 

Subject
Politics and Government>>Education
Teachers colleges--Singapore
Education
Education>>Higher education>>Colleges and universities
Universities and colleges--Singapore
National Institute of Education (Singapore)