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Corporate Elites and the Reform of Public Education$
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Helen M. Gunter, David Hall, and Michael W. Apple

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447326809

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447326809.001.0001

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(Re)producing elites: meritocracy, the state and the politics of the curriculum in Singapore

(Re)producing elites: meritocracy, the state and the politics of the curriculum in Singapore

Chapter:
(p.119) Eight (Re)producing elites: meritocracy, the state and the politics of the curriculum in Singapore
Source:
Corporate Elites and the Reform of Public Education
Author(s):

Leonel Lim

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447326809.003.0009

This chapter first examines how the logic of meritocracy in Singapore vacillates between its elitist and egalitarian dimensions. Drawing upon ethnographic data from an elite and a mainstream school, it then develops an analysis of how one specific area of the curriculum – critical thinking – embodies this tension, specifying distinct knowledges and competencies for different students. The chapter argues that even as critical thinking is taught to all students, what often remains obfuscated are the ways through which the ideology of meritocracy acts to selectively recontextualize both the form and content of the subject in the process of its transmission.

Keywords:   meritocracy, Singapore, curriculum, elite education, state ideology, sociology of curriculum

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