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Lynch School’s Shirley Is Named Chair at Institute in Singapore

01/16/14

By Ed Hayward | Chronicle Staff

Published: Jan. 16, 2014

Lynch School of Education Professor Dennis Shirley has been named the CJ Koh Chair at the National Institute of Education in Singapore, effective this coming March, marking the third time a Lynch School faculty member has received the prestigious visiting lectureship.

The Lynch School has a long and enduring relationship with Singapore’s NIE, the nation’s central university for the preparation and development of teachers, administrators, researchers and education policy makers.

“It’s a tremendous honor,” said Shirley, noting that LSOE grads have returned to Singapore where they are principals, curriculum developers and lead teachers. “That I’m the third Lynch School faculty member to receive this honor speaks volumes about the partnership the school has maintained with Singapore educators and education leaders.”

The school’s previous Koh appointees were John E. Cawthorne Professor of Teacher Education for Urban Schools Marilyn Cochran-Smith in 2006 and Thomas More Brennan Professor of Education Andy Hargreaves in 2011.

Shirley has traveled extensively to Singapore over the past five years and conducted research into the curriculum, instruction and educator development programs that have placed Singaporean children atop the world’s leading educational assessments, particularly in math and science.

In 2012, Shirley and Hargreaves co-authored The Global Fourth Way: The Quest for Educational Excellence, which included an extensive analysis of Singapore’s education system and the novel ways in which it prepares its teachers and school leaders.

“We have worked tremendously hard on our partnerships with the Ministry of Education and the National Institute of Education for many years,” said Shirley. “Each time we are able to visit the country, we are always looking to enrich and enhance those partnerships.”

Last month, NIE professors Ee Ling Low and Oon-seng Tan visited BC.

The visiting lectureship will take Shirley to Singapore for approximately one week in March, when he will deliver a public keynote speech, meet with the Minister of Education and consult with education officials and faculty.

“Honors like the Koh Chair really speak to the Lynch School’s increasingly global reputation for scholarship, teaching and service,” said Shirley. “I’m proud to be able to represent Boston College and the Lynch School in this way.”