Sirene Lim

Associate Professor Sirene Lim

Vice Dean

S R Nathan School of Human Development

Tel: +65 6248 9128

Email: 4oCLc2lyZW5lbGltbXlAc3Vzcy5lZHUuc2c=

Educational Qualifications

  • 2007

    Ed.D (Early Childhood Education), Teachers College, Columbia University, USA

    Thesis “Exploring colonization: Situating young children’s experiences in the multiple contexts of globalizing Singapore”

  • 2003

    M.Ed (Early Childhood Education), University of South Australia

  • 1996

    B.A. Hons (I), Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, UK

Academic and Professional Experience

  • 2007 - 2013

    Assistant Professor, National Institute of Education, NTU

  • 2004 - 2006

    Teaching Assistant, Teachers College, Columbia University (Curriculum & Teaching Department and the Rita Gold Early Childhood Centre)

  • 1996 - 2003

    Teacher and Education Officer, Ministry of Education, Singapore

Journal Articles (Refereed):

Lim, S. (2021).
Children’s playful musicking: peer culture within a daycare setting in Singapore. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood.

Nuttall, J., Grieshaber, S., Lim, S., Yun, E., Oh, J., An, H., Sum, C.W., Yang, W. & Kim, S. (2021).
Workforce diversity and quality improvement policies in early childhood education in East Asia. Early Years, 1-17.

Yang, W., & Lim, S. (2020).
Toward distributed pedagogical leadership for quality improvement: Evidence from a childcare centre in Singapore. Educational Management Administration & Leadership.

Lim, S. & Lloyd, E. (2019).
Editors for Special Issue: Leadership as praxis in public and private settings within marketised early childhood systems. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 20(1).

Lim, S. M. (2015).
Early childhood care and education in a consumer society: Questioning child-adult binary and childhood inequality. Global Studies in Childhood, 5(3), 305- 321.

Lim, S. M., Wong, M.E., & Tan, D. (2014).
Allied Educators (Learning and Behavioural) in Singapore’s mainstream schools: first steps towards inclusivity? International Journal of Inclusive Education, 18(2), 123-139.

Lim, C., & Lim, S. M. (2013).
Learning and language: Educarer-child interactions in Singapore infant care settings. Early Child Development and Care, 183(10), 1468-1485.

Tay-Lim, J. & Lim, S. M. (2013).
Privileging preschool children’s voices in research: Use of drawings and a co-construction process. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 12(1), 65-83.

Lim, S. M. & Lum, C.H. (2012).
Creating polyphony with exploratory web documentation in Singapore. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 37(4), 123-126.

Book Chapters:

Nuttall, J., Grieshaber, S., Lim, S., Yun, E. (2023)
Conceptualising professional development with and for a diverse and globally mobile early childhood education workforce. In Tierney, R.J., Rizvi, F. & Ercikan, K. (Eds). International Encyclopedia of Education (4th Ed.) pp. 596-603.

Lim, S.M. & Sum, C. W. (2022).
The next phase of developments in Singapore’s ECE: quality in the best interests of all children? In Lee Y. J. (Ed.) Education in Singapore: People Making and Nation Building. Springer.

Lipponen, L., Ang, L., & Lim, S. M. with Hilppo, J., Lin, H., & Rajala, A. (2019).
Vital voices for vital years (2):
Perspectives on early childhood development in Singapore. Singapore: Lien Foundation.

Lim, S. M. & Lipponen, L. (2018).
Pedagogical leadership and conflict of motives in commercial ECEC environment. In S. Cheeseman & R. Walker (Eds). Thinking about pedagogy in early education: Pedagogies for leading practice. Routledge.

Sum, C. W., Lim, S. M., & Tan, C. T. (2018).
Pragmatism in policy making: influencing a largely privatized early childhood education and care sector in Singapore. In C. Pascal, T. Bertram, & M. Veisson (Eds). Early childhood education and change in diverse cultural contexts. Routledge.

Lim, S. M. (2017).
Marketization and Corporatization of ECCE in Singapore. In M. Li, J. Fox, and S. Grieshaber, Contemporary issues and challenge in early childhood education in the Asia-Pacific region,pp. 17-32. Singapore: Springer.

Lim, S. M. (2017).
Early childhood education and development in Singapore. In M. Fleer and B. van Oers (Eds.). International handbook of early childhood education and development, pp. 649-662. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.

Lim, S. M. & Lim, S. E. A. (2017). Governmentality of early childhood care and education in a global city. In Rao, N., Zhou, J., Sun, J. (Eds.). Early childhood education in Chinese societies, pp.185-216. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.

Lim, S. M. (2016).
“I have…do you have?”: Facilitating children’s play and talk in a consumer society. In M. Waniganayake & M. Ebbeck (Eds). Play and pedagogy in early childhood (2nd ed.), pp.134-146. Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.

  • National committees -- e.g., Outdoor Learning, Kindergarten Curriculum Framework review, Early Years Development Framework review, Skills Framework review, KidSTART Evaluation, Singapore Preschool Accreditation Framework (SPARK) Committee
  • Board member, National Institute of Early Childhood Development (NIEC), Singapore
  • Management Committee, Healthy Start Child Development Centre, Beyond Social Services, Singapore
  • Editorial Board: International Journal of Early Childhood (Springer)
  • Journal reviewer for educational research journals such as Teaching and Teacher Education; International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education; International Journal of Multicultural Education, Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, International Journal of Inclusive Education
  • Workshops for Early Childhood Development Agency and MOE Preschool Branch
  • Association for Early Childhood Educators, Singapore (AECES)
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • Pacific Early Childhood Education Research Association (PECERA)
  • Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education (RECE)

  • Early years integrated curriculum; early education policy and pedagogy
  • Play, sociology of childhood
  • Teacher learning and leadership

Lim, S.M. (2022, 22-24 Nov).
Spotlight speaker "Can infants and toddlers think?” What we know about children as meaning makers to support their playful STEM engagement. Singapore International Science Teachers' Conference.

Lim, S.M. (2021, October).
Keynote - Reaching every child: responsive preschool practices. Early Childhood Conference 2021 organised by Early Childhood Development Agency.

Lim, S.M. (2012, July).
Children as co-researchers and participants in Singaporean research: Perils and promise. Pacific Early Childhood Research Association Annual Conference.

Lim, S.M. (2011, Nov).
Plenary 1: Engaging, developing and assessing young learners. Keynote Address, ‘Celebrating learning, Transforming practice’ Academy Symposium, 10 Nov 2011, organised by the Ministry of Education Academy of Singapore Teachers. Singapore.

Lim, S.M. (2011, Sept).
优质教学的定义是什么?: 探索学前课室中教师与幼儿的互动 (What is quality teaching?: Exploring teacher-child interactions.) Keynote Address, 第二届“华文作为第二语言之教与学” 国际 研讨会: 学前转场 (2nd International Conference on Teaching and Learning of Chinese as a Second Language: Preschool Symposium), 8 Sept 2011, organized by Singapore Centre for Chinese Language. Singapore.

2022 - 2024
Principal Investigator – Preschool Outdoor Learning Evaluation Study (ECDA)

2018 - 2019
Co-Principal Investigator: Vital Voices (2), Lien Foundation

2010 - 2013
Co-Principal Investigator: Images of practice in arts education in Singapore
(OER 7/10 LCH) ERFP NIE (S$214,097)

2010 - 2011
Co-Principal Investigator: A study of current practices employed in the care and education of children aged 2 months to 30 months in Singapore
Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (S$61,067)

2009 - 2010
Co-Principal Investigator: A Development Project for the Scoping of the Singapore Early Years Longitudinal Study
(OER 15/08SW) ERFP NIE (S$ 95,039.81)

2009 - 2011
Principal Investigator: Teaching diverse learners: Conceptualisations and pedagogies of preschool teachers
(OER04/08SL) ERFP NIE (S$99,990)

2009 - 2010
Principal Investigator: Exploring emerging identities of special needs officers in Singapore primary and secondary schools (OER05/08SL) ERFP NIE (S$54,486.56)

Lim, S.M. & Lim, C. (2023, 13 Nov). Preschool admission only the first step in helping disadvantaged kids. The Straits Times.

Lim, S.M. (2022, 12 July). Improving S’pore’s preschool sector is everyone's business. Here's what needs to be done. TODAY.

Lim, S.M. (2019, 15 September). Long-neglected but now in the spotlight, Singapore’s pre-school sector. Channel News Asia.

Yang, W.P. & Lim, S.M. (2019, 26 May).Hong Kong and Shenzhen showed us what quality early childhood education looks like. Channel News Asia.

Lim, S. M. & Kaveri, G. (2018, 15 January). Uncovering myths of early childhood education. TODAY.

Lim, S., Lee, I.-F., & Ailwood, J. (2023). Considering space and power in study tours: Australian and Singaporean teacher educators’ encounter of ‘the other’. Panel presentation at Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA) Conference, Auckland, New Zealand (6 – 9 December).

Lim, S. & Sum, C.W. (2023). Exploring Migrant Teachers' Well-Being and Professional Development Opportunities: Enhancing Cosmopolitan Ethic in Singapore's EC Sector. Pacific Early Childhood Education Research Association (PECERA) Conference, Bali (7-9 July).

Li, J., Kaveri, G., & Lim, S. (2023). Resilience and wellbeing in a sample of five-year-olds in Singapore: Implications for early childhood educators. Pacific Early Childhood Education Research Association (PECERA) Conference, , Bali (7-9 July).

Nuttall, J., Grieshaber, S., Yun, E. & Lim, S. (2022, February). Early childhood workforce diversity, quality improvement and professional learning in the Asia-Pacific. Paper presented at Australian Journal of Early Childhood (AJEC) Research Symposium 2022 (10-11 February).

Grieshaber, S. Nuttall, J., Lim, S., Yun, E. (2021, 28 Nov – 2 Dec). Workforce diversity and quality improvement in East asia: the state of the policy field. Paper presented at the 2021 Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education.

Lim, S.M. (2017, November). Leading for social change? Exploring the role of early childhood leaders in Singapore’s pragmatic landscape. Paper presented at Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education (RECE), Toronto, Canada.

Lim, S.M., and Chen, D.W. (2016, September). Improving equity in Singapore’s early childhood education landscape. Paper presented at European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA), Dublin, Ireland.

Miyazawa, K. and Lim, S.M. (2016, April). Homo economicus in Japan and Singapore. Paper presented at American Education Research Association (AERA) Conference, Washington, D.C.

Lim, S., Yang, C.H., and Li, L. (2015, June). Quality of infant/toddler programmes in Singapore. Paper presented at Quality Childhood Education International, Hong Kong Institute of Education, 18-19 June.

Ang, A., Lim, S. M., & Wong, M. E. (2011, May). Experiences of a Child with Down Syndrome in a Mainstream Primary School. Paper presented at Redesigning pedagogy: Transforming teaching, inspiring learning, NIE, Singapore.

Lim, S. M. (2011, April). Web documentations of teaching: Steering debate about “good” practice and exploring ways of enhancing teacher learning. Paper presented at American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies, New Orleans, United States.

Lim, S. M., Lum, C. H., & Zhou, X. (2011, April). Images of teaching: Making the

familiar strange through multimedia web representations. Paper presented at American Education Research Association (AERA), New Orleans, United States.

Lim, S. M., Wong, M.E., Cohen, L., & Tan, C.T.D. (2011, May). Experiences of Allied Educators (LBS) in mainstream schools. Paper presented at Redesigning Pedagogy: Transforming teaching, inspiring learning, NIE, Singapore.

Lim, S. & Lim, A. (2010, August). Through the eyes of a Singaporean child: What’s missing in ECCE policy and practice. Paper presented at OMEP (World Organisation for Early Childhood Education) XXVI World Congress, Göteborg, Sweden.

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