Island of Individuation: Teaching With a New, Dynamic Approach to the Development of the Human Psyche in the Singapore Context


The fostering of not just better mental health outcomes, but a more creative, knowledgeable and versatile workforce (Watermeyer, Chen & Ang 2021) has been at the forefront of Singapore's development of her people since the seminal events of the late 2010s: the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the Singapore Bicentennial, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 4G leadership transition. Occurring in tandem with this have been the arrival of two of the most diverse and metacognitively-aware generations the planet has likely ever seen, Generation Z and Generation Alpha, the possibilities, anxieties and dangers of a more technologically-advanced population and society, and the normalisation and sensitization of both to issues of trauma, resilience and inequality (e.g. Ang Qing 2022, Neo et al. 2022). In relation to all of these, this presentation introduces a new theory of the human psyche known as Individuation Theory, developed and applied during the COVID-19 pandemic in a H1 General Paper classroom in a government junior college in Singapore by the author. This presentation will consider how Individuation Theory offers a new and dynamic means of working with diverse, intelligent and trauma- and abuse-aware young Singaporeans who are not simply looking for the traditional 5Cs (Elangovan 2021), but for four new intangible qualities Singaporeans have always struggled to appreciate: value, identity, vulnerability and authenticity (VIVA). Alongside a consideration of the well-documented VUCA context of Singapore, therefore, the presentation will outline these four new VIVA factors emerging within the collective Singapore psyche, and how Individuation Theory supports both their development in younger Singaporeans as well as larger outcomes related to community- and nation-building.

Author Information
Kevin Martens Wong, Merlionsman of the Republic of Singapore & Kabesa Kodrah Kristang, Singapore

Paper Information
Conference: SEACE2023
Stream: Mind

This paper is part of the SEACE2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Wong K. (2023) Island of Individuation: Teaching With a New, Dynamic Approach to the Development of the Human Psyche in the Singapore Context ISSN: 2435-5240 The Southeast Asian Conference on Education 2023: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon