KKU expands project for ‘smart’ teachers

national May 16, 2018 01:00

By RACHANON CHAROONSAK
THE NATION

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KHON KAEN University is pioneering a new model of education aimed at boosting the capabilities of students, said Education Minister Dr Teerakiat Jareonsettasin.



Launched in 2017, the KKU Smart Learning Education Model for Sustainable Development Project uses cutting-edge research by Khon Kaen academics to train “smart” teachers. 

More than 25 KKU lecturers from eight different faculties have joined the initiative to develop teaching innovations that suit the learning style of modern-day students. Under the initiative, the curriculum is improved with up-to-date content. Meanwhile, 48 new teaching manuals – six per subject – are helping teachers upgrade their ability across a range of 290 topics.

Recently, Teerakiat travelled to KKU to sign an agreement for the implementation of the project at various schools. 

KKU president Assoc Prof Kittichai Triratanasirichai said the KKU Smart Learning initiative is aimed at improving secondary students’ abilities in three subjects – Science, Maths and English – by encouraging teachers to include innovations in classroom methods. 

“The project initially started with 6,000 Mathayom 1 students and 270 teachers in 45 schools in Khon Kaen, Roi Et, Mahasarakham and Kalasin provinces,” Kittichai said. 

This academic year, KKU smart learning is expanding to cover a total of 31,200 students at 195 schools in 20 provinces. The three-year project eventually aims to incorporate 4,050 teachers and boost the capabilities of 81,000 students.

The project focuses on media literacy, learning skills, ICT skills, life skills, and occupational skills, according to its director, Kunthida Tuamsuk, who is also Dean of KKU’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. 

“This project works, and research confirms that its innovations can help Thai students in a sustainable way that conforms with the Thailand 4.0 policy. The Minister of Education wants to add the Thai language to the three subjects covered by the project, and also target schools under the Office of the Basic Education Commission across the whole of the Northeast as soon as possible,” said Kunthida.

The progress of students in the KKU Smart Learning programme is being monitored by testing similar to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) Test. One aim of the project is to boost the relatively poor PISA performance of Thai students, a high proportion of whom languish at Level 2 (Below Proficiency) in the international tests.