Mr. Damrongsak Wongsranoi
Arthur Eisenkraft, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Science Education of Massachusetts University, led the workshop, providing training for 60 Thai teachers from various institutions. The workshop was a result of the Chevron Enjoy Science Project being embedded into the Active Physics curriculum, giving the opportunity for TVET Hub member teachers in technical colleges to become coaches or mentors. The mission of elevating education to develop professional skills has been more successful than expected at encouraging student participation, Mr. Damrongsak Wongsranoi from Pakthongchai Technical College, Nakhon Ratchasima province stated: “By participating in the Active Physics training, I have gained many insights. First, I now have a new teaching technique to engage students, and, second, the creation of a master teacher network allows us to share and discuss teaching methodologies with peers and trainers from It’s About Time. I am confident that this new teaching technique will benefit Thai vocational students and they will have more fun learning about science. If they enjoy classes more, they will learn more and the likelihood of them pursuing a STEM-related career in the future will also increase.”  
Mr. Ratanasak Thongpunya
Although there are various sources to find the required knowledge, which provides an opportunity for extended schools to develop their teaching and learning methods to be more or less equal to the big schools in towns, teaching materials are one of the most important elements that directly affect students’ learning ability . Hence, finding appropriate strategies that promote in-class teaching and learning methods to become more attractive is another way to enhance the performance of teachers. This has the potential to  accelerate learning in science and mathematics, which were previously incomprehensible, such as energy, mechanics and motion which were taught in Watlaemfarphar School (an extended school that has participated in the Chevron Enjoy Science: Science Project for the last two years). Teacher Tae, a master teacher of the project, described the application of the tactics obtained from teacher career development training in his own classrooms. For example, the Gallery Walk tactics, which allows each group of students to watch the activities of another group, and exchange and learn, instead of each group making presentations in front of the class. Not only will this take a short time, it also captures the attention of all students. Teachers Tae learned that when students talk among themselves they understand more than by listening to the teacher. While speaking with their friends, interacting with each other, and witnessing results from real experiments in the classroom, students will be able to explain it to their friends in their own language, which is much clearer than the language of the teacher. In addition, this knowledge exchange has the ability to train them to have the courage to express their opinions as well. Teachers Tae said that these teaching tactics have positive outcomes for students. Also, the O-NET score has been increasing every year. Five years ago when Teacher Tae was a new teacher, the average O-NET score was 29 points. This year the average score has reached 37. In addition, the rate of students went on to vocational certificate training or senior high school has risen from 70% to 90% and the majority of students chose to study in technical fields.  
Experts about the craft of teaching
Experts about the craft of teaching, Enjoy Science Master Trainers are critical to the development of teachers in Thailand and the project’s success. Three Deputy Deans from the Faculty of Industrial Education and Technology at KMUTT and current Master Trainers recently detailed teachers’ role in modern education.   Asst. Prof. Anusit Anmanatarkul believes that it is vital for teachers to understand how to teach STEM, rather than merely explaining what STEM means. At the heart of teaching STEM is bridging the interaction gap between students and teachers. Knowledge is shared most effectively when students are immersed in the material and not simply listening to their teacher lecture.    Similarly, Asst. Prof. Dr. Pichet Pinit says that the knowledge exchanged between teachers and students is a mutually beneficial endeavor. When teachers act as partners in learning, the classroom transforms into a dynamic environment where everyone is encouraged to provide input and creativity. In addition to increasing student capacity, interactive teaching improves student attendance and discipline as they become more invested in the learning process. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Santirat Nansaarng emphasizes that students will follow the tone set by the teacher, and so it is incumbent upon the teacher to create the type of learning environment that brings out the most in all students.  Although this goal may seem difficult to achieve, teachers must always strive to create a dynamic classroom. Modern students prefer classrooms that are fun, interactive, and informal, and teachers must be able to adjust their teaching style to match the needs of students. In summary, effective teachers utilize inquiry-based learning that involves asking students to solve challenging problems, rather than forcing students to memorize a series of facts. To contribute in the modern economy, students must acquire the mental agility to search for information, think critically, and solve difficult problems. As the Master Trainers indicate, teachers should provide students with hands-on experience in the classroom that allows them to interact with content in creative ways.   
Mr. Nipol Srinaruemol
Mr. Nipol Srinaruemol, a former high school science teacher and current mentor for teachers, is a well-known advocate for project-based learning (PBL) in Thai schools. He believes that PBL is the best way to build genuine interest in science and inquisitive thinking among students. For Mr. Nipol, PBL is not merely a buzzword, but something he brought to his classroom every day. The effort paid off as his students flourished and were even recognized in international education circles for their work. For example, Mr. Nipol supervised a group of Thai students that won the best project award at the invention competition of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2006 (Intel ISEF 2006). "Teachers are just like television hosts," explained Mr. Nipol. "If you want to get your interviewee to open up, you have to ask the right questions. Before class, I always prepared a list of questions that I thought would enliven my students. This is no different than an interview script."Like a good interviewer, Mr. Nipol added that a teacher must be flexible and able to adjust questions and lesson plans based on the response of students.  Furthermore, questions and PBL complement each other because asking a challenging question serves as the launch point for student curiosity. Students are then able to express their curiosity by developing hypotheses and testing them through experiments or projects.   Since retiring as a teacher, Mr. Nipol remains involved in education as an academic consultant and teaching mentor for Enjoy Science. In this role, he continues to learn about the impact of PBL through Enjoy Science workshops conducted by experts from Columbia University’s Teachers College, which has served to solidify his belief in the model. He hopes to spread international best practices in education, such as PBL, to hundreds of teachers from all six regions of Thailand. "Working with Enjoy Science allows me to share my experience gained over 40 years in the classroom with other teachers. I believe that through training and resources provide under the Enjoy Science Project, we will create a new generation of teachers that are equipped with the ability to unlock student creativity."   
Dr. Boonliang Chordnork, Science Teacher
“Over a year ago, I began participating in Chevron’s Enjoy Science’s professional development workshops, and, as a result, I have become a more impactful teacher – a fact that is best demonstrated through my students’ rising test scores and genuine interest in science. At workshops, education experts from Kenan Institute Asia and Teachers College at Columbia University introduced me to the latest pedagogical practices, which enable math and science teachers to enhance classroom learning and spark student curiosity. Today, my classes are very much student led and feature kids conducting hands-on experiments, working together to tackle challenging problems, and asking questions. Furthermore, I am constantly collecting data and evaluating student comprehension to refine and improve my teaching. Although I have been implementing these techniques in my classroom for only a short time, the early data looks promising. For example, of my 23 students, 57% now say that they enjoy studying science and 30% received qualifying test scores to attend the provincial school’s science branch, a significant achievement for the extended opportunity school in Udon Thani. I believe it is my duty to ensure that science students are developing their knowledge and critical thinking capabilities every time they enter the classroom. Providing students with opportunities to develop hypotheses, design experiments, and articulate their ideas are essential to building critical thinking skills. Students trained using inquisitive learning methods, rather than traditional rote learning, will acquire the skills that ultimately lead to the creation of bold, innovative, and transformative ideas.”   
Ms. Napapat Pimdee, Science Teacher
I am very glad to be working with a group of experts to upgrade Thailand’s education system by training other teachers to use inquiry-based learning techniques. From this experience, I have learned how to manage my teaching, so that children can fully learn from each activity. Such inquiry-based learning requires me to teach students through practice-based activities, rather than just through explaining, which I believe motivates students in the classroom.  Additionally, I have learned how to properly evaluate my students before starting a new class, allowing me to better tailor the way that I teach to their needs. With these skills, teachers can understand whether or not their students actually understand critical math and science concepts.
Mrs. Nanyana Janpetch, Math Teacher
I am proud to be part of the Chevron Enjoy Science Project because I have the opportunity to learn directly from foreign experts in order to train Thai teachers. This training truly changes our teaching behaviors by strengthening our involvement with students and pushing them to fully understand what they learn. In addition, I am able to integrate what I learn into my daily school lesson plans.


September 2017
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Thursday, 21st September 2017