Friday, February 27, 2009

Temasek Foundation Singapore & Population and Community Development Association Thailand Project

In this Temasek Foundation funded project, Population and Community Development Association (PDA) in Thailand has put up a Train The Trainers (TOT) Project. The idea is that teachers and principals are trained in the curriulum and management system used at the Lamplaimaat Pattana School in Buriram, a school that has a track record on par with that of private schools in the nation. The one-day training on effective teaching and learning of mathematics served as a case study to help teachers think about curriculum implementation and for principals to think about how they can sustain and implement high-quality programmes.

It was encouraging too see even the school principals thinking hard to come up with the solutions to the problems posed to them. And did they have good and interesting ways of solving those mathematics problems! I hope the general message about shifting the focus from memorizing fatcs, carrying out procedures without understanding and doing tedious clerical tasks like computations to intellectual tasks like doing visualization, looking for connections, developing number sense, developing metacognition and enhancing communication came across during the seminar.
There were 200 participants on each of the two days. So, I was glad to have the opportunity to influence the thinking of 400 people who are in the position to do something to make the learning process in schools effective and enjoyable. There were also three teacher trainers from a teacher training institute in Luang Prabang, Laos.

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