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Developing and Supporting STEM Teachers | Teaching STEM in Southeast Asia – Part 2

MH 5 Part 2 panellists - website

In the second session of our three-part series on Teaching STEM in Southeast Asia, we invited three more distinguished educators from across the region in a discussion on Developing and Supporting STEM Teachers.

Series moderator Dr Frederick Talaue, Associate Professor at the Department of Science Education, De La Salle University opened the session with four concepts to keep in mind when considering STEM teacher capacity building: Adaptation, Constraints and Affordances, Support, and Professional Development.

Each working in a different country context, our speakers all touched on different teacher development programmes and perspectives they use to introduce STEM education into the classroom. Dr Arif Hidayat, Associate Professor at the Department of Physics, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, introduced his research on Teacher Leadership for STEM Improvisational Learning. His research focuses on helping Indonesian teachers innovate localised STEM pedagogy and apply it to their lessons, and on empowering them to be instructional leaders. Mrs Rose Marie Burayag, Education Program Supervisor at the Department of Education, Schools Division Office of Nueva Ecija, Philippines, shared how she transformed the pedagogies of the teachers in her division by targeting their professional development priorities and focusing on understanding the existing status and contexts of their learners. Finally, Dr Chatree Faikhamta, Associate Professor at Faculty of Education, Kasetsart University, Thailand, dissected how he empowers teachers to design better context-specific STEM activities by developing their Pedagogical Content Knowledge to achieve national and sustainable development goals. Teachers learn to integrate different STEM disciplines in a lesson, for example incorporating biomimicry into the classroom, to enhance students’ collaborative problem-solving skills and create human design solutions.

…the evolving identity of teachers as not just knowledge disseminators, but as change-makers, as they grow into a holistic understanding of what it means to teach STEM

Through their research and training programmes, our speakers also highlighted the evolving identity of teachers as not just knowledge disseminators, but as change-makers, as they grow into a holistic understanding of what it means to teach STEM. Through his research, Dr Arif highlights how teachers see themselves as leaders and learners when innovating localised STEM pedagogies as they apply concepts such as anticipating students’ response to a STEM lesson, and allowing greater room for student voice. Dr Chatree similarly highlights the role of the teacher as a learner, researcher, maker and problem solver, and reflexive practitioner, when creating localised STEM pedagogies effective for their classroom.

And finally, our speakers emphasised the importance of constant collaboration and communication among teachers especially when taking on interdisciplinary aspects of STEM education. Mrs Burayag shared her use of School Learning Action Cells as a key component of building STEM teaching capacity, and the 3C’s of successful STEM teaching: Commitment, Collaboration, and Communication. Dr Arif similarly discussed the use of lesson study in his training programmes, citing the importance of collaborative evidence-based observation, and the importance of STEM Learning Communities for teachers to constantly share practices and learn from each other.

Join us next Wednesday for the final session of this three-part series, where we understand the importance of Creating a STEM Ecosystem to ensure the sustainability and relevance of STEM education in schools. Sign up here!

Watch all sessions from this Making HEADway webinar series, Teaching STEM in Southeast Asia.

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