Professor Samia Khan from the University of Dundee’s School of Education and Social Work, is partnering with universities in Southeast Asia in a project to improve the quality of teacher education in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
The project will examine how modelling is taught to future science teachers in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, focusing on modelling as a key scientific practice which cuts across all of the STEM subjects. A key question is how modelling supports future teachers’ abilities to teach science effectively once in the field.
In March, the University of Dundee hosted partners from Southeast Asia: R. Ahmad Zaky El Islami from Universitas Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa in Indonesia, Dr Chatree Faikhamta from Kasetsart University in Thailand, and Dr Nguyen Van Bien from Hanoi National University of Education in Vietnam. The team compared and contrasted secondary school science curricula and science teacher training in Scotland, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. They began planning a new ‘MII-STEM’ curriculum for future science teachers. MII-STEM stands for ‘Model-based Integrated Inquiry in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics’ and the new curriculum will be taught in each of the partner university’s science teacher education programmes.
The project was awarded a grant from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), a £1.5 billion fund from the UK Government to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries.
“This research will enable us to make recommendations to curriculum designers, teachers, teacher educators, those interested in pre-service and in-service teacher education, as well as governments,” said Professor Khan. “By improving the quality of STEM education, we’re hoping that more citizens from Southeast Asian countries will engage in socio-scientific issues that are pressing for their nations.”