This Teacher was Reluctant to Adopt High-impact, STEM Practices. But Kenan’s Professional Development Program Changed Her Mind.
Teaching physics is hard enough, but when the STEM wave swept through Bangkok’s Lad Pla Kao School two years ago, Mrs. Wilailuck Pinkaew, a dedicated teacher, felt utterly hopeless. Without notice, she had to drop everything she knew to implement some mysterious, inter-disciplinary learning methodology. Predictably, Mrs. Wilailuck’s first forays into the STEM world were disastrous.
Not one to sit on her hands, however, Mrs. Wilailuck quickly sought to improve her aptitude for the new approach. When she heard about Kenan’s Teacher Professional Development program, she jumped to join, a decision she would not regret.
Unlike other professional development programs for teachers in Thailand, all features of Kenan’s programming are geared towards achieving one thing: Impact. To realize a measurable impact on student outcomes, Kenan localizes international best practices in STEM education and trains teachers on how to bring these practices into the classroom. Mrs. Wilailuck quickly became well-versed in a student-centered learning approach that emphasizes critical, analytical, and innovative thinking instead of rote memorization. Beyond training in isolation, Mrs. Wilailuck gained access to cutting-edge lesson plans and STEM modules as well as received on-going mentoring support from Kenan’s education experts as she began inserting the modules into her classroom.
After joining the program, Mrs. Wilailuck’s classroom transformed into a playground of higher-order thinking, where students experimented, probed, and analyzed. Mrs. Wilailuck began attaining the impact every teacher dreams of because her students were learning and actually enjoying the process.
“The lessons and activities not only helped my students understand difficult concepts, but also enabled them to analyze physics’ questions,” Mrs. Wilailuck said joyfully. “Most importantly, everyone in my class, whether a good or poor student, enjoys learning and is more confident in their creativity. Many of my students have been inspired to study or pursue careers in STEM.”
Once an open skeptic of STEM, Mrs. Wilailuck is now championing the approach to her colleagues through her work as a master teacher. In this role she shares her experience and helps fellow teachers craft the type of learning environment that has worked so well for her.