Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST) (December 2010-February 2014)
Tens of thousands of Thai students benefited from improved mathematics and science classes with the conclusion of UPGRADE, a three-year project designed to replace ineffective rote memorization teaching techniques with modern pedagogical methods that encourage curiosity and interaction. Funded by the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST) with funding from the Thai Ministry of Education and implemented in seven provinces, the UPGRADE project served as a pilot for a nine-year initiative to revamp science and math education in Thailand to make it more globally competitive.
In addition to creating 27-unit inquiry-based curriculums for science and math, Kenan and Teachers’ College at Columbia University placed a large emphasis on engaging teachers and principals in workshops to introduce new teaching and leadership techniques. Over the life of UPGRADE, the project held five leadership workshops for 280 principals and formed 55 science and math rollout workshop centers in all seven pilot provinces. To ensure that teachers were comfortable with the new lesson plans, classroom observation and feedback were provided by senior mentors for over 131 classrooms. More than 400 science and math master teachers and 2,000 science and math teachers were trained as a result. An estimated 25,000 students benefited from UPGRADE’s inquiry-based curriculums and upgraded teacher skills.