Sustainable Education Development Through the Boeing TEL Project
One of the most critical education indicators is the ability of students to take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to solving practical, real-life problems. The analytical and critical thinking skills required for this are not only essential for students as they enter the workforce, they help to determine a country’s overall competitiveness.
Unfortunately, Thailand’s education system has historically not prioritized such critical thinking and problem solving skills. In 2012, for example, Thailand scored 47 out of 76 countries on PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) tests designed to measure a student’s ability to practically apply classroom knowledge to solve real world problems. This was far behind other Asian countries like Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, and even Vietnam, which ranked 12th.
A short 100 kilometers northeast of Bangkok, in Nakhon Nayok Province, however, education officials are working with Kenan and local teachers to change this. As a project partner for the Boeing Technology Enhanced Learning Project (TEL), which promotes technology-driven education and critical thinking, the Nakhon Nayok Office of Primary Education has seen firsthand how the Project benefits teachers and students alike.
In particular, the Boeing TEL Project’s trainings on teaching scripts have proved highly effective. Teaching scripts are a method for teachers to plan their lessons by clearly defining the role of the teacher and student for each classroom activity. In Nakhon Nayok, they have instrumental in boosting student participation and helping students achieve higher test scores. One successful example is Wat Don Yo School, where 16 teachers received peer-to-peer training on using teaching scripts. Afterwards, their students went on to show noticeable improvements on their O-NET test scores in almost every subject.
In response to these successes, the Nakhon Nayok Office of Primary Education decided to use their own budget to expand the Boeing TEL Project to an additional 26 schools. “We are using our own budget to provide additional trainings for these schools because we can see the benefit of teaching scripts and we see the tangible results from Wat Don Yo School,” said Mr. Samuth Sompong, Director of Nakhon Nayok’s Office of Primary Education. The trainings will be supported by the Boeing TEL Project team and will be monitored after six months and one year.
This decision by the Nakhon Nayok Office of Primary Education to support an expansion of the Boeing TEL Project with their own budget is important for the Project’s long term sustainability. It shows that the Project is significant both for its results and for the way that it is viewed by local education officials and teachers. By introducing new teaching methodologies that focus on strategically utilizing each classroom’s limited ICT (information, communication, and technology) resources, students are better able to develop the analytical skills needed to apply what they learn to solving real-life problems.
Since its launch in 2009, the Boeing TEL Project has trained 201 school principals and 977 teachers from over 229 schools on how to effectively use one computer per classroom to enhance the learning experience of tens of thousands of students. As the project’s implementer, Kenan has worked with Provincal Education Service Area Offices in Bangkok, Nontaburi, Nakhon Nayok, and Samut Prakarn to train teachers on how to align the use of computers to benefit their lesson plans, as well as develop their classroom management, ICT, and leadership skills.