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Creating the next generation of educators

17.05.2010

Deans and representatives from Thai Rajabhat Universities came together to plan ICT capacity development for their institutions’ pre-service teachers at Rajabhat Deans’ Forum on April 28 – 30, 2010 as part of UNESCO Bangkok’s Scaling Up the Next Generation of Teachers project.

Participants included deans, duty deans and ICT training personnel from 40 Rajabhat Universities across Thailand. The event was held at National Institute for the Development of Teacher, Faculty Staff and Educational Personnel in Nakhon Pathom province in collaboration with Thai National Commission for UNESCO. Leadership from Education Faculties were given the opportunity to assess their current ICT training practices and plan for future goals, identifying support they require under UNESCO Bangkok’s Scaling Up the Next Generation of Teachers project to instill their pre-service teachers with the knowledge and skills to integrate ICT into pedagogy effectively.

The project, which is funded by Japanese-Funds-in-Trust (JFIT), is a continuation of the Next Generation of Teachers project aimed at building the institutional capacity of teacher education institutions (TEIs) in designing and providing the training on ICT-integration for the next generation of teachers in Asia and the Pacific region to enhance teaching and learning by utilizing ICT judiciously in the classrooms serving more countries and TEIs capitalizing knowledge and expertise acquired during the first phase.

Speakers from Thai Ministry of Education and SEAMEO talked about their initiatives and present activities in ICT teacher training in Thailand. The UNESCO Bangkok ICT in Education team then introduced the four stages of development on ICT-pedagogy integration and discussed capacity building of teacher education institutions.  Chiang Mai University, as one of the first TEIs to take part in the Next Generation of Teachers project, shared its successes and challenges of implementing the three-pronged approach of the project, i.e. (i) leadership and management capacity, (ii) ICT-ready curriculum (iii) capacity of instructors. In addition, representatives from Intel Teach gave an overview of available teacher training courses and presented case studies to the participants.

These sessions provided contextual information and essential points for group discussions among the Rajabhat Universities which culminated in a planning session to select options for enhancing the institutions’ capacity in ICT-pedagogy integration on the final day.

The forum proved fruitful as the participating deans were able to identify current challenges and the necessary long-term actions including support needed from external organizations. UNESCO Bangkok and Thai National Commission for UNESCO are already preparing to co-organize Intel Teach Essentials course workshops for all Rajabhat Universities from June 2010 onwards.

For more information on the Scaling Up the Next Generation of Teachers project please contact f.miao@unesco.org