On Monday 17th October 2016, the Cardiff School of Education (CSE) at Cardiff Metropolitan University was delighted to play host to a group of Thai STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) educators. The 18-strong group comprised of teachers and directors of Vocational Colleges, Director and Deputy Secretary General of the Office of Vocational Education commission (OVEC), representatives from the British Council, the British Embassy in Bangkok and ‘Think, Learn, Challenge!’ The visit was organised through British Council and ‘Think, Learn, Challenge!’ who are working in collaboration to develop a new STEM curriculum for Thailand.
On their first full day of a week-long visit to the UK to investigate STEM education, the group had an action-packed day ahead of them! They were warmly welcomed to the University by Julia Longville (Deputy Dean of CSE and Director of Learning and Teaching), Kin Yu (Head of Department for Initial Teacher Education) and Viv John (PGCE Secondary Programme Director). A fascinating insight into Thai Vocational Education followed with our visitors enthusiastically questioning PGCE tutors about education structure and systems in the UK. Our visitors then joined tutors and student teachers for lively debate in group seminars on the tricky issue of Behaviour Management.
Professor Dan Davies, Dean of School of Education and a team of PGCE Secondary tutors hosted a well-deserved lunch for our visitors before they were whisked off to join in subject sessions in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, DT and ICT where they experimented and constructed with gusto! The day was rounded off with a question and answer session with Science tutors and an exchange of gifts.
The primary purpose of the visit was to explore how effective pedagogy is developed through STEM subjects. Our visitors were highly complimentary about the enthusiasm, motivation and engagement shown by our student teachers. Feedback from the group about the teaching approaches used by tutors to model methodology and the design of programmes was overwhelmingly positive. Thanks were given to all for a thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking visit.