“They’re increasingly acting as coaches or facilitators of learning,” Sutthiphong Chuncharoen, director-general of the Department of Local Administration (DLA) under the Ministry of Interior, told a workshop on Finnish teaching methods last week.
The workshop was attended by teachers from 14 southern provinces. They were among public school teachers nationwide taking part in a series of workshops organised by the DLA to improve their teaching style by applying Finnish principles.
The Interior Ministry and Office of the Education Council introduced the workshops late last year. In the fourth, three teachers from Vihti in Finland shared techniques with counterparts from the South.
Mr Sutthipong said he has already seen positive changes in local schools. Students are becoming happier and more inquisitive as their teachers emerge from workshops with a less strict and intimidating approach focused more on coaching.
“Without making themselves the centre of attention by lecturing and barking instructions, teachers are able to increase their pupils’ learning potential,” he said.
Students are happier, less pressured, and have more courage to ask questions and express opinions, which are rare traits in Thai classrooms, Mr Sutthiphong added.
“The key to Finnish teaching is it’s quite flexible,” he observed, saying local schools are adjusting their teaching to suit different groups of students.
Finland went through a period of educational reform in 1968. Now, school days are much shorter compared to the rest of the world, teachers assign very little homework and there are no mandated exams or tests.
Children learn several subjects at the same time in a group setting, with the teacher as a guide. There are no rankings of schools and regions and no competition or comparison between students. Instead, there is a focus on children developing 21st Century skills, such as co-operation, communication and creativity, which help prepare them for the world.
Read original story here.