Project: Comparative study on 21st Century Skills in practices in 6 countries in the Asia-Pacific Region and the promotion of a participatory policy data base
Duration: April 2014 – February 2015
The phase II includes the following four activities:
- Analysis on teaching practices to develop 21st Century Skills in six countries in Asia and the Pacific;
- Expert meeting on survey instrument development for country study;
- Developing participatory education database and promoting its use; and
- Tokyo Tech and UNESCO’s joint regional symposium
1. Analysis on teaching practices to develop 21st Century Skills in six countries in Asia and the Pacific
This research has two components. First, UNESCO Bangkok and education experts from six countries in Asia-Pacific researched practices about 21st Century Skills at schools in participating countries, and created country reports. Second, discussion at a regional symposium (explained later) and among education experts was conducted to summarize the result of country reports into a regional report covering 10 countries and areas in Asia and the Pacific.
The project employed three steps. First, country reports were developed from analyzing 21st Century Skills in each country’s education policies. Second, e-Contest was organized to collect teachers and students’ opinions on 21st Century Skills by essay and video. Third, discussion at a regional symposium (explained later) and among education experts was conducted to summarize the result of country reports into a regional report of Asia and the Pacific.
This project started with six countries, and four countries and areas participated later. Eventually there are 10 countries and areas in this project: Japan, Korea, China, Mongolia, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, India, Philippines and Vietnam.
(i) Country report
Country report contains analysis from various perspectives such as 1) pedagogy for developing 21st Century Skills; 2) curriculum for 21st Century Skills; 3) school education policies; and 4) points to note, lessons and best practices. The research employed a framework developed in an expert meeting (explained later), and researched literature (e.g. school management plan), questionnaires with school principals and teachers, interviews, class observation. The study started between April-June, 2014, presented and discussed at a regional symposium in November 2014, and compiled into a final report in December 2014.
(ii) Regional report
Country reports were compared and analyzed, and the result was summarized into a regional report covering 10 countries and areas in Asia and the Pacific. The report provides an analysis on the application of education policies and curriculum about 21st Century Skills into school management plan, teaching goals and curriculum, from the perspective of pedagogy and assessment methods for developing 21st Century Skills. The result demonstrates that education policies on 21st Century Skills were reflected in school management plans and teaching goals, and the significance of 21st Century Skills were recognized by school principals and teachers in all countries. In addition, the report suggests that teachers roles were changing at schools in terms of developing 21st Century Skills. Since 21st Century Skills is comprised of communication skills and critical thinking, and so on, and thus requires its learners to learn through practices, teachers acknowledge that they need to change their teaching methods from teaching one-way to facilitating students’ discussion which promotes students’ self-helped learning. On the other hand, the report demonstrated that teachers were worried about the amount of support provided for them to change their roles and teaching methods to develop 21st Century Skills (e.g. teacher training, education materials and pedagogy sharing).
- Country report
- Regional synthesis report (Phase II)
2. Expert meeting on survey instrument development for country study
As a preparation for country study, an expert meeting was conducted in Bangkok, Thailand in April 1-2, 2014. Government representatives, education experts from seven Asian countries (Japan, China, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand) and UNESCO Bangkok staff participated in the meeting. The meeting took three steps to prepare for analyzing teaching practices of 21st Century Skills in six Asian countries:
- Sharing results from the previous year and understanding the position of this analysis in the whole project
- Sharing analysis tools for classroom teaching
- Deciding study schedule
3. Developing participatory education database and promoting its use
The needs for a mechanism to collect and share information was pointed out in multiple UNESCO Bangkok-organized expert meeting. However, existing portals and databases were not completely meeting the needs. With this background, this project has been redesigning current information portals and database into one participatory education policy database in order to invite more users and improving the user experience. Four basic components were developed in the previous year, and two additional components were developed this year. The six components are explained below:
The development platform was changed from Drupal to WordPress to improve the compatibility between different components.
Please note that you need to send your CV to nespap(at)unesco.org to create account.
4. Tokyo Tech and UNESCO’s joint regional symposium
Tokyo Tech and UNESCO Bangkok organized a regional symposium to share and discuss education practices of 21st Century Skills in Asia and the Pacific, in Hangzhou, China from November 26, 2014 to November 28, 2014. This symposium invited 40 members covering government representatives and education experts from 15 countries and areas (Australia, Hong Kong (China), Cambodia, China, Japan, Mongolia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam) and UNESCO Bangkok staff.
Participants presented their analysis on 21st Century Skills practices in their countries. The meeting found out that school management plans reflect 21st Century Skills in education policies or comprehensive human development. In addition, it was found that there were a variety of practices about 21st Century Skills in among countries. For Japan’s case, Prof. Yamaguchi and Dr. Yamamoto from Tokyo Tech reported practices in Akita prefecture and others. In their presentation, they reported analysis on Akita’s education policies and school management plans, results of questionnaire conducted with 277 school managers and teachers, and various teaching practices at the classroom.
Outcomes of the Phase II