Project: Comparative study on 21st Century Skills in teacher training in 10 countries in the Asia-Pacific region
Duration: April 2015 – February 2016
The phase III includes the following four activities:
- Comparative analysis on “21st century skills” in teacher training among 10 countries in the Asia-Pacific region;
- Expert meeting on survey instrument development for country study
- Training for the management of participatory education database; and
- Tokyo Tech and UNESCO’s joint regional symposium
1. Comparative analysis on “21st century skills” in teacher training among 10 countries in the Asia-Pacific region
Eleven countries and areas in Asia-Pacific conducted survey and analysis on teacher training about 21st Century Skills from April 2015 – February 2016. There were originally 10 participating countries (Australia, India, China, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Korea, Thailand and Vietnam), and later Hong Kong (China) joined the study.
The study had two components. First was developing country reports based on study in each country in the theme of policies and practices of teacher training for developing 21st Century Skills. Second was summarizing the country reports into a regional report covering the 11 countries and areas in Asia-Pacific, reflecting results from a regional symposium (explained later).
11 participating countries and areas (created by author)
(i) Country report
The country report employed multiple perspectives such as 1) policies regarding teacher training; 2) training at municipals and schools; 3) teachers perceptions; and 4) lessons and best practices. Each country conducted literature review (e.g. school management plan), questionnaire and interview with school principals and teachers, and class observations. The survey was conducted between May 2015 and November 2015, and shared and discussed at a regional symposium at Tokyo Tech in February 2016, and compiled into a final report in February 2016.
(ii) Regional report
Country reports were compared and analyzed, and summarized into a regional report of 10 countries and areas in Asia-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).
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 20-21, 2015. Nineteen individuals participated, covering government representatives, education experts from ten Asian countries (India, China, Hong Kong (China), Malaysia, Mongolia, Japan, Philippines, Korea, Thailand and Vietnam) and UNESCO Bangkok staff. The meeting took three steps to prepare for analyzing teaching practices of 21st Century Skills:
- 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. Training for the management of participatory education database
Tokyo Tech developed a participatory education policy database in collaboration with UNESCO Bangkok by integrating its existing portals and databases for the past two years. The new database was designed with six components: eMap (education experts network)，Education System Profile （database of national education systems），eForum (online discussion)，eResources (resource repository), eConf (online event management) and eJob (job board). The new platform was launched in January 2014, and managed and maintained by UNESCO Bangkok staff.
Components of NESPAP (Source： Author)
In this year, training (including developing manuals) and promotion were conducted at UNESCO Bangkok in order for the office to take full control of the database and promote the use of the database.
The training includes developing manuals for three different types of staff members (IT administrator, contents moderator and other users). In addition, tutorial videos were created to enhance staff’s understanding of the use of the database. The manuals and videos are linked from the help page of the database.
The promotion included developing a leaflet to be distributed at UNESCO Bangkok-organized meetings and events. As of February 2016, the participatory database was utilized by six UNESCO Bangkok-organized meetings and events. For example, it was used for discussion among participants of a meeting. A staff member created created a user group in eForum, and utilized it for self-introduction and brainstorming. The group page was also used for follow-up of the meeting and further information sharing.
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 jointly organized a regional symposium with UNESCO Bangkok to share and discuss survey results from 11 countries and areas in Asia and the Pacific. This year’s symposium was held at Tokyo Tech’s Ookayama campus from February 22-24, 2016.
The symposium invited 49 individuals that includes government officials and education experts from 15 countries and areas (Australia, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Mongolia, India, Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam) and UNESCO Bangkok staff members.
Education experts from 11 countries and areas (Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mongolia, Australia, India, Philippines, China, Thailand and Vietnam) presented their analysis results on teacher training about 21st Century Skills. For Japan’s case, Prof. Yamaguchi and Dr. Yamamoto from Tokyo Tech presented their findings from Akita prefecture and others. They introduced unique teaching systems of the Akita prefecture, class observation at primary and secondary schools and results from questionnaire participated by 187 school principals and teachers. Many country studies reported that 21st Century Skills were integrated into existing teacher training for comprehensive development of teachers rather than creating a independent training programs. Some participants mentioned about the needs to enhance financial and human support to schools in order to fully develop teachers competencies for 21st Century Skills, considering the lack of budget and human resources at some schools.
Picture from the regional symposium (Source: UNESCO)
Outcomes of the Phase III