KP Sharma

A total of 156 STEM teachers are currently participating in a two-day training across four locations, aimed at enhancing their content knowledge, technology utilisation, and inclusive pedagogies in their profession.

The focus is on promoting higher-order thinking with a commitment to inclusion and equity through subject-specific modules and additional workshops.

Further, this training is also in line with His Majesty’s vision of enhancing the quality of STEM education by optimally integrating ICT to enable effective and world-class education.

Hosted in four locations: Thimphu, Phuentsholing, Gelephu, and Trashigang, the workshop is organised by Samtse College of Education in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Skill Development.

The teachers could utilise open Open Educational Resources (OER) in delivering their lessons to the students at a superior level and channel students’ interest and learning towards the subjects.

The OERs in sciences and mathematics, developed collaboratively by teachers and groups members from within the country were intricately aligned with the school curriculum frameworks.

Bhutan’s Project coordinator, Reeta Rai, (PhD) said that the foundational designs of these OERs are rooted in essential principles such as technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK), universal design for learning (UDL), and higher-order thinking, prioritising inclusion and equity. All these skills are required to effectively deliver the lessons.

The primary feature of these OERs, she added, lies in the utilisation of technology and ICT as central tools for learning, teaching, and assessment.

They were designed to suit the local contexts and cater to the specific requirements of secondary school levels from grades VII to XII.

According to the project coordinator, STEM teacher educators at the College dedicated approximately a year to crafting the content materials for these OERs.

In addition, the materials underwent rigorous screening by both project group members and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) Mumbai, an esteemed international consultant renowned for its expertise in innovative teaching methodologies.

“The College has also piloted the same OERs with secondary STEM teachers from different dzongkhags and received feedback from them to make the OERs content more relevant and meaningful.”

The project was also dedicated to fostering the professional growth of secondary school STEM teachers, leveraging open educational resources (OERs) instilled with the principles of universal design for learning (UDL), higher-order thinking skills in education (HOTIE), and design thinking.

The trained teachers will have to give training to other teachers in their places.

Phuntsho Choden, a physics teacher at Dechencholing HSS, highlighted the unique aspect of this workshop, where ongoing monitoring by trainers through assignments and reflections ensured the practical application of acquired knowledge in the field.

Despite acknowledging challenges in schools, she expressed confidence in implementing the knowledge gained.

The workshop was a part of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, funded project.