The Learning Experiment Project for the 21st Century is under the collaboration of the Office of the Secretary of the Education Council and Faculty of Education, Khon Kaen University, Office of Basic Education Commission and Department of Local Government Promotion. The objective is to develop innovative competency of learners. The project’s first meeting was held on May 13, 2021 through the online system, with Dr. Amnat Wichayanuwat, General Secretary of the Education Council presiding over the meeting. In his opening speech, Dr. Amnat assigned the policy to be implemented. Among attendants was Dr. Usanee Thanosawan, Vice General Secretary of the Education Council. Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University welcomed the delegation and the school teachers and administrators who are joining the project. Mr. Samnao Nuathong, Director of the Office of Education Standards and Learning Development conveyed the reporting speech. Assoc. Prof. Sumalee Chaicharoen, Ph.D., Dean of the Faculty of Education, as the research project and the team leader presented the plans for the Learning Experiment Project for the 21st Century. There are 5 experimental sites covering 25 schools in Khon Kaen, Sakonnakhon, Lampang, Chonburi and Nakhon Srithammarat.
Dr. Amnat Wichayanuwat, General Secretary of the Education Council said, “The Learning Experiment Project for the 21st Century is aimed at developing innovative competency of learners. It applies research results and the policy-based recommendations from the Office of General Secretary of the Education Council in real situation in schools. In addition, it also answers the education policy of the Minister of the Ministry of Education, Ms Treenuch Thianthong, which was given on March 29, 2021. The policy involves curricular revision, improving learning processes, and transformation of educational system by incorporating innovations and technologies. This project emphasizes collaboration and participation from relevant institutions, namely, Office of Basic Education Commission and Department of Local Government Promotion, Ministry of the Interior. At the implementation level, there will be the Office of Primary and Secondary Education Services, and most importantly the teacher training institute, which is the Faculty of Education of Khon Kaen University as the key implementer and supervisor for innovation development at the schools under the project. It is hoped that this project will transform instructional models by incorporating analytical thinking skill, creative thinking skill, planning skill, problem-solving skill. The outcomes will benefit teachers and learners who also are expected to be happy to learn.”
Mr. Samnao Nuathong, Director of the Office of Education Standards and Learning Development said, “In 2020, the Office of Education Council and Chulalongkorn University conducted a research study to design learning transformation that responded to the change of the future world in the next 20 years. This research recommended the policy related to a new learning system that emphasizes the learning outcome, learning from multiple ecological systems, transforming teachers from one who transfers, designs and facilitates learning to one who enables learners to design the learning on their own. The research also suggested a new learning model that develops learners with the 6 future traits: learning meaningfully and with values, learning that enhances potentialities specific to individuals, learning initiated by the learners, learning creatively and creating innovations together, learning that can apply in real life, and learning for raising income. In 2021, the Office of Education Council adjusted the research work in some part in order to perform experiments in classroom, i.e., “Learning to develop innovative competence of learners” by integrating the National Education Standard 2018 in order to bring about 3 traits of learners: to be a learner, to participate in creating innovation, and to be a strong citizen. This experimental study is well cooperated by Faculty of Education, Khon Kaen University, with key researchers to organize major activities such as development of school administrators and teachers and perform experiments in 25 schools in 5 provinces around the country. The schools have different sizes and different contexts, which should work well for the experimental study.”
Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University welcomed the school administrators who join the project. “Khon Kaen University is also transforming instruction and so is pleased to be part of the country’s education transform that will answer the national strategy in developing and strengthening human resource and the master plan in the national strategy item 12, learning development and reform of learning that will answer the change of the 21st Century. The learning approaches and activities will be designed to develop learners’ skills at all levels. At the same time, teachers will take a new role of a new-era teacher. This project, when completed, will alter the learning approaches and learning resources. Khon Kaen University is ready to be a key body in integrating and coordinating all aspects that will lead the project to success.”
Assoc. Prof. Sumalee Chaicharoen, Ph.D., Dean of the Faculty of Education added, “The Learning Experiment Project for the 21st Century involves the target group of 25 school directors, at least 50 teachers and at least 500 students. The first activity was the workshop under Module 1 on May 17-18, 2021, and another workshop under Module 2 on May 21, 22, and 25, 2021. For the next step, the teachers and the schools will improve the innovations to match their context. There will be the research team helping in this respect. When the innovations have been completed, they will be used in classrooms and will be experimented on, which is expected to be during June 14 until July 30, this year. Each innovation will be incorporated in the instruction for at least 30 hours. Researchers will evaluate the learners before and after learning. Supervision will be done based on PLC, with an aim to create a learning community that comprises the research team and the school teachers. The research team has come up with the EduLearn, or a tool used for designing a new learning model the Faculty already experimented at Khon Kaen Demonstration School last year. The model proves effective and is well accepted. The research team also regularly met with the Office of the General Secretary of the Education Council. They place a lot of importance on the building of a learning community of schools and researchers so that the load will not be placed on the doers or the teachers alone. The said tool is at the moment 80% completed. The remaining 20% will involve teachers’ experience at the site with the use of their innovations. The outcome will be the learners of the 21st Century who possess the required traits.”
Dr. Somwang Boonsit, the educational supervisor of the Office of Primary Education Service Area 1, Khon Kaen said, “It is lucky that we have a school in our area joining the experiment. It is Hinladwangto School, a third big-sized school of the service area. The school is prepared in terms of resources and personnel and is ready for the experiment. We hope that the pupils will be trained to become innovators and we hope that this will be expanded to other schools under the service area.”
Mrs. Kanjana Jitsamruay, the educational supervisor of the Office of Primary Education Service Area 2, Nakhon Srithammarat said, “I’m pleased that the Office of the General Secretary of the Education Council and the research team selected 4 schools in our service area to join the project. We have the plan to develop instruction that will result in students’ innovations. This experimental project adds to the plan we have. So we can now effectively manage the learning of teachers and pupils so that they will be of higher quality.”