The latest graduation ceremony in Tampere was attended by representatives from RMUTT, its sister universities, the University of Tampere, Finland University (the main co-ordinating body), and the teachers themselves. The latter had just completed the five-month programme’s final module, spending a week in Tampere finalising their own pedagogical projects under the guidance of the Tampere University lecturers responsible for the programme.
A whole new paradigm
RMUTT teacher Sarakul Sukortprommee, who has been teaching for 12 years, praised the University of Tampere lecturers and said the course had completely changed his view on how to educate.
“The lecturers here are a superb team, taking care of every detail and welcoming all our ideas. They have taught us about the importance of motivation and the creation of a relaxed, welcoming attitude in the classroom.”
“This course has shown me a whole new paradigm for education, and I’ve now changed my teaching style to be more of a mentor and a friend to my students,” he says. “I believe this is the future for education in Thailand.”
Sukortprommee’s view is echoed by fellow teacher Weeraphong Krusong, who has been teaching for more than 30 years.
“I had heard about Finland’s reputation for education, and so it was fantastic to have the opportunity to study here. The country is truly a leader in education management and I’ve learned a lot that I can apply back home,” said Krusong. “We need to focus more on motivating students to learn by themselves in Thailand, and encourage them to talk and tell us what they are feeling.
Teaching for changing times
As incomes and living standards rise in countries like Thailand, the demand for university education is increasing. This, together with the widespread use of digital communication and social media, means university teachers must embrace new methods that resonate with students and encourage more self-learning.
The research done on teaching and learning in higher education at the University of Tampere’s Faculty of Education is at the forefront of studying these new phenomena.
“Our approach is to encourage student-centric learning where the teacher is more like a motivator and facilitator,” says Finland University Key Account Manager Mirka Gustafsson. “Teachers should be specialists in understanding the different ways in which students of the 21st century are inspired to learn. A one-size-fits-all approach to teaching is no longer optimal – we need to bring out each student’s individual strengths.”
Building the community
In addition to enrolling another 60 teachers in the programme, RMUTT is now working together with Finland University to establish an on-campus Smart Teacher Training Academy in Thailand. The aim is to further spread modern pedagogical knowledge among Thai teachers, as well as to foster the sense of community so important in modern teaching. The academy will officially open in early June 2018.
Finland University has also recently delivered a programme in teaching and learning in higher education in Brazil. Read more here
Photos: Jonne Renvall / University of Tampere
Mirka Gustafsson, Key Account Manager, Finland University
Finland University is the international education brand, and marketing and sales company of four leading Finnish research universities: University of Eastern Finland, University of Tampere, University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University. All universities are in the top 2% of global university rankings.
Finland University provides the degree programmes and professional development programmes of its member universities to individuals and institutions worldwide (universities, government ministries and agencies, foundations, companies).