Author Topic: Knowing their strengths is key to student success  (Read 512 times)

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Offline thaiga

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Knowing their strengths is key to student success
« on: June 04, 2012, 01:28:25 PM »
Knowing their strengths is key to student success, says teacher

BANGKOK: -- In many schools, it's normal for teachers to devote the greater part of their attention to students who demonstrate academic excellence.

In reality, students have wideranging degrees of capability or intelligence. So to help them develop to their appropriate study levels, teachers at a Bangkok school are tailoring activities to match their students' different needs.

"It's true that people have various intelligence levels, and not only in languages and mathematics," said Amornrat Potitapana, deputy director and head of the One Student One Talent research project at Satriwithaya School.

"Club activities among the students have changed since the academic year 2010 when we started this project. Not only does this variety help our students to improve their capabilities, but also it encourages them discover themselves so they know what they are really skilled at."

She added that previously students joined in club activities merely to spend their time in a useful way and to create a good relationship with other students.

More than 2,500 students from Matthayom 15 (Grade 711) take a test that helps divide them into eight groups with different intelligence levels. Ninetyfive teachers who take different subjects help create activities that are specifically suitable for each group. A total of 95 activities have been created for the students to try.

The school has divided its students into eight categories based on Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory - linguistic, logicalmathematical, visualspatial, musical, bodilykinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalist.

Amornrat said the activities for each category emphasised their unique abilities. For example, those with linguistic intelligence learned public speaking, story telling, playing crosswords and essay writing, while others with visualspatial intelligence tried creating souvenirs, painting objects and vegetable and fruit carving.

"Some Matthayom 3 (Grade 9) students in the mathscience field discovered they were more skilled at languages after taking part in the activities. As a result, they changed to study in the language field when they started Matthayom 4 (Grade 10) at the upper secondary education level."

"Some even made money from handicrafts they learned during club activities. Others who studied the traditional Thai long drums are now proud when they perform to welcome guests to the school," Amornrat said, adding that many told her they liked the new club activities as they were free to create their own work.

The school discovered that many students had more than one skill that could be developed, she said.

Amornrat's research presentation to inspire other school teachers was part of the 14th National Symposium on Educational Research held in Bangkok late last week by the Office of the Education Council (OEC).

Cherapan Poonnakaseam, deputy secretarygeneral of the OEC, said more than 2,000 participants were expected to join the symposium to learn from 60 presentations on research projects on education.

According to the Office of the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT), based on research budget allocation, 31 per cent of research in the country is in engineering, 28 per cent in agriculture, 17 per cent in natural science, 12 per cent in social sciences, 12 per cent in medical science and medicine, and less than 1 per cent in humanities fields.

There are more than 37,000 researchers, 25,000 research assistants and 45,000 people working in research support fields, according to NRCT.
The Nation
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