Nguyen Binh Khiem Primary School located in District 1 of HCMC has just launched the project ‘Experimental Teaching in Social and Natural Science Subjects’ for third graders. Ms. Tran Bich Ngoc, teacher in charge of the lesson named ‘My Current City’, shared that she needed to integrate knowledge of various subjects like History, Moral lessons, Geography, Arts, and Music in order to present the content. Thanks to advanced equipment such as interactive boards and digital image databases, her pupils had a chance to observe attractive pictures, video clips about famous locations in HCMC like Ben Thanh Market, Nguyen Hue pedestrian street.
Similarly, Le Quy Don Junior High in District 3 has introduced Mozabook software this year, taking advantage of its huge 3D database and simulation lessons so that students are able to obtain knowledge in the most exciting and colorful way. In one such lesson called ‘Green Mission’, learners first watch a documentary about the life cycle of waste, along with the danger of air and water pollution. They then use virtual reality glasses to play the role of waste explorers to further imprint new knowledge into their mind. According seventh grader Bui Bao Tran, this method is much more effective to help her thoroughly understand the lesson.
Following the same trend as Le Quy Don Junior High, other schools in HCMC are installing equipment for a STEM (Science – Technology – Engineering – Mathematics) classroom to better teach natural science subjects of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. They all hope that those devices are able to revolutionize teaching-learning methods and boost students’ creativity.
These classrooms are paid gradually by instalments thanks to the cooperation with private businesses. This solution proves its effectiveness since it not only encourages technology implementation in teaching but also addresses the financial issues in state schools. On the way, learners also contribute a part of the investment, along with the income from products or activities that this special classroom generates.
As stated by Dr. Pham Dang Khoa, Principal of Le Quy Don Junior High, applying STEM for the teaching-learning process allows learners to make good use of their newly obtained knowledge to solve existing issues and may create practical products as well.
“I think that cutting edge teaching facilities are only the initial steps for the success of students. It is the daring spirit of teachers themselves that actually finalizes this success”, said Dr. Khoa.
In the meeting to introduce guidelines for the academic year of 2019-2020, the HCMC Department of Education and Training highly appreciated the collaboration between educational institutes and private organizations to apply STEM in the teaching-learning process. Many contests on this matter have been held to further prove the usefulness of this new method.
There are, however, certain problems arisen. Due to financial limits, the new teaching trend cannot be implemented unitedly among different places in the city. As a result, related teachers have been under much pressure trying to follow the footstep of their colleagues with insufficient teaching facilities, leading to a low performance.
It is high time that a change in textbooks, an improvement in teaching infrastructure and equipment, an upgrade in evaluation methods be applied with the support of parents in order to make learning the best experience for learners themselves.