School gets Thai seal of approval

JACK MONTGOMERIE
Last updated 05:00 02/08/2014
Niramol Tojinda
FOREIGN VISITORS: Thai education official Niramol Tojinda meets Cannington School pupil as part of an official tour of New Zealand’s schools.

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Cannington School's teaching methods got the tick from Thai educationists yesterday.

A group of Thai education officials visited the rural 21-pupil South Canterbury school as part of a project to improve teaching in Thailand's 100,000 small primary schools. Cannington principal Hamish Brown talked to the delegation of 11 officials from three branches of the Thai Education Ministry, about teaching classes comprising children of different ages.

The approach is called "multi-level teaching", and Brown told the delegation it was a "very, very good way to go" because pupils had "nowhere to hide" from teachers who paid attention to each student.

He said multi-level teaching required highly competent teachers and flexible tests to assess children's progress.

Chanya Ruangmalai, a senior education supervisor from the Nakhon Sawan province, said the group had been impressed by the quality of the school's teaching practices.

The Thai officials are visiting 10 schools throughout New Zealand and thought Cannington School's approach provided a good example of teaching at a small school.

Sixty per cent of Thailand's primary schools have fewer than 120 pupils on their roll, and Ruangmalai believed multi-level level learning made sense for them.

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- The Timaru Herald

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