Modelling can be used to foster student learning in science

I have a long-standing interest in modelling, with prior experience teaching Chemistry (atomic structure) at a high school in Taiwan high school.

Around that time I became aware of a research project “exploring modelling integrated analogy-based teaching on students’ conceptual understanding and modelling competencies” which had a positive outcome on students’ performance. This research added to the ongoing conversation about model-based learning and science teaching, and sparked my interest in the topic.

I have also been engaged in STEM curriculum at different educational levels (see photos below), which has enriched my knowledge of STEM education.

Because of these empirical studies, I know that models and modelling can be used to foster student learning in science.

With integrated STEM education constantly evolving, more research is needed on how modelling can be developed to meaningfully link the STEM disciplines.

The MII-STEM project adds to this body of work by providing an in-depth look at modelling as practiced in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, to inform future STEM educators’ teaching.

Model-based teaching in Chemistry


A STEM implication in high school
Students’ STEM project

During the MII-STEM project process, our team revised lesson plans for the MII-STEM curriculum several times. Once a country completed the teaching intervention, a team meeting was organised to discuss and reflect on the issues that arose in the classroom, for example, teaching time, materials and students’ misconceptions of the content.

The MII-STEM lessons include both theory and practical activities. For example, they explore questions such as: What’s the meaning of STEM? What is model-based inquiry? How do future teachers implement model-based inquiry in teaching STEM?

The curriculum includes some classic science activities such as the Black Box, Fruit Battery and Right the Light LEDs. These practical tasks provided students with the opportunity to understand that a phenomenon may be modelled in more than one way. The activities demonstrated different elements of integrated STEM education.

I am enjoying the cooperation process of this project, which not only strengthens the academic communication between the UK and the SouthEast Asian countries, but also provides a valuable STEM curriculum design and practical reference for science educators. It is an important contribution to the development of model-based pedagogies for STEM education classrooms.

Song Xue, 薛松
Ph.D. Student, Science Education
The School of Education and Social Work
The University of Dundee, UK

My experience as a Ph.D. visiting scholar at the University of Dundee

I would like share my positive experience of studying at the School of Education and Social Work of the University of Dundee as a Ph.D. visiting scholar.

First of all, I would like to say “thank you very much” to Prof. Samia Khan (my co-supervisor) and Prof. Chatree (my supervisor) who have given me this great opportunity and enabled a scholarship for me to visit here.

During my four months in Scotland, I have learnt a lot, both academic knowledge and other experiences outside the classroom. I have been able to join many classroom sessions to observe and learn how the teacher manages the class and how the students learn. This included many interesting seminars that are very useful and meaningful for me because I can learn from the education system in Scotland and adapt it to the classroom in Thailand.

Moreover, I am very grateful that I met so many Ph.D. international friends here. We built a community for sharing knowledge and helping one another. These friendships will remain a wonderful memory for me.

Furthermore, I very feel lucky to have met Prof. Samia Khan here and I’m grateful for the warm welcome she gave me. She taught me so much, supported me with my thesis, and gave me the opportunity to do research for the MII-STEM project.

As part of the MII-STEM project, I assisted with research and data collection related to science education in Scotland.  I helped gather information about the Scottish science curriculum for comparison with the other three countries: Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand. I also helped develop some of the MII-STEM lesson plans which focused on how to integrate modelling into STEM teaching. It’s been a very valuable experience for me.

I have learnt many things at this University. I have learnt a lot about the lovely culture of the Scottish people. I was able to improve my English language during my stay. I am appreciative of many things here: the weather, the fairy tale atmosphere, the kind people, and the good education system. These four months have been an unforgettable experience.

Thank you very much for this opportunity to be a Ph.D. visiting scholar at the University of Dundee.

Ms. Vipavadee Khwaengmek
Ph.D. visiting scholar from Kasetsart University, Thailand

MII-STEM project kicks off with international meeting in Dundee

On 3-7 June 2020, the lead researchers of the project convened at the University of Dundee, Scotland, for week-long meeting to kick start the MII-STEM project.

Professor Samia Khan from the University of Dundee’s School of Education and Social Work, was joined by R. Ahmad Zaky El Islami from Universitas Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa in Indonesia, Dr Chatree Faikhamta from Kasetsart University in Thailand, and Dr Nguyen Van Bien from Hanoi National University of Education in Vietnam.

The team presented country profiles of Scotland, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, summarising information about their country context, the secondary science curriculum, science teacher education, and the policy drivers for STEM and science education.

The researchers compared and contrasted the secondary school science curricula and the science teacher education programs in each country.

They also began sharing ideas and planning the MII-STEM curriculum – a teachers training course to focus on modelling in STEM.