“I am a visiting international research student at the University of British Columbia”

First of all, I am incredibly honored and happy to visit at the University of British Columbia (UBC) as a visiting international research student for 4 months, and I have to thank Prof. Chatree Faikhamta (advisor) and Prof. Samia Khan (co-advisor) for giving me this remarkable opportunity.

Currently, I am a second-year Ph.D. student at Kasetsart University. My main goal this year is to develop research instruments and a PD program. Fortunately, I had the good fortune to attend a MII-STEM project when I was a first-year student invited by my advisor. Due to attending this project, I met with Prof. Samia who is one of my favorite key people looking at models and modeling and I am so honored to have Prof. Samia to be my co-advisor. Of course, my research interest is about models and modeling, in particular modeling knowledge and teaching with models. Yet, as a member of the mii-STEM team, I also contribute to the MII-STEM project with others. For example, during my visit, co-authoring and developing MII-STEM manuscripts is also one of my responsibilities. Therefore, the goals for my research visit are to develop research instruments, a PD program, and MII-STEM manuscripts. Prof. Samia and I have regular meetings every Tuesday.

On the other hand, I am writing this blog when I arrived in Vancouver almost 2 months ago. During this time, I have learned a lot and would like to share my experiences. Firstly, I gained a wonderful opportunity to attend the NARST conference 2022. To be honest, I am a lucky person because the NARST conference was organized and located in Vancouver this year and it is within the range of my visit. Basically, NARST is one of the foremost international science education conferences and its flagship journal,  JRST is not only one of the top journals in science education but also my favorite journal I read in my entire Ph.D. When I attended this event, I met many key people working on models and modeling such as Prof. Moritz Krell, Prof. Christina Schwarz, and Prof. Samia Khan (It was like a dream come true). Moreover, I learned most attendees were good listeners and participated by asking questions, sharing ideas, or making positive arguments. I think connection was also a key. There were many sessions to create new relationships between researchers and graduate students,  such as NARST’s mentors and mentees event, and the graduate students lunch, and so forth. Secondly, I would like to thank Dr. Oksana Bartosh and my co-advisor for allowing me to observe an elementary preservice teacher class. I was super impressed! As I observed, they were active, good listeners, and asked questions about whatever they would like to know more. Finally, 2 months ago, I gained experience myself learning outside UBC. For example, I typically ran around Seawall and Stanley park for relaxing on the weekend and hung out with my friends Downtown sometimes. I hope that my experience would be beneficial to the reader and I look forward to sharing my experience with 2 months left for my visit with Dr. Khan in the next blog. Here are my photos.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

Anupong Praisri

Second year PhD student from Kasetsart University, Thailand

Plenary Speaker at the 2nd Virtual ASEAN Multidisciplinary Research Conference 2021 in Philippines

One of the countries leads, Asst. Prof. R. Ahmad Zaky El Islami was invited as a plenary speaker to talk about MII-STEM at the 2nd Virtual ASEAN Multidisciplinary Research Conference 2021 on November 6, 2021.

Asst. Prof. R. Ahmad Zaky El Islami was invited as a plenary speaker to talk about MII-STEM at the 2nd Virtual ASEAN Multidisciplinary Research Conference 2021 on November 6, 2021. This conference was organized by the Philippine Association of Researchers, Educators and Statistical Software Users (PARESSU), Inc., in cooperation with Pangasinan State University in the Philippines. Asst. Prof. R. Ahmad Zaky El Islami was invited to talk about the efforts to sustain research productivity in Indonesia and presented MII-STEM as an International Research Collaboration: An Effort for Sustaining Research Productivity in Indonesia in the Field of STEM Education. He said that the MII-STEM project was started in 2019 by developing a proposal via email among ASEAN researchers. It was submitted by PI, Prof. Samia Khan, Ph.D. for internal grant funding from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) in  the UK. The funded research began in 2019. He also said that after the announcement of successful funding, researchers conducted online international meetings using Zoom. Three to four meetings were carried out in order to prepare for an in-person symposium at the University of Dundee, Scotland, UK. In June 2019, all researchers met at the University of Dundee to present the science education or STEM education curriculum in each country. Each country contributed to a country profile using a template created by the project manager. The country profile was laminated on a poster and used for discussion and talking points throughout the week-long visit. Additionally, they collaboratively made a draft of a proposed framework for MII-STEM.

Furthermore, Asst. Prof. Zaky El Islami discussed design sprint and design research to refine the MII-STEM curriculum. He explained three phases of the research, including a pilot study of the impacts of the mii-STEM curriculum on teacher education in Indonesia, followed by an implementation in Thailand, and an implementation in Vietnam. The outputs of this research collaboration are journal publications and papers presented at international conferences. A paper is accepted by Asia-Pacific Social Science Review, an international journal in Q2 available on https://scimagojr.com in 2020 and Q1 based on the CiteScore available on https://scopus.com in 2021.

Many audiences were very interested in learning more about MII-STEM. Although it is challenging to respond to all questions from participants because of the limited time, the moderator said that the audience can send an email to ask more questions. At least five questions were answered in the presentation including: What is the MII-STEM? Is it the same as the MII-STEM approach in every country that participated in this project? Are you intending to introduce it to the Philippines? What is the requirement to be involved? Is it possible to implement it in the Philippines? Can MII-STEM be implemented in secondary school? What is the effectiveness of the MII-STEM on students learning?

El Islami answered that MII-STEM is a unique emphasis on Models and Modeling, Inquiry, and Integrated STEM Education. The MII-STEM curriculum was developed by all researchers together, so the MII-STEM was taught similarly in each country though in one country it was taught amongst working teachers in the first iteration. Additionally, El Islami said that the MII-STEM curriculum aims to be made available to additional ASEAN countries. Maybe in the future, this team will include a Philippines scholar to implement this MII-STEM curriculum. Furthermore, El Islami said that the MII-STEM curriculum that is being developed now for Indonesia is for undergraduate students to foster skills to develop models; however, for the MII-STEM 2.0 in the next year, the project will be implemented at the school level by inviting working science teachers from Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam to attend a mii-STEM PD program using an online platform. MII-STEM 2.0 will be developed by using a free online platform and for be intended for the benefit of working science teachers. 

“Everyone is a Designer”: A Curriculum Design Sprint for a MII-STEM 2.0 Curriculum

My name is Ngan Le, and I am a PhD Student at the Hanoi National University of Education, in Hanoi, Vietnam and a member of MII-STEM. The MII-STEM group recently held a Design Sprint over two mornings to build a mii-STEM 2.0 curriculum based on all the research trials in actual science teacher education classrooms of all three countries: Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam. A design sprint is a way of working in which every member of the group is considered a designer. A “curriculum design sprint” is MII-STEM’s term for a framework for answering critical questions about curriculum through design, prototyping, and later, testing ideas about the curriculum with stakeholders and participants.  It is based on Google’s Design Sprint methodology, toolkit and templates.

In the two mornings of our design sprint, everyone did all of the best to discuss and suggest many exciting ideas with the leadership of Prof. Samia Khan. In advance of the design sprint, each member reflected what was salient about the MII STEM course we taught in teacher education with an advanced survey, including questions, such as: what would success look like for mii-STEM, what evidence do we have that the mii-STEM curriculum was effective, etc.?

The design sprint occurred in three phases, as shown in the picture. There are 11 members present, including professor and Ph.D. students joining to revise our science teacher education curriculum.

Adapted from: https://designsprintkit.withgoogle.com/resources/tools

On the first day, after the introduction of Prof. Samia, representative sof each country shared achievements and challenges involving the practical implementation of our curriculum in teacher education for future science teachers and working science teachers. For this section, everyone has an opportunity to review all pros and cons of the MII-STEM 1.0 curriculum. Right following the review phase is the HMW section, in which we wrote all “How might we” questions about what we need to do next for the MII  STEM course. In general, all three countries had some common main remarkable points about the target participants, the mode of delivery of class – online or offline or blended, and MII-STEM learning outcomes with appropriate assessments. Based on these points, we moved on to “crazy 8’s”. Each country listed 8 ideas in 8 minutes. After that, everyone engaged in “dot voting”. Each member has three dots to vote for three exciting ideas that he/she thinks the most prominent to be considered soon for a revised MII-STEM 2.0 curriculum.

After voting, we found out that there are three prominent issues that we may focus on doing for the next step: (1) Redefine MiiSTEM Framework 2.0, (2) Develop an In-Service Teacher Education course ; (3) Revise all assessment tools for Mii-STEM course. Prof. Samia Khan divided us into three breakout design groups on zoom for discussion. Each design group worked together and sketched a picture of what we will do for the following day. 

On the second morning, we paid attention to three remarkable issues and sketched out a “journey map” for the future. We continued working in group and put the most effort into making our issue more and more realistic. There are so many results gotten in the second morning. All of us were very happy about our work. 

For me, it has been a wonderful curriculum Design Sprint. I have learned a lot from this experience, such as organizing a design sprint and working as group to create new ideas. The most crucial result of the design sprint is that we can see what we should do next for new MII-STEM curriculum research. 

Thank you to all the professors for giving me an opportunity to join the project. 

Thank you to all Ph.D. friends for letting me learn more from you. 

A Graduate Seminar in 2021

The MII-STEM group held a graduate seminar on 28 January 2021, at the beginning of the new year, in which six PhD students presented their research and there were some professional discussions by our panel after each presentation. The goal of the graduate seminar is to provide a forum for all graduate students in the MII-STEM community to express their research interests and provide a peer-reviewed environment to garner additional insights into research.

Six presenters showcased various STEM topics, including: modelling competence, argumentation, computational reasoning, PCK and problem-solving. Interestingly, the MII-STEM scope of research is very compatible with doctoral inquiries in various universities represented by our group. For instance, Mr. Song is in the second year of a PhD in the UK who shared his doctoral research focusing on improving the modelling competence of preservice science teachers (PSTs) during a teacher education program. He will use different technology-supported scenarios in this teaching program to develop meta-modeling knowledge and the modelling practices of PSTs. As working in MII-STEM inspired him to get a lot of ideas conducting his personal research, Song appreciated that he could participate in this project. The creation of an open-ended question to assess modelling practice, namely the “the black box” that was introduced in the MII-STEM project for “nature of science,” is just one of several dimensions of MII-STEM research he referenced from his project: “It is found that the black box is one suitable way to test how students interact with a complex structure that I will try after having validated this task in our MII-STEM project,” Song reflected.

Every presenter received beneficial and distinct perspectives from country leaders and other graduate students at the time of the panel discussion. It was also a good chance to extend the academic network and improve research quality. By acquiring new ideas and interesting methods for research, graduate students were able to explore the similarities of their programs of study and learn from the others’ research presentation. Meanwhile, several in the group might establish a collaborative partnership after our inter-university MII-STEM presentations.

MII-STEM is an international project in which scholars from different countries work together to develop future teachers’ abilities to teach science effectively. Not only is it useful for pre-service teacher education, but also for the professional growth of new researchers. The upcoming academic events, including the annual conference, a design sprint and monthly meetings, will take place. Looking ahead, the new year promises to be another fruitful one for MII-STEM.