Reaching Out to Learning Communities: The Challenge to Educational Innovation and Technology – Part 2

Issue: January – June 2003


Foreword: Last 9-11 December 2002, SEAMEO INNOTECH held its 8th International Conference in its headquarters in Quezon City, Philippines, with the theme “Reaching Out to Learning Communities: The Challenge to Educational Innovation and Technology.” The conference focused on how today’s educational tools and approaches can help promote understanding among learning communities — opening discussions to perspectives from across the globe on how to connect, retool and transform these learning communities. Major paper presentations centered on teaching and learning on the Internet, connecting colleges across countries, on-line monitoring of teachers and connectivity in teacher training programs.


Two issues of the SEAMEO INNOTECH Journal feature some of the major papers presented during the conference. Seven of these papers are presented as Part 2 in this issue.


Mr. Feliciano R. Belmonte, Mayor of Quezon City Philippines, in his keynote address delivered during the Conference discusses the changing role of local governments in education. Using one of the largest cities in the Philippines as an example, Mr. Belmonte shows that while the national government remains to be primarily responsible for local educational development, creative local government units have undertaken some “reinvention”; on their own to complement, supplement and, in some cases, present alternative options to national education programs.


In his article Teaching and Learning by Using an Information Sharing System via the Internet, Prof. Yoshikazu Murakami of the Department of Business Administration, Matsayuma University, Japan, shares an Internet-based information sharing system which he established to improve his teaching and students’ learning. The system consists of an exclusive Internet-disk for digital storage, dedicated www-site and e-mail accounts using the author’s own Internet domain. It offers a unique opportunity in classroom teaching and learning. The article describes the system and discusses the results of its trial.


Mr. Jeffrey Bailie, Director of International Relations, National American University, USA, in his article titled Bridging International Boundaries Through Inter-Collegial Web-Based Programs, describes the distance learning program at the National American University which has evolved from a limited number of Web-based courses into a virtual campus entity conferring approved undergraduate and graduate degree programs to students throughout the world. Mr. Bailie relates how the University has successfully anticipated and overcome the challenges encountered in the construction, launch and maintenance of a solid e-learning program.


In the article Innovative Practices in Teaching, Learning and Professional Development, Ms. Foo Seau Yoon, Senior IT Instructor in Singapore’s Ministry of Education talks about the edu.QUEST (Quality and Excellence in Schools through Technology) platform which was initiated to provide opportunities for research into the impact of leading-edge technologies on educational practice and achievement. Her article describes the innovative practices in the areas of teaching, learning and professional development that resulted from the edu.QUEST project.


Ms. Lee Lai Har Judy, Project Development Specialist, Ministry of Education, Singapore, explores the importance of instilling an attitude of curiosity and developing habits of lifelong learning among pupils in her article entitled The LEARN@TM Experience. Her article provides an overview of the Learn@ Series of learning journeys, initiated by the Ministry of Education of Singapore, with the aim of bringing learning out of theclassroom and into various stimulating environments. Each year, the Ministry partners different organizations to bring the Learn@ event to different environments, where pupils capture their observations and learning experiences based on themes, with the help of IT as a tool, and a dash of creativity and imagination.


Mr. Dennis Sale, Section Head of Educational Development at Singapore Polytechnic, in his article titled, A Thinking Curriculum: The Model for Future Curriculum Planning, provides a practical framework for designing what he refers to as a thinking curriculum, a product of over three years of applied curriculum development work in promoting thinking. While the main focus of his work has been in the area of tertiary/vocational education, it is sufficiently transferable to all curriculum areas where thinking is essential to effective learning. The article argues the need for a curriculum model that is consistent with recent brain research, cognitive psychology and professional practice, and asserts that such a curriculum approach is most suited to the needs of a knowledge-based economy.


Mr. Kevin Kettle, Project Development Specialist at SEAMEO Regional Center for Archeology and Fine Arts, in his article titled, The Poverty of Development: Problems and Possibilities, sets out with the premise that many current development policies are impoverished because they often fail to recognize or value the issues of culture, context and choice in the process of planning and implementation. Mr. Kettle asserts that development policies conducted in a top-down ethnocentric manner do not accommodate local knowledge and hence overlook communities and individuals as innovators. Only when there s mutual understanding, tolerance and respect for diversity in cultures and the living contexts of people involved in the design and implementation of development programs can they truly succeed.


To access all articles in this issue, email us at info@seameo-innotech.org

Other Resources
  • Scoping Study into Human Rights-Based Approaches to Education in Southeast Asia
  • Alternative Education in Emergencies – Module 5B (Education Challenges and Interventions in the Philippine Emergencies)
  • Quality Indicators of Multigrade Instruction in Southeast Asia
  • State of Tech Voc High Schools in the Philippines
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