STEM focused schooling: Teachers at the Aga Khan School in Osh connect classroom learning with real-life application
A group of 28 teachers at the Aga Khan School (AKS), Osh, undertook a 12-day training in August 2021 on STEM education to enhance the school’s offering of these subjects, as well as multidisciplinary learning and in turn support students’ development of 21st-century skills.
The training was delivered by four science teachers of AKS Osh (who had previously received this training) between February and May 2021, through a hybrid form of training implemented by the Lingua Foundation, with support from the US embassy in Kyrgyz Republic.
AKS Osh provides students with learning opportunities that integrate a variety of disciplines and skills. STEM educates students in four disciplines using an interdisciplinary approach - science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Through STEM, AKS Osh students explore and experience the relationship between school subjects and real life, and receive opportunities for cross-disciplinary dialogue, inquiry, and problem-solving.
Art teacher Sadyrova Mahidil explained, “The [STEM] engineering approach develops imagination [and] motor skills. [It] allows [students] to see the ‘work product’ and compare it with the work of other students, and [this] improves their ability to analyse their classmate’s work.”
During the training, AKS Osh teachers used the technique of microteaching to develop more active and student-centred pedagogy including collaboration, students’ choice and voice, responsive teaching, and differentiation. They were trained in strategies that motivate students to take ownership of their learning, such as inquiry, research work, modeling, and problem-based learning.
“The [STEM] program allows you to combine [various] subjects in one lesson,” said Musaeva Saida, English language teacher at AKS Osh, “[It also allows] students [to] collaborate, create, and try to solve problems themselves.”
The training encouraged teachers to develop new strategies and activities that continue to integrate STEM learning into the curriculum. By the start of the new academic year in September 2021, 15 teachers had already organised STEM lessons. STEM education enables AKS Osh students to understand how the invaluable knowledge and skills learned in school are applicable in real-life situations.
Photos (top to bottom):
- A group of AKS Osh teachers participating in problem-solving exercises during the training session.
- Teachers experimenting with interactive activities that can be conducted with students in the classroom.