The Learning Voyage of Pre-Service Student Teachers through the SEA-Teacher Project

Monday, 01 July 2024 |

The Learning Voyage of Pre-Service Student Teachers through the SEA-Teacher Project

 

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The Pre-Service Student Teacher Exchange in Southeast Asia (SEA-Teacher) project is a beacon of international collaboration and cultural exchange. What began in 2015 with just 22 students from two universities has blossomed into a transformative initiative, involving over 400 students and spanning across 90 universities, transcending geographical boundaries and fostering a sense of global community. In fact, SEA-Teacher’s most recent 9th batch hosted a total of 548 students, the largest number of students involved in the project’s history.

A pivotal moment in the project’s trajectory occurred in 2020 when the University of Tsukuba joined, marking a significant expansion beyond Southeast Asia. This inclusivity underscores the universal appeal of fostering intercultural exchange in education.

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On 21-22 June 2024, the 9th SEA-Teacher Evaluation Meeting was held in Chiang Rai, Thailand, co-hosted by the SEAMEO Secretariat and Chiang Rai Rajabhat University – signifying the project’s commitment to continuous improvement and collaboration.

This year’s meeting focused on evaluating past performance, fostering collaborative dialogue, and planning for future iterations.

Notably, the project aims to expand further by inviting new institutions in Southeast Asia and beyond, including China, South Korea, and Canada.

SEAMEO Secretariat’s Learning Innovation and Information Specialist, Garry Pawitandra Poluan, presented the evaluation results of the most recent batch, identifying trends that occurred when compared with previous batches. This was followed by a panel discussion where a student of Chiang Rai Rajabhat University who participated in SEA-Teacher, along with three participating institutions, shared their experience. One of the institutions had participated since the early batches and the other far more recently, providing a comparative perspective of how the SEA-Teacher project had evolved.

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The other panellist was Ishihara Nao of the Center for Research on International Cooperation in Educational Development (CRICED), University of Tsukuba, who shared the Japanese university’s experience in conducting a pilot batch with three universities in Southeast Asia.

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The meeting also included a lively networking session that enabled attending institutions to explore exchange opportunities, as well as a coordination meeting to prepare for the 10th batch.

As the SEA-Teacher project continues to evolve, it remains dedicated to nurturing a new generation of global educators equipped with cultural competence and an international perspective. By fostering mutual understanding among educational institutions across borders, the project paves the way for a more interconnected and enlightened future in both Southeast Asia and beyond.