Caterpillar Foundation Facilitates Thailand 4.0 Though Promoting STEM for Teachers

November 8, 2021

The Caterpillar Foundation understands the importance of equipping individuals and communities with the skills, resources and services they need to thrive in our changing world. Through the Foundation’s partnership with Kenan Foundation Asia, the Thai Ministry of Education successfully delivered multiple activities through its STEM Teacher Professional Development in Thailand program, including Teacher Professional Development (Teacher PD) modules, School Leadership Training Workshops, Teacher Professional Learning Communities (Teacher PLCs) and Innovation Camps. In line with Thailand’s initiative to transform its economy to high-value production and modern innovations, Kenan Foundation Asia is training teachers and school leaders to prepare the future workforce in Thailand with the necessary knowledge, expertise and mindset required to keep pace with emerging technologies.


Teacher PD Module 1: Integer (Apr 6 – 8, 2021)

Teacher PD Module 1: Integer

Thailand 4.0

In 2016, the Thai Government unveiled its newest economic master plan "Thailand 4.0", which seeks to free Thailand from the "middle-income trap" and develop it into a high-income nation in five years. Based on this model highlighting value-added products and services driven by high-tech industries and innovation, Thailand's economic prospects will rely on developing a world-class workforce with a strong STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education foundation that bridges the gap between education and employability.

Some experts however have pointed out that Thailand is not quite ready to move to “Thailand 4.0” due to a lack of qualified workforce. Thai students have fallen below international standards on assessments, particularly on science and mathematics subjects.

The Caterpillar Foundation and Kenan teamed up in 2020 to help Thailand build a talent pipeline meeting the needs of Thailand 4.0. The program invests in developing 21st-century skills, including STEM and the “4C” skills, namely collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and communication, and applies an inquiry-based science and an active math learning methodology as key elements in enhancing teacher capability to improve in-class instruction, raise learning performance of students, and ultimately better prepare students for career opportunities. 


Teacher PD Module 2: Ratio & Percentage (May 10 – 12, 2021)

Teacher PD Module 2: Ratio & Percentage

Teachers – Catalysts for Inspiration

Teachers, who act as catalysts to inspire students, are the most important factor in improving learning outcomes. The program offers support to improve STEM teaching and learning in three ways: enhanced project-based learning, inquiry-based science, and active math. It delivers Thai government endorsed modules and materials that combine pedagogy and content based on leading international curriculums from leading organizations such as the Smithsonian Institution. In 2021 and 2022, the training will cover 60 math teachers, 30 science teachers and 30 school leaders, directly benefitting the lives of over 16,500 students.


School Leadership Training Workshop (Apr 27, 2021)

School Leadership Training Workshop


Thanks to the high-impact teaching practices and content knowledge, the project has brought profound positive impacts on education and future job prospects. “In the past, I thought that math was taught only in theory, no practical aspects, and math theory is boring for students. But after the (Active Math) teacher training, students enjoyed math and they could learn more and learn better,” said Mr. Bhiranat Viriyananta a teacher at Chumchon Ban Wangchan School in Rayong Province. “Especially when students can experience Active Math over an extended period like earlier this year, students really had fun, and math becomes something concrete for them.”

“The program provides ample opportunities for students to investigate and discuss so that they can construct their own understanding,” said Principal Chaowalit Jindarattana of the Ban Sam Yak Nam Pen School in Rayong Province. “No matter how small or how big the new knowledge gained is, if students discover it themselves, they will retain that knowledge until their adult lives. This type of learning is meaningful for kids.”

“Making my students care about science used to be a huge challenge. Until I joined Kenan’s professional development program,” said Mr. Sathit Wannaphon, a 7th – 9th graded science teacher from Takuapa Senenukun School of Phang Nga Province. “Now my classroom has become a dynamic place of fun, exploration and learning. My students’ confidence and interest in science has blossomed.”


Training results of Module 1 (left) and Module 2 (right)

Training results of Module 1 (left) and Module 2 (right)


Through joint efforts with Kenan, the Caterpillar Foundation equips Thai teachers and students with skills and knowledge. In the future and beyond, the Caterpillar Foundation will keep its focus on providing access to education and skill development in communities around the world, transforming these communities to be stronger and more sustainable.