A joint research project has been initiated between Massey University, Institute of Education, and Mahidol University in Thailand. Mandia Mentis, Alison Kearney and Wendy Holley-Boen are partnering with Piyarat Nuchpongsai and her two colleagues, Teerasak Srisurakul and Poramate Boonyuenas, to investigate one practicum course on inclusive education using Moodle for teachers in a vocational college. The programme and research, funded through the committee of Educational Promotion and Development Fund of Persons with Disabilities in Thailand, launches in 2018.
The research project began in 2017 with key Mahidol and Ministry of Education staff coming to NZ to develop the vision and course content underpinning the initiative. Later in the year Wendy Holley-Boen visited Thailand to further develop the research partnership, research methods and online teaching and learning site.
In a second, related initiative, Mandia, Wendy and Alison are working with Thai educators from across the country in a project focused on inclusive education and funded by the Thai Office of Basic Education (OBEC). In the first phase of the project, sixty school principals will attend one of a series of two-day short courses focused on inclusive policy and practices, school change and universal design for learning. Following on from the workshop series, the Massey team will work with Mahidol University and the Ministry of Education to implement and evaluate the effectiveness of these workshops as part of the country's overall emphasis on furthering inclusive education.