06.04.2017 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

The final round of National Teacher Trainings for Junior High Teachers of Timor-Leste in the Areas of Science and Mathematics

April 3, 2017

UNESCO Jakarta with the financial support from KOICA continue to support Timor Leste Ministry of Education in partnership with Timor Leste National Commission and its Center for the Study of Science and Mathematics (SESIM) carrying out the final round of trainings (Session C) for junior high teachers in 8 municipalities of Timor-Leste in the areas of science and mathematics. These week-long trainings will be run two-by-two and be finished by the end of April. The first and second four were carried out in March in Ainaro, Manufahi, Lautem and Covalima, four mountainous regions of Timor-Leste.

The content of the trainings is the content of second trimester of the newly revised national curriculum.  The trainings are based around pratika, that is, hands-on and inquiry based learning activities present in the curriculum.  Teachers are now obligated to perform the pratika with their students. SESIM facilitates the teachers to try out this new pedagogy after their completion of the training packages i.e. Session A, Session B and Session C. Most of the teachers who attended the session C training had completed the session A and B.

Each training is divided into two groups, one for mathematics and one for natural science.  The mathematics section did activities involving geometry, angle measurement, analysis of polyhedrons, equations of balance, trigonometry, graphing data, defining functions, categorizing triangles, algebra of paper cutting, and constructing compasses with sticks and pencils.

The natural science group did activities primarily in the area of environmental science and physics, such as studying the effects of electrical current, simple circuits and the difference between conductors and insulators, measuring velocity, analyzing the images formed from mirrors and lenses, recording the results of acid rain, modelling the greenhouse effect in two ways, studying natural selection and camouflage, looking at how to prevent erosion, and studying the genetics of heredity.

Three levels of progression that teachers should go through toward this end:

  1. Having an authentic learning experience themselves from hands-on, inquiry-based lessons based on local resources and locally relevant connections to the curricular content.
  2. Reflecting, analyzing and gaining consciousness as to how that learning happened for themselves and how it can happen for their students.
  3. Creating opportunities for their own students to have the same authentic experiences.

At the end of the training day the District Education Officer who opened and closed the training distributed a package of math and science kits to the teachers who present their school.

A balance can be made from a ruler hanging from its center point and two plastic bags dangling from rubber bands, each holding a number of marbles. When balance is found, the bags of marbles and positions had better follow the equation F1 x D1 = F2 x D2, F being weight in units of marbles, and D being distance from the center in centimeters.


Building structures with toothpicks and chunks of flipflops teaches the basics of sequence formation. Starting in 2 dimensions, adding another square to a line of squares requires three more toothpicks, so the total toothpicks for a line of n squares is 3n + 1.

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