Building Critical Thinking In Emerging Leaders

Building critical thinking skills among education emerging leaders is an important aspect of improving education systems in Cambodia. This project aims to enhance the ability of education leaders to analyze complex problems, make informed decisions, and implement effective solutions.

This project builds on the previous “Know and Growth project” implemented from July 2015 to August 2021 to apply a stronger focus on critical thinking skills.

One of the key challenges facing 21st-century teaching is the rapidly changing technological landscape.  There is a growing emphasis on developing 21st-century skills such as critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration. These skills are essential for success in the modern workforce, but they can be difficult to teach and assess. Additionally, there is a need for education leaders to be able to navigate the complex policy environment and make informed decisions about resource allocation and program implementation.

To address these challenges, the project will provide education leaders with training and support in critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making. This action learning leadership program includes workshops, seminars, and other training opportunities that focus on developing critical thinking skills and applying them to real-world challenges.

The project will also involve collaboration with stakeholders in the education system, including education officials, school principals, teachers, students, parents, and community leaders. By bringing together these diverse perspectives, education leaders can gain a better understanding of the challenges facing the education system and develop more effective solutions.

Through these efforts, the project aims to improve the quality of education in Cambodia by building the capacity of education leaders to make informed decisions and implement effective solutions. By strengthening the critical thinking skills of education leaders, the project can help ensure that schools have the resources and support they need to provide high-quality education to students.


  • Build a cohort of education leaders at the national and subnational levels that have enhanced skills and are able to act as 21st century leaders with a strong focus on critical thinking as a core, foundation skill.
  • As a result of more developed 21st century skills, education leaders are better able to support schools to implement effective ASRH and STEM programs.

Key activities:

  • Establishment of the Ministry’s Project Advisory Group (PAG).
  • Development of the Action Learning Leadership Program includes (consultations with the Ministry at national level, ideation workshop and selection of program participants).
  • Implementation of the Action Learning Leadership Program which includes the develop of individual leadership, team problem-solving skills applying interactive, and hands-on approaches.
  • Implementation of school level sex education and science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education projects including follow up and coaching.
  • International Exchange Program.

Case study

“Together, we can make a change in our society”

Ms Yim Theary has been teaching at Borkeo Lower Secondary school in Borkeo District, Ratanak Kiri Province for almost 10 years and was recently appointed vice principal; she is also the technical team leader for science subjects.

I applied for the emerging leader group to develop my career and become a better teacher. I have since received two days of Gender training where they used the Gender and Social Analysis and Action (SAA) tool together with twenty participants from Ratanak Kiri and Mondul Kiri provinces. We are happy that we were selected to join this training. 

During the training, we had a lot of discussion, and we had a chance to reflect on the current social norms at our school. It has helped me to think more critically in identifying and analyzing typical roles, behaviors, and norms that are expected of men and women in the community. I can now see how there is a lack of representation of girls at school activities, and how girls and boys interact in and outside the classroom.  

The training helped me to understand and reflect on my team’s perception of gender roles in different spaces such as at home, school and in the community. We now recognize how social problems are gender-related. We are committed to coach more teachers so that together we can bring change in our society.