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Comparison with Korea

Hi Peter,
I read your blog and I believe it is highly relevant. I can only relate to it through the Korean experience which is also a teacher and content centric teaching style. What might distinguish it from Thailand is the super competitive nature and I am not sure whether you want to introduce this to Thailand.

I am not an expert in education, but I know that Ashoka and Bill Drayton personally is deeply passionate about empathy based learning. http://www.ashoka.org/category/tags/empathy. One of the best known educational Ashoka fellows is Escuela Nueva http://www.escuelanueva.org/pagina/index.php?codmenu=2&idioma=2 , which I believe comes close to what you envisage.
Hope it helps a bit
Kind regards Markus

One reply on “Comparison with Korea”

apichai puntasensays:

Normally, we are a verbal nation. Reading is something that is foreign to us. It is true that we had libraries in almost all temples in the old day because temples were centers for learning. However, if you observed more closely, most Tapitakas were locked in the chests and most monks did not read them. The learning habits are formed among intellectuals. About 30 years ago, the department of Adult Education, Ministry of Education in the past, had the project to build a reading place for each village. It did seem to work well for couple months after that it was dead. The reasons were basically the majority of people living in the villages in the rural areas acquire know ledge from other means. The information towers that basically rebroadcasting the official news are still popular until nowadays. People enjoy watching television that was the main competitor to the reading place. People come to the reading place to talk and not to read.

In Malaysia as well as the Thai Muslim in the South and I am sure that it is also true for a muslim elsewhere in Thailand, one of the desire qualification is to be able to read Koran. There is even an annual competition for them on how to read Koran well and the Thai Muslims won the international contest occasionally.

I read a lot and value reading as my way of knowledge creation. However, for people living in the rural areas, they have their own means to accquire knowledge based more on practical experience through learning from eachother, from their own method of brainstorming, through workshops and seminars. In the way, people in the rural areas enjoy more of personal interaction. In fact, these means are also the good means to acquire knowledge because what you get is not only knowledge but also friendship and fraternity as well. Learning for the Thais must be fun or “Sanuk” as well.

Therefore, one will miss the point to insist on reading only but how to gain more knowledge with fun. This is a more challenging question.

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