Vol. IV No. 38 - Saturday September 17 - September 23, 2005
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ACADEMIA NUTS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

A memorial fundraiser for great music artist Jaran Manophet

Leader of Democrats addresses Council of the University Faculty Senates

World Vision Foundation of Thailand “Wan Pan Rak Pua Nong” project

Citizen Connect Community development activities

TOK - Theory Of Knowledge

SAT Prep Course at Chiang Mai International School (CMIS)

Science Week at the British Council

Visid Vasuvat artworks exhibited

“Pleng Jaran” concert remembers Lanna artist

A memorial fundraiser for great music artist Jaran Manophet

Preeyanoot Jittawong

A memorial fundraiser was organized on September 3 at Art and Culture Museum of Chiang Mai University on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the great music artist Jaran Manophet’s death, to raise funds to build Sala Laoluang Art Museum, as intended by Jaran.

Ananya Phanusiri, committee member of Sala Laoluang Art Museum.

Despite heavy rains, it was well attended by people who remembered Jaran Manophet, the famous Lanna musical artist who composed almost 300 songs and “Lanna symphony, The album” to raise revenue to construct the Sala Laoluang Art Museum to exclusively display the work of Lanna artists.

The fundraiser was attended by Khun Koong Kittikhun Chiansong and Phusaming Norsawan, two of Jaran’s closest friends. They played music in his memory and were joined by a local folksong band. There were other activities such as ancient Lanna performances and feature movie shows.

Ananya Phanusiri, member of the committee of Sala Laoluang Art Museum, disclosed that revenue from this activity would be combined with the budget to construct Sala Laoluang Art Museum and thus realize one of Jaran’s dreams.

Land covering eight rai in Lamphun province for the museum was donated by Khun Jao Dararat Na Lamphun. The estimated budget for the museum is 25 million baht and more funds are required. Various local works are now stored at Jakhamthanathorn School, Lamphun until the museum is finished.

Anyone interested in being a donor for the museum can transfer money to Krung Thai Bank account at: 547-150-055-5 or ask for more details at 0 5312 2779 and 0 1603 8178.


Leader of Democrats addresses Council of the University Faculty Senates

Slates educational standards under TRT

Saksit Meesubkwang

Chiang Mai University hosted a seminar of the Council of the University Faculty Senates of Thailand (CUFST) 2005, joined by almost 400 lecturers from all over the country, at Central Duangtawan Hotel, Chiang Mai.

Abhisit Vejjajiva, leader of Thailand’s Democrat Party lectures “Four Years of Repair, Four years of Reconstruction and Thai University Education”.

Prof. Pongsak Angkasit, president of Chiang Mai University said that this seminar was held to exhibit academic works and to lecture on specially interesting aspects such as university education adjustment in future and Thai university education under the Ministry of Education. Small groups discussed university education and how to resolve the country’s problems, decried the university education policy and Thai university education change under ICL condition. Certainly much to chew on.

Abhisit Vejjajiva, leader of Thailand’s Democrat Party lectured on “Four Years of Repair, Four years of Reconstruction and Thai University Education”. He said that after almost six years and the second term of PM Thaksin Shinawatra, the ministry of education was mostly staffed by substitutes and no one had sufficient ability to improve Thai education to bring it up to the equivalent of western countries. In addition, the government had canceled several university’s budgets; e.g. research budgets, and that this discouraged social researchers. In his opinion, government should not interfere with academics as each had experiences and skills to research and these were beneficial for the country’s development.

Furthermore, the selection policy of high school students to continue to study in university was not clear, even though the government has spent six years to conclude that it should be an entrance or point average system, causing confusion amongst students. Loans for study put students into debt and they had to go quickly into the work market to repay their debts. He would like government to pay more attention to Thai education and the Ministry of Education, otherwise Thai educational standards may drop below that of neighboring countries.


World Vision Foundation of Thailand “Wan Pan Rak Pua Nong” project

Preeyanoot Jittawong

World Vision Foundation joined with Central Chiang Mai for a charitable activity “Wan Pan Rak Pua Nong” (share love of children) project September 1 - 3 at Central Airport Plaza, Chiang Mai. The World Vision Foundation is a charitable Christian organization supporting children and families for a better life.

Suriyan Aroonwatanakul and Kanuengnit Jaksamithanon, actors from Bangkok join the “Wan Pan Rak Pua Nong” activity.

“Wan Pan Rak Pua Nong” is an activity to bid for personality’s possessions such as shirts. The entire proceeds would be used in looking after children who were under the care of the foundation in Baan Phae and Mae Taeng, Chiang Mai.

Besides this activity, the foundation offers a chance for those who wanted to sponsor poor children for only 450 baht per month per child until he or she finished high school or for as long as the sponsor could afford.

Whoever is interested in sponsoring or supporting these children should visit the World Vision Foundation, north office at Tambon Sriphum, Muang, Chiang Mai or call at 0 5340 4728-4 or to view www.worldvision.or.th


Military Training for LIST grades 10-12

Preeyanoot Jittawong

Virginia Sue Smith, Director of Education Keep America Beautiful, as an emissary of Citizen Connect along with the Consulate General of the United States of America in Chiang Mai and the Pangfan Nature Study Center, Regional Environmental Office 1, Yuparaj Wittayalai School, Chiang Mai Area 1 Education Area Office and other schools in Chiang Mai prepared a community development promotion activity.

Virginia Sue Smith (background), director of education for Keep America Beautiful talks about improving the lives of local people, interpreted by Dr. Annop Pongwat from Chiang Mai University.

The Citizen Connect program was organized on September 5 - 9, 2005 and those attending shared opinions about the environment and peoples lives. Virginia Sue Smith spoke about activities to improve environment and the life of the people, a project that was very successful in the USA.

She said, “Keep America Beautiful is a national nonprofit public Education organization, dedicated since 1953 to engaging individuals to take great responsibility for improving their local community environments. For a half century, Keep America Beautiful has been the nation’s leading community improvement organization successfully implementing an effective, systematic strategy for educating in recycling and reducing litter, and changing individual attitudes about solid waste”.


TOK - Theory Of Knowledge

Senior students can learn from junior students

Tara Colen, Craig Rodgers

“How do plants grow?” asked Grade 11 student Nichar Gregory to 2nd grade student Leighanna Graftston Westlund, while sitting on the carpet in a junior school classroom. “Plants grow from seeds, sunlight, and water,” responded Leighanna. Leighanna was answering this question to help Grade 11 students learn what, how, and from whom do people learn.

It looks like a funny game, the interaction of Raphaela Turner and Sami Forzinetti with first grader Benoit Terrien.

Last week, Ajarn Craig Rodgers and Ajarn Urs Jungo brought their Grade 11 “Theory of Knowledge” (TOK) students at Prem Tinsulanonda International School to visit Grade 1 and Grade 2 classes. The students’ goal was to find out what young students believed about natural phenomena. The older students were interested to learn what their younger schoolmates believed when it came to answering questions such as “Why do people get sick?” and “Where does rain come from?” This social science investigation was the Grade 11 students’ first TOK project.

After meeting with the younger students, Grade 11 will be preparing reports on one of the question’s responses. In the report, students will be analysing the question posed to the younger student, as well as analysing the experiment as a whole. Sonam Penjore, a Grade 11 student, commented, “It was interesting. The kids were really smart. They responded to everything!” First grader Crawford Service commented on his experience with older students, “It was great!”

The TOK course is a study that promotes critical and compassionate thinking of contemporary global issues. Understanding why we think the way we do and where our beliefs come from is the first phase of the TOK course at Prem. TOK seeks to develop clear oral and written communication skills, and to construct and analyse the validity of arguments, to respect alternative points of view. TOK is a compulsory component of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Next, the classes will discuss what knowledge (epistemology) is, and how knowledge can be constructed, mis-constructed and deconstructed via a jigsaw puzzle activity.

Students of both ages had a great time interacting with each other. Grade 11 students were eager to hear the responses of their first and second grade schoolmates. Younger students loved responding to questions and becoming friends with Grade 11. First grader ‘First’ Khunchan remarked, “He asked me about when along time ago people were monkeys and had tails, so why don’t we have tails now?” I liked Billy (grade 11). He’s my friend!”

Craig Rodgers, Senior School Principal, and TOK teacher commented, “I am always fascinated by the variety and sincerity of younger students’ responses. I am equally impressed at the success of this activity in raising awareness with older students about how learning is constructed. Through the exercise, students realise the significance of family, friends, community and culture as influences on beliefs and our understanding of the world. We’ll do it again next year!” Craig is also a teacher training workshop leader in TOK. TOK is taken for two academic years in grade 11 and grade 12.


SAT Prep Course at Chiang Mai International School (CMIS)

Jon Hartmann (Career Counselor CMIS)

Despite just having completed a full day of regular studies, 35 CMIS students elected to spend another couple of hours after school doing specialist work for the SAT exam. The score a student gets in the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is of great importance in gaining entry to universities both in the USA and world wide. Many universities and individual faculties of study have a required SAT score that must be achieved in order to gain admission to their institution or program. Invariably, the better the standard of the university, the higher the SAT score needed to gain admittance. Students seeking entry to Ivy League colleges in the United States, for example, must perform extremely well on the SAT.

CMIS students focus on preparing for upcoming SAT Exams.

CMIS has a long tradition of impressive SAT performance, with graduates having gained admission to such fine American colleges as MIT, Boston and Bucknell, as well as to top universities in the UK, Europe, Australia and Asia. High SAT scores have also resulted in our students being offered substantial amounts of money in scholarships. The CMIS Graduating Class of 2005 was no exception, achieving collective offers of scholarships totaling over half a million US dollars.

The SAT exam has become even more challenging recently due to an increase in the duration of the test and with the addition of an essay and critical writing section. In response to this, CMIS is offering a 12 week SAT Preparation course at no fee other than duplicating costs. We anticipate that this course will be of great assistance to students who wish to raise their SAT scores and we will be closely monitoring the results. (This course is currently available only to students who are enrolled at CMIS.)


Science Week at the British Council

Preeyanoot Jittawong

One week in August was designated as Science Week and the British Council, in association with National Science Museum and Faculty of Science, Chiang Mai University, provided a Science Show “Music to your ears” that was presented by Science Made Simple from Cardiff University, England. Its performance used music as a visual aid to study science simply and enjoyably.

Dr. Jim Al-Khalili, lecturer from the Department of Physics University of Surrey, England gives knowledge to youths during Science Week.

World Year of Physics and 100 Einstein activities were held on August 25. Dr. Jim Al-Khalili, lecturer of Department of Physics University of Surrey, England was invited to speak at Montfort College about “Einstein’s Brain: the search for genius”. This narration was a part of Dr. Jim’s feature to present National Geography in England and it attracted a good audience.

All the activities were to encourage Thai youths to participate in creative activities, and to improve their brains by thinking. Almost 300 youngsters showed their interest in these activities.


Visid Vasuvat artworks exhibited

Preeyanoot Jittawong

The Center for the Promotion of Arts and Culture, Chiang Mai University held an exhibition of the work of Visid Vasuvat, elder artist of Chiang Mai, who was one of the founders of the Faculty of Fine Arts and the one who designed the logo and seal of Chiang Mai University.

Artworks viewed by candlelight

The exhibits were opened by Capt. Dr. Tawan Kangwanpong, vice-president of Chiang Mai University Council. A blackout interrupted the proceedings and the works had to be examined by candlelight, but this apparently did not disturb the enjoyment of the art lovers.

Displayed art works presented nature and simple lifestyle images. Visid used to go on jungle trips and his art reflected his love of nature.

The exhibition is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until September 22, at CMU Art Museum, Chiang Mai University.


“Pleng Jaran” concert remembers Lanna artist

Preeyanoot Jittawong

The Kad Dhara at the Mandarin Oriental Dara Dhevi Resort Chiang Mai organized a charity concert “Pleng Jaran” (Jaran’s songs) on September 4, on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of Jaran Manophet, the Lanna artist’s death. Jaran’s music, both vocal and instrumental that had never been performed before were played.

Thip band from Payap University performs “Pleng Jaran”.

The songs were a mix of Pop, Jazz, World Music and a capella, performed by The Big Banana – a capella and Thip bands from Payap University, conducted by Ajarn Pareungkarn Wora-ulai, who was a close friend of Jaran.

Ajarn Pareungkarn has continued to make Jaran’s dream come true, as Jaran intended to perform his songs in various concert styles. The proceeds from this concert amounted to almost 40,000 baht and will be used to build a museum in Lamphun, displaying Jaran’s and other Lanna artists’ musical works.

Kad Dara project of Dara Dhevi Resort has planned to have a “Pleng Jaran” concert every year, to raise funds for the museum.



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