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PTIS Students connecting globally and locally

By Kathryn O’Connell, Grade 2 Teacher, and Karrie Dietz, Junior School Principal

Research shows and the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) agrees that students will understand and retain more when learning experiences are relevant, engaging, challenging, and significant to their lives. In the global, networked environment of the 21st century, learning can expand beyond the classroom walls. PTIS is aiming to reach out to the global and local communities to reduce the boundaries that divide ‘school’ from ‘the real world.’

Students had a terrific time in a recent field trip to Baan Khwai where they participated in rice planting.

Learning experiences that are relevant to ‘the real world’ are becoming increasingly important. Because children are growing up in a world of almost unlimited access to information and of enormous opportunity and difficult choices, helping students make emotional and social connections to skill and content is more crucial than ever. To help students make these meaningful connections, teachers can create a 21st century context for learning by:

making content relevant to students’ lives
bringing the world into the classroom
taking students into the world
creating opportunities for students to interact with each other and with other children and knowledgeable adults in authentic learning experiences.

Connecting Globally – Collaborative Learning

The children recently connected with a class in Switzerland through Skype, real-time, with video and audio. The 2nd graders in Switzerland prepared research questions for PTIS students about how the weather affects their lives. In this instance PTIS students were empowered to share their knowledge and experiences as ‘experts’ living in Thailand. School partnerships, such as this experience, provide students opportunities to connect with children in other parts of the world in order to share knowledge and develop respect for other cultures. It contributes to developing global citizenship.

Emmy shared “We taught them our houses are made of wood and there are two floors because the top floor is for floods and the bottom is for shade. It was fun talking with them because we met new people and learned about things.”

PTIS students are connecting with their local community through learning by doing. Grade 2 students went to Baan Kwai Thai, a neighboring village, to learn about the historical practices of rice farming. This was a hands on field trip, providing opportunities for active learning.

Snowy said “It was very fun. We had to get the rice to grow in the mud. I liked it. I nearly slipped down and Emmy was holding me! I liked seeing the old buffalo.”

As students went into the mud and planted the rice they saw and experienced using the tools and they tried the all the steps. Then the class went to the local rice mill to see how the rice was processed. As a result of developing an understanding of local practices during this trip, students wanted to convince people to buy their rice locally.

Whether it’s exploring the local community or using technologies to bring the world to the classroom, it is evident students are motivated by these real world experiences. Providing authentic learning experiences is valued at PTIS and these will continue to be offered and developed.

Students enjoyed talking via Skype with children in Switzerland giving them the opportunity to connect and share.

NIS students graduate

38 senior high school and 25 kindergarten students celebrated their graduations at Nakorn Payap International School recently, founded in 1993, NIS offers English language classes in the U.S. system for all grades. The graduation was held at the Holiday Inn Hotel at the end of May as school drew to a close. NIS is holding summer school for students who wish to continue their studies during the holidays.

Wai Kru Day around Chiang Mai

Students set out their offerings for the teachers on Wai Kru Day at Panyaden School.

Wai Kru Day is an important day in the school calendar around Thailand as it is the day when students pay their respects to their teachers and offer their gratitude and thanks as well as formalize the teacher-student relationship. The day begins with a Buddhist ceremony followed by the students’ recitation of the Wai Kru chant which shows their respect and gratitude and asks for the teachers blessings. Then representatives of each class present the teachers with offerings of flowers, candles and incense sticks. This year 26 teachers including Head of the school Neil Amas, took part in the Wai Kru ceremony at Panayaden School. (Photos by Ally Taylor)

Teachers at Panyaden School receive offerings from their students on June 14, 2012.

Dara Academy teachers take part in the Wai Kru Day ceremonies as students pay their respects to their teachers (Photo by Fern Naksen)

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]]

PTIS Students connecting globally and locally

NIS students graduate

Wai Kru Day around Chiang Mai