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Esoterik

What Do Thai Kids Learn?

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I've been here for a few months now and I'm looking around the school quite a lot and there seems to be no evidence of students learning anything that doesn't relate directly to Thailand.

I tried to find a map of the world to use in a class and the only one I could find was Cold War. I understand them maybe not learning about the World Wars in Europe, but things like Vietnam and World War II in the pacific must surely be on every school's curriculum?

I have to do a morning talk once a week about whatever I want, so I chose world news. But not even the teachers that are meant to translate it to the kids have a clue about anything.

It's worrying that these students are brought up in such an insular environment. It seems like a greater awareness of the outside world would help motivate them to learn English too.

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Considering the first two threads you started before this one, I am more concerned what was taught wherever "back home" was for you :)

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indeed

Considering the first two threads you started before this one, I am more concerned what was taught wherever "back home" was for you :)

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We'll stick to the topic of what kids learns.

What students learn, depends on what type of school they attend and what grade they are in. I work for a school with a couple of programs. One is a full bilingual program and the other is a mini-English program, with a few subjects taught in English.

The Mathyom program has a full social studies program in English that includes world history and ancient history. It's fairly comprehensive. They know the ancient Empires dating back to the Egyptians and going up to the days of colonization. They know about World War I and II. They know about much of everything in between.

Younger kids can't quite grasp those concepts, so it stays pretty focused on Thailand and S.E. Asia.

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Like all nations, the Thai education system is, in the foremost, dedicated to imbuing children with love of king and country, and the necessary tools to fit into the Thai cultural melange. Just as the USA was the center of the universe for me as a child, the same holds true in Thailand through Matayom.

This is a positive, and is the primary reason Thailand "check's all the right boxes" in tourism and retirement.There is something to say for this overlooked political asset. The Thai disinclination at becoming embroiled in First World mischief-making is a blessing-in-disguise.

One need only to look to Britain and the U.S. for proof of this supposition. One person's view of progress is an anathema to another.

Edited by thaigold

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I've met a lot of teachers who do an English program at their school, but they have all said their programs are totally segregated from the student body and represent a tiny fraction of the school's pupils. Do these programs actually cover a significant percentage of Thailand's student population? Or are they reserved for the elite?

What about the average rural high school student, would they know about the World Wars? Do they learn about things like the American civil rights movement or apartheid in SA?

As far as what I guess is an allusion to my post about drugs, feel free to PM me or start a thread on the topic as I love discussing drug prohibition and the illusions held by so many people about drug use.

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Like all nations, the Thai education system is, in the foremost, dedicated to imbuing children with love of king and country, and the necessary tools to fit into the Thai cultural melange. Just as the USA was the center of the universe for me as a child, the same holds true in Thailand through Matayom.

This is a positive, and is the primary reason Thailand "check's all the right boxes" in tourism and retirement.There is something to say for this overlooked political asset. The Thai disinclination at becoming embroiled in First World mischief-making is a blessing-in-disguise.

One need only to look to Britain and the U.S. for proof of this supposition. One person's view of progress is an anathema to another.

This may be true for most schools in the US where they still, as I've been told, strangely pledge allegiance to the flag every day, but it certainly wasn't the case where I went to school in England. At the majority of government schools, pratom and mattayom students are taught through a microphone, told to sit & listen and are discouraged from questioning authority or, god forbid, displaying any unconventional thought. It certainly is a positive for the rich and powerful who run the country who want a populace that is easily brainwashed. For the benefit of the country, the Thai education system needs a major overhaul to say the least.

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The level of details taught to children increases with age. I remember being taught the presidents of the US. The emphasis was a learning who they were and a few very basic facts, usually positive material. As we got older we learned more and gradually were introduced to some of their less heroic endeavors. By the time I got to University, I learned that some of them were pretty much useless people.

Children are children. They aren't miniature adults. And yes, most countries use the school system as a vehicle as a method of socialization. It's preparation for becoming a productive citizen and member of the community. Sometimes this isn't exactly successful.

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Teaching younger kids, I am not familiar with the secondary school curriculum.

However, from the attitudes of grown-ups I meet, mostly educated people, I gather that through their history classes they are taught to look down on all their neighbours who are savages and hurt Thailand considerably (conveniently overlooking the fact that Thais must have inflicted some damage as well), and this sets the scene for the way they brutally exploit refugees and migrant workers from these countries with very unfortunate 20th century histories.

When I went on a holiday to Burma, everyone I talked to expressed profound shock that I am willing to visit the "enemy" and there is nothing to see there anyway, those people have no culture. This included the prathom social studies teacher at my school. When I showed her photos on my return, she said she had never seen pictures of Bagan before.

I find this tendency very disturbing as it affects people on the ground today - otherwise who cares about history being polished here and there, and some mediocre people glorified just to create a national identity.

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