BSfL - Sustainability Education


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BSfL - Sustainability Education

  1. 1. Beluga School for Life: Environmental Education Alex, Cameron, Erika
  2. 2. Interest / Thesis <ul><li>Our interest in the BSfL was initially prompted by the opportunity to work with the children and to become familiar with the school’s implementation of active learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Thesis: What is environmental education at the Beluga School for Life and how effective is this educational approach in involving the children in maintaining the school’s sustainability? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>Due to our programs focus on sustainable community development and sustainable education, it is important that we branch out to learn from others and observe the locals in their own methods of teaching and learning. The BSfL prides itself on their different approach to education. While maintaining strict Thai governmental education standards, the school takes a true learn by doing approach in an attempt to help the children retain knowledge of sustainability in a different way. Because the school functions as an orphanage as well, the goal is to create a self sufficient community to which the children can become active participants in the well being of the all residents. </li></ul><ul><li>PRA article </li></ul><ul><li>Measuring Sustainability: Learning by Doing </li></ul><ul><li>A systems approach to sustainable development </li></ul><ul><li>Natural Patterns and Permaculture Design: For the organic Garden </li></ul>
  4. 4. Special Thanks <ul><li>Christopher Otti </li></ul><ul><li>Ajan Charniwad </li></ul><ul><li>Dr. Horst Beisl </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher Bee </li></ul><ul><li>Jurgen Zimmer </li></ul>
  5. 5. Methods <ul><li>Conduct interviews with faculty and staff </li></ul><ul><li>Actively participate in the students’ open-classroom activities </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorm with the children about their ideas regarding environmental issues </li></ul><ul><li>Photographic documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Learn as much as much as possible about any future sustainability projects and provide possible suggestions or ideas </li></ul>
  6. 6. Interviews and Casual Interaction with Staff <ul><li>Our interview with Christopher introduced us to some of the sustainable practices at the BSfL like organic farming, the recycling program and how the children can act as a “little guide” for tourists. </li></ul><ul><li>Ajan Charniwad discussed with us how he manages the organic farm and how the children learn sustainable farming practices during the open-classroom activities. </li></ul><ul><li>We learned about Dr. Horst Beisl’s interesting artistic approach to sustainability, as he teaches the children to reduce, reuse and recycle bottles, cardboard, tsunami debris and other refuse for art projects. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Daily Schedule for a BSfL Student <ul><li>8:00 – 8:30 am: Opening Ceremony </li></ul><ul><li>8:30 – 11:50 am: Classes </li></ul><ul><li>11:50 am – 12:50 pm: Lunch Break </li></ul><ul><li>12:50 – 1:40 pm: Class/Meeting/Boy Scouts </li></ul><ul><li>1:40 – 3:40 pm: Open Classroom Activities </li></ul>Results Education in Thailand is provided mainly by the Thai government through the Ministry of Education from pre-school to senior high school. A free basic education of twelve years is guaranteed by the constitution, and a minimum of nine years' school attendance is mandatory. Formal education consists of at least twelve years of basic education, and higher education. Basic education is divided into six years of primary education and six years of secondary education, the latter being further divided into three years of lower- and upper-secondary levels. Kindergarten levels of pre-primary education, also part of the basic education level, spans 2-3 years depending on the locale, and is variably provided.
  8. 8. Classroom Lessons <ul><li>Thai </li></ul><ul><li>English </li></ul><ul><li>Math </li></ul><ul><li>Science </li></ul><ul><li>Career Development </li></ul><ul><li>Health Studies </li></ul><ul><li>Art </li></ul><ul><li>Social Studies </li></ul><ul><li>According to our research, minimal environmental education is integrated into classroom lessons. The exception is their science class, in which we were told that they learn about some environmental </li></ul><ul><li>issues. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Open Classroom Projects <ul><li>Organic Farming </li></ul><ul><li>Children’s Shop * </li></ul><ul><li>Art A or B * </li></ul><ul><li>Thai and Modern Dance A or B </li></ul><ul><li>Thai Boxing </li></ul><ul><li>Soccer </li></ul><ul><li>Guest House Arrangement </li></ul><ul><li>Computer Intro A or B </li></ul><ul><li>Recycling </li></ul><ul><li>Sports </li></ul><ul><li>Music </li></ul><ul><li>Bakery </li></ul><ul><li>Kids’ Garage </li></ul><ul><li>Herbal Gardening </li></ul><ul><li>“ Be a Little Guide” </li></ul><ul><li>Angalon Band </li></ul><ul><li>Local Wisdom </li></ul><ul><li>School Magazine </li></ul><ul><li>Kindergarten Arrangement </li></ul><ul><li>English </li></ul><ul><li>Only three of the 20 open classroom activities (organic farming, recycling, and herbal gardening) involve environmental education. Children’s Shop projects and Art involve the environment to a certain extent as they sometimes use recycled materials to complete their projects. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Open Classroom - Butterfly Farm The Butterfly Farm has been an attempted project for the BSfL for the past year and a half. The project has recently come under the management of Ajan Charniwad who wishes to take a much more hands on approach and involve the children more than the last project manager. The structure is 15 by 25 ft and has a few fruit trees starting to grow. The soil is ready for planting, but the actual structure is not in the necessary condition for butterflies to be able to survive. Charniwad plans to take some children to the large butterfly and insect pavilion in Khao Lak and begin plans for things like a solid roof to protect from rain and find out which kind of plants and butterflies are best to use.
  11. 11. Open Classroom - Recycling The Crazy House was built out of bamboo, plywood, pvc, scrap sheet metal and other recycled products. The construction of this house not only demonstrates recycling and sustainability taught at the BSfL, but also the creativity of the children. The children lined the trees with balloon lanterns, made from water bottles and balloons. The balloons were deflated, but when inflated, the balloon lanterns symbolizes fruit on a tree
  12. 12. Open Classroom - Organic Farming <ul><li>The organic farm was established in October of 2005 and is currently managed by Ajan Charni </li></ul><ul><li>Produce their own bio-fertilizer and bio-insecticide </li></ul><ul><li>Over 50 varieties of species of plants </li></ul><ul><li>Area of 8000m 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Children learn about sustainable farming techniques but most of them are too young to perform the physical labor </li></ul>
  13. 13. Outside Excursions <ul><li>Sea Turtle Conservation Center (6 th grade students and older) </li></ul><ul><li>Organic Farm in Thai Muang (for older students only) </li></ul><ul><li>Thai Muang Market (9 th grade and older) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Conclusion <ul><li>A major obstacle that we faced while researching for our project was the cancellation of all classes and open classroom activities for the week. As a result, we were unable to directly work with the children in the classroom and in the open classrooms. Also, we were unable to follow through with many of our proposed methods. </li></ul><ul><li>Because all classes were canceled, we had to look to other resources to gather information about the Beluga School’s environmental education. We were taken on tours by staff, had several interviews and discussions with Christopher, Ajan Charniwad, and Dr. Horst, and were given information about the school’s education by Christopher’s assistant, Nett. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Outputs / Outcomes <ul><li>From our interviews and discussions we were able to discern that the BSfL does take some initiative in teaching their students environmental education, more so in their open-classroom activities than in their formal classroom lessons. However, the follow-through on many of their ideas regarding environmental education does not always happen. We did get the impression that they are working on improving their environmental education in the future. </li></ul>