Thai Teaching Course Module 2: Thai-Style Governance

With the recent political crisis there in Thailand, it’s great to hear the history of where Thailand has come from to get to this point. The first coup happened in 1932 and since then the Thai government has gone through a lot. Through out the history of Thailand the King has played a major roll. All though the King does not have real political power, he does have power of the people. Thais love their King and look to him for guidance. The Thai monarchy has been in continuous existence since it was founded in 1238 (Wikipedia). As the country has transitioned from a monarch to a constitutional monarchy of governance, the King’s powers have been limited but he still plays a roll in matters of the people. To quote the King: “I will rule righteously and well for the benefit and happiness of the Siamese people” The modern King has been on the thrown since the 9th of June 1946 and has led the country to some rough times. Thailand is one of the only countries in the South-East of Asia that has never been ruled by an external force.  The Economist ran a great article in December on Thailand, it’s King, and the crisis it faces moving forward. “The army is a big part of the country’s predicament. Its generals believe they have a right to remove any government that incurs its, or the palace’s, displeasure—taking its cue from the monarchy that has approved so many of its coups. These two obstacles to Thailand’s democratic development are inextricably interlinked.” Mr. Warawut Silpa-archa: Former Deputy Minister of Transport Is Thailand ready for Democracy? “You can’t compare democracy in Thailand to those in the US or the UK. Thailand is a democratic country, we have two houses….we have the whole system. People just have a different opinion on what democracy is.” “Thailand….we are ready.” Is the King held in a ‘god like’ status? “The King is more like a father figure today.” “The law is always the law.” “Nobody is above the law, the court cases and investigations into what happened in November are still going on.” Politically what do you see as Thailand’s biggest obstacle in the next 10 years? “Education…when people are not educated they tend to look short term, they are not educated to make educated choices in the government.” Does religion and politics mix in...

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Thai Teaching Cert: Module 6 Art, Drama and Music

Characteristics of Thai Visual Art: For our Thai Teaching Certificate which all teachers at international schools must complete we were entertained by some puppet masters for our Art, Drama and Music module. Buddha Art: Thai Musical Instruments Shadow Puppets: The Puppet Show: We watched a performance by a group of puppeteers who used what they called a “Three Person” puppet. It takes three people to control all aspects of the puppet, and the people that control the puppet move with the motions that the puppet makes. They become one being, and with their movements so fluid you soon forget about the three people behind the puppets and focus in on the motions of the puppet itself. Their movements were so life like and it was a great demonstration of Thai puppetry. In the end it’s great to learn about the arts of different cultures, their music, their ways of life. Just another benefit of being an international...

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Thai Teaching Cert: Module 1 Society and Wisdom

(No, we’re not taking these in order) Buddhism in Thailand No belief in a god that created the world Buddhist believe do good things, be good person, and you will be rewarded Experience enlightenment to break the cycle of birth, disease, death, rebirth Teach patience and give consideration to everything you do to be a good person Monks believe should not eat solid foods after mid-day. 250,000 monks ask for food each day. Giving of food to a monk is considered being a good person. Meditation is to clear the mind and think clearly so you can become calm and wise Many young men become monks to finish their schooling, then quit being a monk and go back to their villages to live. Some are monks for a few months, others a few years, others a lifetime Reading: Individual Life Cycles Thai baby becomes “someone” after its name is chosen. By 8 children start to take on their “role”. Girls household chores, boys guarding the family buffalo. Children attend government school taught standard nationwide curriculum. Acquire varying degrees of literacy and study Buddhist and Thia history. Youth of 15 or 16 are already regarded as fully mature adult laborers. Graduation from school and marriage at around 20. Most village males go into the monastery, usually for the duration of one rainy season (about 4 months), to make merit for themselves and their parents; in some areas, a man who has never been a monk is avoided by marriageable girls, who regard him as a “unripe person” (Thia: Khon dip) Girl’s entrance into adolescence is a gentle one. Courtship is extensive and “whirlwind courtships” are exceedingly rare. Most young people select their own marriage partners. In many parts of the country, it is the custom for the groom to move in with the bride’s family, avoiding friction between mother and daughter-in-law. After marriage first child usually comes during the first year. Reading: The Family Extended family, consisting of several generations living under one roof. Home is usually a simple wooden house raised on posts. There is little privacy, which is not as highly regarded as in Western societies, and the communal life style instills a strong sense of social harmony in which tact, compromise, and tolerance are essential. The father is regarded as the leader, but the mother plays a significant role in the family finances and instruction of the...

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