ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Teaching and Learning in Catholic Schools in Thailand

Updated on September 27, 2018
Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul grew up on a farm where moral virtues such as hard work and honesty were cherished. As a teacher, each class had a moral lesson.

Second Graders Taking Final Tests in Thailand

Source

Teaching and Learning in a Catholic School in Thailand

During the last week of February in 2013, I was assigned to monitor a class of second-grade students sit for their final exams at Saint Joseph Bangna Catholic school in Thailand. Although it wasn't one of my scheduled taught classes, I spent three days with a Thai teacher proctoring second graders' tests. As I sat in the back of the classroom on the first day watching the students test, I noticed on a bulletin board in front of the classroom the guiding principles for students. Five important abilities of student learners were also spelled out in big colored Thai letters. After monitoring the students' tests in all of their subjects during these three days, I became aware of how the curriculum was designed to develop the important abilities of students. In reflecting on the guiding principles for students to follow, it became obvious why all subjects were taught, and all extra-curricular activities were held. This hub, therefore, is a summary of the basic teaching and learning that goes on in a Catholic school in Thailand.

ASEAN Display on Second Grade Bulletin Board

Source

Guiding Principles for Students to Follow

The guiding principles for students to follow at Saint Joseph Bangna Catholic School have been translated by me from Thai into English. They include the following five principles:

1. To Become Well-Educated

This is on top of the list in the classroom and is probably most important. The school provides the resources for students to get a good education through excellent Thai and foreign teachers and school facilities such as libraries, laboratories, resource rooms, computers, and music and art rooms. The school also offers an academic curriculum which includes: courses in languages such as Thai, English, Chinese Mandarin, and French; science courses 1st-12th grades; health education and physical education; social science courses; religion classes; computer science classes; and art, music, and home economics classes. In addition, parents may enroll their children in an English Program in which all English, science, math, and health education classes are taught in English.

2. To Become Disciplined

My school and its teachers instill discipline into the students through daily morning assemblies, assemblies before afternoon classes and dismissal at the end of the day, meditation twice a week, and occasional school trips to a temple. At morning assemblies, for example, students stand with their homeroom class in formation for announcements, come to attention for the playing and singing of the national anthem, recite the students' code of conduct, pay homage to the King, and then recite religious prayers.

3. To Become Compassionate

As part of the school's morals training, students are taught to become compassionate through weekly mock village experiences and by contributing to flooding victims and other needy people. In the mock village scenarios which are held every Thursday morning before first-period class, students from all grade levels 1-12 are assigned to different villages which have to organize and attend to the welfare of all of its members.

4. To Aspire Toward Moral Virtues and Moral Values

The school and teachers guide students to aspire toward moral virtues with a variety of activities. Every morning before the first-period class, the students' Thai homeroom teacher presents a twenty-minute lesson on moral virtues and values. In addition to this, the students all take a Christianity class, and all teachers incorporate the teaching of moral virtues and moral values in their daily lesson plans.

5. To Do Excellent School Work

My school and teachers encourage all students to do excellent work both in curricular subjects and extra-curricular activities. Top students in all academic subjects are recognized at morning assemblies and at special school assemblies at the beginning and end of the school year. Students who engage in extracurricular activities through interscholastic school competitions in English, science, and math are rewarded with letters of recognition and in some cases cash awards.

Campus of Saint Joseph Bangna School

Important Abilities of Student Learners

The Thailand Ministry of Education and my school recognize that there are five important abilities of student learning. They include the following:

1. Ability in Communicating

Since Thailand is a newly industrialized country and an important member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), students' communication abilities are so important for the future of Thailand and ASEAN. The school endeavors to develop students' communication skills by providing a curriculum which is rich in language art courses such as Thai, English, Mandarin Chinese, and French. Listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities are emphasized in all language courses. Students further develop communication skills through extra-curricular activities which include speaking, debate, and drama clubs as well as through participation in the interscholastic competition in storytelling, impromptu speeches, and drama skits.

2. Ability in Thinking

Critical thinking skills are emphasized in all classes, especially the math and science courses. As early as the first grade, students are taught logic in math classes, and how to use the scientific method. Thinking skills are also developed in language and social science courses by encouraging students to use an inductive reasoning method with Socratic questioning.

3. Ability in Solving Problems

My school encourages students to solve problems in all academic classes. In math classes, students are guided in applying math concepts and formulas in the solving of real-life problems. The same is true in the science courses in which all students are expected to participate in a science fair where they apply the scientific method in the creation of an original project. In language and social studies courses, students many times work in small groups to complete projects which apply language and social studies principles in creating something new in the form of a written poster or a clay model.

4. Ability in Utilizing Self-Sufficiency in Life

Economic self-sufficiency in life is one of the King of Thailand's major teachings. In both curricular and extra-curricular activities, students are taught principles of self-sufficiency. For example, in art and music classes, students are taught how to create their own art forms and music and musical instruments.

5. Ability in Utilizing Technology

As a newly industrialized nation, the utilization of technology is extremely important for Thailand's increased sustained economic growth as an ASEAN nation. All students from grade one have computer science classes in which they learn about computers and their role in the information technology world of today. The latest technology is also unveiled in all science and home economic classes.

As I observed second graders take tests in Thai, English, Chinese, math, science, health, social studies, computer science, Christianity, and art and music during my three days of monitoring tests, I gained a much better appreciation of what teaching and learning in a Catholic school entail. I also gained a better understanding of how the school was utilizing the academic curriculum and extra-curricular activities to achieve its student guiding principles and to develop the important abilities of student learners.

My sixth grade students at Saint Joseph Bangna School in Thailand.  Picture taken in 2009.
My sixth grade students at Saint Joseph Bangna School in Thailand. Picture taken in 2009. | Source

My Students Practicing a Drama Skit

Source

English Day 2014 at Saint Joseph Bangna School

Teaching and Learning in Catholic Schools

What do you think is the most important principle for teaching and learning in a Catholic school?

See results

© 2013 Paul Richard Kuehn

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Shyron,

      Thank you very much for your comments. Yes, I also believe our public schools need to take lessons from the Thai Catholic schools. Thanks for the votes, sharing, pinning, and posting on fb.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      5 years ago from Texas

      This is an amazing hub Paul, our public schools need to take lessons from the Thai Catholic schools, especially on teaching empathy, I think our children here in the U.S. are losing that, and our children see adults behaving like children. What an example!

      Voted-up, UAI shared, pinned and posted on fb.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Peggy,

      Thank you very much for commenting on this hub and sharing your Catholic school education. What I like about the school is that instruction in moral values is built into all of the lessons. Thanks for your great evaluation of this hub. I also appreciate you sharing and pinning it.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I attended a Catholic parochial school from the 3rd grade through the 7th grade in Wisconsin after the school had been built. My entire 8th grade in public school in Texas was just about a repeat of what I had already learned. I truly enjoyed those parochial school years. It sounds as though the school you observed is a really good one! Up and interesting votes, sharing and pinning.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      dahoglund,

      Thank you very much for reading and commenting on this hub. My school is interesting to the kids who really want to get out of it as much as they can. The kids are especially interested in all of the extra-curricular activities which they have. I appreciate your comments and sharing of this hub!

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I'm impressed. I went to both catholic and public schools in Minnesota.Needless to say nobody even dreamed of computers in my day, heck, TV only came about when I was in 6th or 7th grade. Very educated folks back then explained patiently to me why space travel was impossible. The school you describe sounds like it should be interesting for the students. Up,interesting and shared.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      moonlake,

      Thanks for reading and commenting on this hub. I went to Catholic schools grades 1-8 up until high school in the 1950s. The only bad thing about the schools was that I never had a science subject! I certainly learned discipline and respect for authority. Thank you very much for sharing this hub.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 

      5 years ago from America

      Interesting and I wish all schools would teach this way. Our youngest went to Catholic school. Voted up and shared.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      DDE,

      Thank you very much for reading this hub. I really appreciate your comments.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Interesting and well informed about Catholic education you have mentioned valuable points here and to the point.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      unknownspy,

      Thanks for reading this hub. I'm glad you like my article and I really appreciate you sharing it.

    • unknown spy profile image

      Not Found 

      5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Wow, this is really great. All teachers much read this post. Sharing this

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Educateurself,

      Thanks for reading and commenting on this hub. I appreciate your good words.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      sujithbeta,

      Thanks for reading this article. I appreciate your comments.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Brett,

      Thanks for stopping by again and reading about my school. Unfortunately, it's hard for the school to live up to all of these targets, but it is trying. I appreciate you sharing, pinning, and tweeting this article.

    • profile image

      Educateurself 

      5 years ago

      Nice great hub a good way to teach the teachers how to teach your students.

    • sujithbeta profile image

      Sreejith k 

      5 years ago from Kerala, India

      Thanks for sharing your ways of teaching and education.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 

      5 years ago from Asia

      Very interesting. Having worked in Thailand myself, if this school lives up to these targets, they are well ahead of the pack and I can see why you don't want to leave.

      Shared, pinned, tweeted, up and interesting.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Billy,

      Thanks for reading this hub. I always appreciate your great comments.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      MarieAlana,

      Thanks for reading this article. I really appreciate your comments and do hope you can write a hub comparing Asian-American culture with Amish culture regarding education. I really don't know that much about the Amish.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Michelle,

      Thanks for reading this hub, and I really appreciate your comments.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It's interesting, Paul, that classrooms like pretty much the same no matter where in the world you teach. Your description of that Catholic school sounds very much like the Catholic schools I taught at.

    • MarieAlana1 profile image

      Marie Alana 

      5 years ago from Ohio

      Wow! Thanks for sharing! I have done some researching and writing on how the Asian-American culture differs from the Amish culture in the belief of how to best educate their students and the educational aspirations. I should put it into an article. I like how you got to witness the teaching a first-hand school first hand.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      5 years ago from Singapore

      It looks like the school is aiming for a holistic education, which is great. Thanks for sharing, Paul, and passing this around!!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)