Researching the unknown

Researching the unknown

In reply to Jojo Tiger, 'Help urgently required' (Ajarn Postbox 1st of March) I don’t pretend to be, “in the know”, but putting myself in your position. In my opinion, many of the text books used in Asia in general are far in advance of the student's capabilities. They assume a level of competency that few attain, given the ‘happy happy’ method of teaching and the no-fail emphasis. We’ve all I suspect had this problem and the problem solving ball is now firmly in your court.

Take the sustainable economy question; what is a sustainable economy? Why is it in a country’s best interests to have one? How can overall production be improved to make a country self reliant? Given that Thailand is a rice producer and exporter, what type of rice growing, wet or dry, does it have and why? What is a trade deficit?

These sorts of questions might appear on a test examination; an hour or two spent on the internet will give you the basics of the subject, from which you can make lesson plans and try to second guess what might be asked. Keep things pretty basic, at the level of your students and bring in thinking skills, so that they also continue to question themselves about the subject and gain further knowledge.

This is where your teaching skills come into it, researching an unknown subject at a basic level and presenting the sort of information you get in a factual examination preparation way. Perhaps it isn’t what you were contracted to do, but it is a challenge and one which you too will learn from. If you can do this, I’d say you would be confident enough to teach any subject, anywhere and your professionalism will certainly increase in the eyes of those in the school hierarchy who have suddenly abandoned you.

Good luck to you and although my comments are simply suggestions; take a deep breath, spend a sleepless night researching on the net and you should have enough information to develop a small series of knowledgeable lesson plans by the morning.


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