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School system’s failure to teach logical thinking linked to low PISA scores

Discussion in 'Education from Thailand' started by Stamp, 14 Dec 2016.

  1. Stamp

    Stamp Thread Starter Administrator Staff Member

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    December 14, 2016 01:00
    By PRATCH RUJIVANAROM
    THE NATION

    ACADEMICS HAVE called for a major reform in Thailand’s education system and blame students’ low scores in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) on the system’s failure to encourage logical thinking.

    Thailand Research Fund (TRF) discussed the bad performance at a press conference after research exposed problems in the current curriculum as well as considerable disparity driven by financial status.

    The 2015 PISA academic evaluation scores, disclosed earlier this month, showed the academic performance of Thai students was far behind their peers from neighbouring countries such as Singapore and Vietnam. Thai students only ranked 54th in science and maths and 57th in reading out of 70 countries.

    Pattamawadee Pochanukul, TRF deputy director and lecturer from Thammasat University’s Faculty of Economics, said research revealed that schools failed to foster critical thinking, analytical skills and logic among students. It also showed that financial disparity also affected students from developing these skills.

    “TRF researchers focused on 2,901 Grade 6 students, 2,305 Grade 10 students and 1,029 vocational students from 10 provinces by testing them on an exam similar to the one at PISA. The test evaluated logical thinking and analytical skills, and learned that the average score was just 36.5 per cent, with just 2.09 per cent of all students passing the exam,” Pattamawadee said.

    Read the full article here: School system’s failure to teach logical thinking linked to low PISA scores
     
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  2. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

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    So the TRF has just spent money on researching what the PISA tests have been telling Thailand since the start. The geniuses have concluded that special tuition schools, which surely have replaced the regular 8am to 4pm schools as the main source of knowledge needed to pass the multiple choice tests, do in fact contribute to success. The boffins also say being smart in school results in low logic, oh my word shock horror. On reading the article No shit Sherlock crossed my mind a number of times, interwoven with sighs of frustration and eye rolls

    This research tell us nothing which we did not already know and the story tells us nothing of how the system can be practically changes.

    Thailand is still going round in circles. Next will be the minister calling for a report within 30 days.
     
  3. Wangsuda

    Wangsuda Nonentity Staff Member

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    Don't forget the endless committees that need to be formed, the photo sessions, and all the section 44 30-day orders that will also arise. I believe Shakespeare said/wrote it best: "Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing."
     
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  4. SageAdvice

    SageAdvice Well-Known Member

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    AND...the overseas fact-finding trips to find out if education exists in London, Paris, Rome and Tokyo.
     
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  5. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Well-Known Member

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    I used to tutor a boy from Bangkok whose mom was an MP. Ethnically, he was Chinese-Vietnamese; a very hard-working and amazingly bright kid. He was only fourteen, but his parents were preparing him for university in the States. He went to private school in Bangkok, and his parents paid me 400 Baht an hour to give him lessons, as I saw fit. I really put in a big effort, and I made it difficult for him. At least, I tried to. He could use the past perfect, the present perfect, all of the conditionals, the subjunctive, subordinating conjunctions--his English was good.

    I came up with difficult topics for him to talk about: how to increase Thailand's GDP, irrigation, North Korea's foreign policy. I remember very well how he completed a sentence of mine after I hesitated with Kim Jong-Un's name. That day, because it was a Buddhist holiday, I brought up the holiday and asked him to talk about it. He is Thai. He lives in Bangkok.

    When I said Buddhism he was not sure what I meant. I mentioned the men in the orange robes. He had a quizzical look on his face as he searched his thoughts. After a short silence it dawned on him and he said, "oh! yeah, yeah, I know." Truly shocked, I had an epiphany about this boy who was so different from my students at the university--and so much better as a student. The boy and his family, who are first-class people, had, to an incredible degree, discarded Thai culture to pursue academic achievement and business. Is that Thai?

    I hope Thailand lasts for centuries. But don't worry because nothing is going to change in the short term. I don't want to see the people suffer in poverty. Overall, Thailand is OK on that front. Quixotic adventures in education are not going to work, and I am not even so sure the extent to which they should.

    But who can be an educator whose job is to non-educate? If I start a school in Thailand, it is going to be a standard Western school that also shows respect to Thai traditions and culture. I think it can be done, but only people like us can do it. Too much corruption and apathy (at some level) on the Thai side. That is just how it is. I was going to use the adjective "cold-hearted". A cold-hearted apathy must be deeply seated when nothing effective is done for the futures of all those wonderful little kids--while sticking money in one's pocket. I do wonder if the day will come when Thailand suffers because of its backwards system of education, really suffers. Perhaps it already has. But even worse is when Thailand is no longer Thailand.

    That is what I think. This and fifteen Baht will get you a cup of coffee.
     
    Last edited: 15 Dec 2016

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