20 Years of Culturally-Aware Constructionism in Thailand

Project Dates: 2017 – present

A Landmark for the International Community

Research findings reveal in Thailand what is most likely the longest continuous Constructionist implementation in the world, extending beyond pre-university education into community development projects and corporate business practices, and one that has unique characteristics found only there. Nowhere else have the principles of Constructionism been applied for so long, in such a wide range of institutions, and with such intentionality, persistence, and conscious incorporation of local cultural practices and beliefs.

For these reasons, Thai Constructionism offers lessons to inspire community leaders, teachers, and business people internationally and provides leadership in the way to real transformation in how the world integrates community and personal development, education, technologies and powerful ideas.

 

Primary Findings

The 24-year history of the Constructionism movement in Thailand, with particular emphasis on how the ideas of Constructionism have been adapted and implemented, was researched over a four year period of intensive field data collection and analysis.

The primary findings of that research are currently being documented and are organized along the following three main categories and sub-sections:

Principles of “Thai Constructionism”

  • Start with People’s Interests or Problems.
  • Learner Agency.
  • Reflection as a Core Practice.
  • “Low Ego” Approach to Mistakes.
  • Connect with Spirituality through Meditation

Core attributes of past and future successes:

  • Deep Internalization/Personal Transformation.
  • Long-Term Mentorship and “Thinking Alongside”.
  • Just-in-Time Resources.
  • Bridging Communities, or “Brokering”

Obstacles faced in the implementation of Constructionism in Thailand:

  • Maintaining Stability Despite Changing Institutional Leadership.
  • The Importance of Leaders who Understand Constructionism Deeply.
  • Benefits and Limitations of Technology Workshops.
  • Navigating Formal Schooling with Learner-Driven Projects.

Publications

Fields, D. A. & Blikstein, P. (In preparation). Principles and Practices Core to the Success of the Constructionist Movement in Thailand [White paper]. Suksapattana Foundation.

Fields, D. A. & Blikstein, P. (2018). What is constructionism? Views from a Thai perspective. In V. Dagiene & E. Jastuė, Constructionism 2018: Constructionism, Computational Thinking and Educational Innovation: conference proceedings, Vilnius, Lithuania

Team Members

Paulo Blikstein
Deborah Fields (Utah State University)
Nalin Tutiyapheungprasert (Darunsikkhalai School for Innovative Learning)
Arnan Sipitakiat (Chiang Mai University)
Jonathan Pang
Diana Garcia

 

Funding

Support for the Culturally Aware Constructionism in Thailand project was provided by the Suksapattana Foundation.

 

Contact

For more information, please contact Paulo Blikstein (research@tltlab.org).