Summer Newsletter August 2020 (online)
Dear FiftyFold friends and supporters,
Covid-19 and the global uprisings are re-affirming what we always knew – that the ways we have been living and learning have been unsustainable for a while now. From continued resource extraction to the cancers of racism and discrimination in our society and in Southeast Asia, we are longing for safe places and I dare say, a beloved community, “formed not by the eradication of difference but by its affirmation, by each of us claiming the identities and cultural legacies that shape who we are and how we live in the world” (hooks, 1996, p. 265).
It has also made us re-think the role of “teacher,” “school,” and “learning” and what really matters for the future-building of our families and communities.
We are FiftyFold/Redes de Tutoría are working to develop a model of learning for a post-covid world. In Thailand, schools have re-opened on July 1, 2020. It has both been stressful and exciting for teachers to re-imagine their classroom with social distancing and to find ways to continue to support learning across home and school. Many schools have organized alternating days of school attendance to be able to physically distance students, some students have asked not to come back to school altogether even though they do not have mobile devices at home. Schools and teachers are doing their best to try to support their young people and their families. During this time, we are supporting our families, students, and teachers in the following ways: (1) Virtual meetings across schools & resources and (2) Building a model of family and land-based teacher education in Thailand.
(1) Virtual meetings across schools
We held our first virtual meeting across schools on June 20, 2020 titled, “Building healthy communities across Tutoría Thailand network”.
Covid-19 has made clear the need to build physically, mentally, and intellectually healthy places of learning for our students and families. With a focus on building healthy learning families and communities, we invited our Tutoría Thailand family together for a virtual gathering before school begins on June 20, 2020. This was an opportunity to (1) re-connect with each other across schools in a “virtual Fiesta”, (2) have a space for teachers to share their strategies of learning and problems of practice across schools, and (3) our for team to resources to prepare for learning in a post-COVID world (e.g. outdoor learning, supporting family learning). While we all work in different contexts, a deep passion for vibrant learning communities and building healthy families and communities in Thailand connects us. This gathering was truly an encouragement for each other through this time and a light for what is possible in education in Thailand in a post-COVID world.
Resources to share
- Developing our Tutoría practice TOOL
- Powerpoint and zoom recording of the virtual gathering
- Tema design
- Tema videos:
We hope that these resources will be of use to you and your community as well.
We are also organizing the following monthly Tutoría workshops for educators:
- Supporting intellectually healthy communities: Tema design for healthy communities, learning with family-based practices and the natural world (Maybe includes Video)
- Moving towards quality: How to use the Tutoría feedback tool
- Supporting collaboration: How do we “collaborate” if we are physically apart?
- Supporting families: Why family learning and design?
(2) Family and Land-based Tutoría
by Sukanda Kongkaew & Panthiwa Theechhumpa
During the lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic, we discussed about what is truly important to us as human beings. As a family, we started to do some activities we had not done when we went out regularly for work and school before Covid-19 pandemic. We started to learn how to cook, to plant, to be safe and healthy, and to prepare food for ourselves and others. In the meantime, some parents grumbled about how to cope with their children at home when school was closed. That has rekindled our hearts to help families in our neighborhood to work/live together and to relate one another in healthy ways. We as teachers in Tutoría Project in Thailand, we have seen much knowledge from families we visited and we helped our students create their knowledge catalog and share that with their teachers and their colleagues at school. Therefore, we truly believe that creating models of family and land-based learning can bring school to home and help parents and their children relate academic knowledge within the contexts of their lives together. Besides, this is the start towards generating, keeping, and accumulating stories of this generation to others by walking lands and collecting videos and stories around their homes and villages, and writing and learning about their family and stories of land.
Pak pak – Veggies Tema
What foods and vegetables are important to the physical, emotional, and intellectual health of your family?
What water body is close to where you live? What stories of a river do you and your family have and share?