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The development of ethnobotany curriculum for students in rural schools: An approach that incorporates the needs and insights of local communities


Kittima Kraipeerapun
National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC), Thailand
kittima@biotec.or.th

Sumlee Thongthew
Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Educational Technology, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
tsumlee@yahoo.com

 

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Abstract

In this paper, an ethnobotany curriculum is used as a case example of one approach to incorporating the insights and needs of the local community into the curriculum development process. This curriculum development was carried out in the "Kiriwong Community" in Nakornsrithammarat Province, Southern Thailand. The ethnobotany curriculum was developed after conducting ethnographic research to better understand how villagers might learn to gain the benefits from plants and what knowledge and skills were required to prepare their student to live well in their community. Data were collected through participant observation and in-depth interview. Developing the ethnobotany curriculum, I incorporated the basic information gained from studying the Kiriwong villagers' needs and (a) their usage of plants into the study of ethnobotany, (b) sustainable natural resource management principles, (c) rural philosophy for education, and (d) constructivist theory to obtain an ethnobotany curriculum. It is my belief that by creating science curricula the take advantage of these local resources it will be possible to assist students to both develop understandings about content and about the nature of science that are in the government's science standards and to learn sciences in their own context. They can apply such knowledge and skills in their current and future situations and lifestyles.

Ethnobotany curriculum, rural schools, the needs of the local community,
science curriculum development, Thailand

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Kraipeerapun, K. and Thongthew, S. (2007). The development of ethnobotany curriculum for students in rural schools: An approach that incorporates the needs and insights of local communities. International Education Journal, 8 (1), 64-70.
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All text and graphics 1999-2007 Shannon Research Press. ISSN 1443-1475.