As the first semester drew to a close, two groups of committed teachers travelled to Chiang Mai to participate in international IB workshops for Biology and Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS) hosted by Traidhos Three-Generation Community for Learning. While most teachers travelled from within the Asia Pacific Region they were also joined by one teacher from Uganda. The group spent three days working with IB Trainers Tanya Nizam and Trapti Trivedi in a mix of classroom sessions and hands-on fieldwork.
The groups worked separately during classroom sessions but combined when it came to practical work. Traidhos Community is well located for river studies and the group enjoyed the short drive to various testing sites along the Mae Sa River, exploring the river and land-use over a 5km stretch.
The group also spent time learning at the Traidhos Three-Generation Farm, viewing it as both an integrated system and as a teaching resource showcasing nutrient cycles, water flow and life-cycles.
ESS teachers researched the near-by elephant Poo Poo Paper site as a good example of systems and societies.
The workshop was rounded off by a traditional northern Thai kantok dinner with local dancing and drumming, dinner at Krapood Restaurant within the campus and the excitement of souvenir shopping in Chiang Mai's Night Bazaar.
The overall workshop experience was planned by Traidhos Visiting Schools Program (VSP) Staff, Kien. He was able to draw on his long experience of working with VSP and his intimate knowledge of the local area to maximise the experiences visiting teachers would gain from their short stay. The group was facilitated by VSP staff Dan and Mon who recognised the enthusiasm and energy shown by the participants, despite the workshop coming at the end of a long term.
Traidhos staff were delighted to work with IB staff again and look forward to a continued relationship learning and exploring in northern Thailand.