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2.15 Diagrams

When we read Education research we find that the best type of diagram for learning is a simplified model that depicts the process rather than an accurate copy of the actual structure. For example, I give students this representation of the circulatory system:

Circulatory System Diagram

This shows the two systems and student’s can more easily understand the relationship between them than if they asked to draw the actual path of the blood vessels from the heart.

For the digestive system I use a simplified version as shown:

 Circulatory System Diagram

Digestive System Diagram

I have gone through all the past papers I have of the Junior School Certificate Exam and have not found one question asking for the diagrams as drawn in the textbooks. As those shown are educationally better I would like to see all teachers giving their students similar diagrams to draw rather than the accurate but educationally poorer versions.

Digestive System DiagramBACK



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Science Teacher’s Handbook

The introduction to the online Science Teacher’s Handbook I prepared at the private school I was at in Nigeria ten years ago. The private school which had much better resources than Government schools but teachers had to follow Government guidelines relating to the teaching of Nigerian curriculum subjects.

Science Teacher’s Handbook

The science program in Private Academy addresses what children should know and be able to do in science, preparing them for further scientific study as well as for their role as young citizens in a world where science literacy is a basic need.

"The object of teaching a child is to enable him to get along without his teacher."

Elbert Hubbard

Science at Private Academy

Our role as science teachers is to maximise the development of our student’s science learning and their learning how to learn while they are at the school.

This Science Teacher’s Handbook is to support the Science Teachers of Premiere Academy, Nigeria. Its purpose is to provide a handy reference of the major science teaching principles and practices that are expected to be used in the science classrooms of the school. It is intended to be a living document that continually improves with the suggestions and recommendations from the science teachers.

In the classroom

Students need to be able to learn, hence:

Classes must be well controlled.

Teachers must be prepared.

Hands on learning is best, and teachers will be assisted in having a programme with regular student activities and experiments.

Students must do work set as homework but the amount teachers set must be realistic and coordinated with other subject teachers.

While rote learning achieves temporary results I prefer to develop in students the skills and attitudes that will sustain them through the rest of their life when learning will continue.

Teachers have access to the Internet and a Smart board with a computer projector which they should combine to provide most interesting lessons and subject enrichment. The computers are Wifi enabled so that you have access to the Internet while using your Smart board so we should all make the best use of this valuable resource.

Outside the classroom

Excursions are encouraged but suitable worksheets have to be completed by the students to focus their observations on the purpose of the outing.

A copy of all excursion worksheets should be given to the HOS as both a hard copy and a computer file.

Biological subjects should have use of suitable areas of the grounds to let students develop experiments.

We can also work in conjunction with Agricultural Science with some longer term experiments.

In the school

Teachers should be consulted for their input on any proposed changes.

Teachers should be kept informed of the progress of any endeavours

Teachers will be supported in their teaching both with the content and its delivery and with classroom management.

While accepting that there is any number of ways that teachers can successfully teach teachers will need to adopt methods in keeping with the school’s philosophy. This will probably mean some initial changes in philosophy.

The school will ensure that the equipment required is available for the content taught.

Spending on major new purchases such as the annual science stock order will be in consultation with all science staff.

Teachers will be encouraged to develop their computer skills if they need to so they can best use this resource.


You are reminded that the teachers at the school are all experienced professionals who are expected to have commensurate skills in lesson preparation, computer use, student control and test preparation. If this description does not completely apply to you and you need help in any of these areas you are expected to seek it before it becomes obvious that you should have.

On education.

Based on the quote:

"The object of teaching a child is to enable him to get along without his teacher."

Elbert Hubbard

Students can look forward to a lifetime of learning, particularly with the advent of the Internet and its ability to enhance any teaching material put on it with videos, interactive simulations and group conferencing. Consequently teachers must ensure that when students leave their school they have gained all the skills they need to allow them to continue to learn for the rest of their life.

The school envisages eventually having all students using a laptop computer. This will change the way we teach enormously and mean that you will be having to learn many new ideas. It also means that e-learning will be a possible adjunct to the role of this school.

Teachers need to empower their students so they are responsible for their own learning. In Nigeria the opposite is true, with the education system at all levels making sure that students are continually dependent on their teachers, which enables the teachers to continue to extort favours from the students if they are so inclined.  

Teachers are able to improve their students, and even improve their I.Q..

What makes a good teacher?

The system of giving copious notes takes place in a passive state for the student. There is no mental stimulation, merely the mechanical act of writing. Teachers in Nigeria mistake this as tactile reinforcement of the act of reading. In fact this will take place only subsequently when the student actively uses writing in conjunction with reading and perhaps speaking to learn definitions, formulae and pertinent facts.

The textbooks the students have to buy should be regarded as a set of notes to be learnt by the students and used by them to actively produce a set of summaries and learning material for their individual use.

To this end, students should be taught how to extract relevant material from the resources they are using. This includes producing summaries.

Spending all of the class time writing sets of notes is not education. It is merely wrist exercise. As the teachers have the notes they are to give the students written out beforehand the notes can be typed into a MS Word file, photocopied and given to the students for discussion. With all the class time currently being used for writing there will have been minimal discussion of the material taught.

Things change with time, and this will happen here, as it has happened in the past.



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We went to the Morning Market in Laos and there was a vast array of products for sale including silk and silk garments and items such as wall hangings. There were also antiques including knives. We took photos of the antiques and put them on the website. Obviously the attention they attracted resulted in a buyer going through the place so the next time we visited they were not to be seen. Some photos of the antiques to be found then are shown here.



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Megan on motorbike video

Megan's grandparents live in Nong Khai, Thailand. The preferred method of getting to the shops or whatever. is by motorbike. Hence her attraction to the bike.

Video of Megan on motorbike.BACK

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Nong Khai News Page 7

Added on 29/10/04

Naka Silk Village photos near Nong Khai
from Pluttawan

Some photos taken this week of the Naka Silk Village near Nong Khai that you can visit to buy silk shirts and dresses.


Added on 23/10/04

New Ferry Office in Nong Khai
from Pluttawan

Some photos of the new office in Nong Khai for Thai and Lao people to take the ferry across the Mekong.


Added on 28/08/04

Volunteering to teach in Nong Khai
from Sungwan

It's harder to teach English at a school in Nongkhai now. At first everything was O.K. but now it's hard to do. Our school received a letter from the Director of the Office of Basic Education. A volunteer is to get permission at least 1 month before teaching at a school. A volunteer who can teach English must show a certificate in teaching. Our school needs volunteers.

Added on 22/02/04

School Project
from Sungwan

We stayed at school for three days and two nights, between 18- 20  February on Love Nongkhai  Far away Drug Project. All students and teachers participated on this activity. It started from 5.30 A.M.- 6.00 P.M. The governor presided over in the opening ceremony. The students' parents were impressed with this project because it encourages their children to love school, teachers, parents, friends and country. 

Students will take the final tests on March 3-5 ,and then it's vacation time.

Added on 17/09/03

Tour Guide for Laos Tours.
from Maxwell

Phonexay Silavan - Guide for Laos tours.

Phonexay (pronounced porn chi) can show you around Laos on your tour to his country. He recently completed a tour guide course after giving up being a Buddhist monk. You can see many photos of him on the website at locations in Laos and in Thailand. He completed his degree at the Buddhist University in Nong Khai and returned to Laos about the middle of 2003. 

He speaks Lao, Thai and English. His English is very good and he is very cheerful, making him an asset for your tour.

He can meet your group at the Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge or at the airport in Vientiane.

He can get the Tour company he works with in Vientiane to organise your tour for you.

Send him an email to get him to show you Laos.

Added on 21/07/03

Volunteering in Nong Khai.
from Alan

The Nongkhai experience was great. The school was very hospitable and went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and at home. I would recommend it to anyone. It is a rewarding experience and a valuable cultural lesson for anybody who has the time to do it. I'm glad I did and I will do it again as soon as I have the time available.

(Alan spent two weeks as a volunteer conversational English teacher in Nong Khai.)

Added on 14/02/03

English speaking.
from Sungwan

Now I am busy making a new local Curriculum and scout camping. This year, the boy scouts will go hiking around the school and camping at the school on this Saturday and Sunday. The weather is very nice for them. The winter is nearly out. Our English speaking volunteer teacher Bimika will have a successful stay. I have prepared her schedule to stay with a student's family and some teacher's. Because our students need to practice speaking before graduation in M.6 it's good for them in the Practicing English Program of school. Then students will take the final exam at the end of this month.

Added on 26/01/03

National Cultural  Festival.
from Sungwan

The 27 National Cultural  Festival is being held  in Nongthin  Park  from 20 - 28 January. There are many shows from India, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia and all parts of Thailand. It is a very big festival.

Many tourists are visiting Nong Khai for the festival. Vehicles find it very hard to move around Nongthin Park.

Added on 03/01/03

It didn't work.
from Maxwell

Total deaths from road accidents throughout Thailand from December 27 to January 1 were 514, which is about the same rate as at Songkran, with alcohol still being an important factor.

Added on 20/12/02

Alcohol sales
from Maxwell

Throughout Thailand roadside sales of local wines will be banned and harsh penalties meted out for drunk driving and other traffic violations in a bid to cut down the New Year festival road toll. The road toll for the Songkran, the holiday in Thailand from 11 to 17 April, was 564 nationwide for the 7 days. Another 37,473 people were injured. Statistics were compiled from April 11, two days before the six-day Songkran long weekend. This comes to over 3 an hour.

Added on 19/12/02

Scout Jamboree.
from Sungwan

While we would like to take Nong Khai boy scouts to the  Scout Jamboree, we don't have enough money as it costs 10,000 baht / one  boy scout. However we can join in this activity in many ways in the same time. The General Education Department gets schools to hold the activity "Thai Scout Activities During 20 Jamboree Months" such as  Meet Foreign Scout Friends via Internet, Send our heart to Jamboree, Scout Tourist Guide, Scout Clean Up Beaches and Tourist Spots, Visit The Elderly, Gifts for The One Without a Gift, Photograph The One Without a Photo and others.

Added on 07/11/02

iTV may be sued on Nong Khai fireballs.
from Maxwell

Broadcaster iTV reported the Naga fireballs are a fraud, not a natural phenomenon, and that the fireballs were orchestrated by Lao soldiers on the opposite side of the river bank shooting tracer rounds into the air. See report.

This report cannot be accurate as the rate of ascent of the fireballs is much too slow to be tracer rounds.

The small number of fireballs in the rainy conditions would have been a disappointment for the hundreds of thousands who observed this years display.

Added on 11/10/02

New Guest House on the Mekong near Nong Khai.
from Maxwell

Big Snake Guesthouse is being built a couple of kilometres this side of Phon Phisai, which is 43 kilometres east of Nong Khai.

High quality bungalows are being constructed on the Mekong River. The one to three bedroom accommodation will be available from January 2003. Included are air-conditioning and private facilities with hot water showers.

Also being built are a swimming pool and a restaurant.

See their website Big Snake Guesthouse

Contact John at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Telephone +66 9 7156375

Added on 15/09/02

September in Nong Khai.
from Sungwan

On 23rd September, students will have the first final exam and then will take the entrance university exam next month. I am doing the final exam questions for them. In the holidays, I take a special  course at  Kremee Centre near the district officers house. Boat racing will be starting from  21-22 September in Nongkhai. And then it will have the biggest boat racing festival next month.

Added on 09/04/02

Angry! Stepson steams Duck to go with whisky.
from Chirawan

42 Year old Mr. Precha Namvong of 126 Moo 1 Ban Pho Phonpisai District NongKhai, killed 25 Year old Mr. Subaun Thanoumsuk, his stepson.
Mr. Precha has given himself up to the police.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Prapan Narksa, the Police investigator at the police station in Phonpisai District, said Mr. Precha confessed to using a knife to stab Mr.Subaun.
Mr.Precha was angry with Mr.Subaun because he didn't go to find a job but stayed at home and drank whisky everyday.
On the day of the murder Mr.Subaun killed a duck and cooked it to go with his whisky. It was Mr.Precha's duck which he had for breeding to make money for his family. When Mr.Precha came back home he could see what his stepson had done. He was  very angry with Mr.Subaun and he ran to take a knife from the kitchen and stab Mr.Subaun, who died. Mr.Precha ran away.

Added on 17/02/02

Laos Police Unload Narcotic Tablets
from Chirawan

Police Major-General Sukit Udomsret at NongKhai learned from those concerned that people from Laos would be attempting to smuggle Narcotic Tablets into NongKhai, going ashore at Jommanee Beach under the Friendship Bridge.
The police Major-General Sukit commanded police Lieutenant Colonel Jarupon Yeeton to be in ambush to catch them.

The police waited. Two men from Laos will come. The police can see two men sitting on a long-stern boat come from Tanalaug village and stop at Jommanee Beach.
At Jommanee Beach the police see one man wait for the two men from Laos and when the long-stern boat stopped the police came from their hiding-place to search the two men from Laos. They find 2,000 Narcotic Tablets stuck around their body.

They 're named Sumjit and Satanvoug Sudtinavoug (43 Years Old). They're Police of Public Security from Laos.

The other man who waited for the two police from Laos saw the Thai police catch them and he ran away. His name is Somporn.

The two police from Laos confessed the Narcotic Tablets were bought from a Burmese person who lives in VangJaug and the two police men wanted to give them to Mr.Somporn who lives and works at NongKhai for 3,000 Baht.BACK