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9 มกราคม 2550
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The Ease of Doing a Research for My 8-Year-Old Son


First of all, if you may, I would like to start with my lame excuses.... :) I've been very busy lately.... I got some letters and e-mails from my family and friends but I don't have time to respond to almost all of them... which is highly unusual for me and my hypergraphic behaviors.

So, to partly pay back to those "debts", I would like to share my experience about my older son.... who is now 8 years old and in a second grade....

During the past weeks, it was a winter break.... He had an assignment to do a project about geology.... My son, NB, liked to play every kind of games.... Lately, he began to invent his own games... "just for fun because I got bored from my toys"; he said.... So for this geology project he would like to make a board game about geology.

To do this, he must know a bunch of knowledge about geology. In our city, we could get access to public libraries via the internet. So he searched for books and materials for his project in the library kid's section. He reserved many of the books related to geysers, earthquakes, volcanoes, and so on. All of them were written for young readers. When the library sent him an e-mail notifying him that those reserved books/mateial were ready to pick up. We drove him to pick them up, then he started to study those books.

He spent around 4-5 days to study all of those books and he began to draw his "blueprint" how his board game would look like roughly in pieces of papers.

We also had a DVD of Pompei, an ancient city in Italy, recorded from the Discovery Channel for him to study how volcanoes could devastate a city and annihilate people of Pompei within a day.

After few more days of efforts he finished his board game. It's now being ready to be turned in!!

This was a school project for a second grader. What's the difference between this project to my PhD research essentially?

After pondering fairly, my answer is a NO.... Doing research is about studying in what one's interested.... By that, appropriate material is required. After scrutinizing the chosen material, ideas emerge and outputs ensue....

Retrospectively, I might be able to do my research by this approach when I was in my college year!! Intellectually, I don't think that NB was significantly smarter than me when I was at his age. So, what's the main reason why he's capable of doing this at this young young age?

In my humble opinion, these are those important factors;
1) Availability of material suiting his age in this particular field: We're able to easily find books and material in the City's public library. There are tons of books and material for children... These are an excellent source for children to acquire new knowledge without studying in school or classes.

2) Language barriers: I'm still Thai... I'm proud to be one... I can read, write, understand Thai language perfectly... But, I have to admit that, regretably, essential reading material of all ages is not written in Thai language. It's really difficult for everyone to acquire basic, intermediate, and advanced knowledge in sciences, engineering, and technology without English proficiency regardless of his/her interlectual.

And, 3) Library system: From home, my son could browse for anything he wanted in the library. If it's not available, interlibrary loan services are available for him to get those needed materials. In my childhood, library was a place for nerds... Librarians were old ladies with thick eyeglasses. Library was a quiet place maybe as quiet as a cemetary... So, even a boy with excellent academic score like me seldom stepped into those "conventional" libraries-- it's not a place for kids....

Hurrr.... I would not like to discourage my countrymen about this.... But, if we would like to survive in this raging flow of globalization... We cannot afford to be behind in science and technology....

I saw this with my own experience. I'm terribly sorry if it offends anyone by it... All of your comments are always welcome krub... :)


Create Date : 09 มกราคม 2550
Last Update : 9 มกราคม 2550 0:12:57 น. 12 comments
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I am very happy to hear about your family. What a bright young man you have!.

He has good trait from his parents.

You planted good seed and now as you watch him grow, you're one proud mum and dad!

Enjoy him(and the other young one too)!

โดย: PatPDX IP: วันที่: 9 มกราคม 2550 เวลา:1:01:07 น.  

Thank you krub P'Nun! Maybe, your son is much more intelligent than I am!

โดย: POL_US IP: วันที่: 9 มกราคม 2550 เวลา:5:53:23 น.  


โดย: ruiN วันที่: 9 มกราคม 2550 เวลา:16:23:03 น.  

Hi krub P'noon, Happy New Year

You have been tagged by me hehe.. so..can you play it along ?


โดย: BF IP: วันที่: 9 มกราคม 2550 เวลา:20:45:57 น.  

Good ++++Quote++++ for me.
Everything+++ you said..is..REAL in "THAILAND"

โดย: polymerist IP: วันที่: 10 มกราคม 2550 เวลา:5:56:16 น.  

มาเยี่ยม และมาสวัสดีปีใหม่ย้อนหลังค่ะ

โดย: the Vicky วันที่: 10 มกราคม 2550 เวลา:5:57:13 น.  

Totally agree with you.

โดย: Rive Gauche วันที่: 10 มกราคม 2550 เวลา:7:33:34 น.  

K. AT, I totally agree with you. Thai educational system needs a huge improvement. We are really far behind when compared to even among asian countries--not to mention the leader in techonology like the US. Lack of resource is defitely one of the biggest probs. Also the unstability of politics and economics contribute to the lack of motivation to discover science. People are then concerned more about how survive than how to move the country forward.

You know, the sad thing is that the younger, more educated generations have been all awared of this problem. Admittedly, thinking is easy, but acting is more difficult. And to out one's thought into action is the most difficult thing in the world. That's why we are stil where we are now decades back.

โดย: Little Red Riding Hood วันที่: 14 มกราคม 2550 เวลา:2:36:26 น.  

sorry there are too many grammatical errors now that I read my post twice. Cannot go bacl and edited my post. Hope you figured out what i meant to say.

โดย: Little Red Riding Hood วันที่: 14 มกราคม 2550 เวลา:2:38:30 น.  

k AT ka, i'm back to tag you ka. Sorry na ka..I just go with the flow na' ka'..play the game when you have time na ka. Best regards.

โดย: Little Red Riding Hood วันที่: 15 มกราคม 2550 เวลา:9:25:45 น.  

Partially agree!
From my own experience, the availability of resources is NOT the most important factor of acquiring knowledge. It is second to the attitude of learning. No matter how difficult to access libraries or to understand the language, their positive attitude towards learning will help them struggle through these barriers.
Habits of reading&learning are the difficult ones to be built among Thai families, especially parents who cannot model for their children. They tell their children to read/study, but they temselves spend more time watching TV than reading books. Everything would be easier if parents are capable of eduacating and modelling their children. Your son is so lucky to have such a supportive and model parent like you!
Maybe the best way to heal ignorant young Thais is to educate their parents first.

โดย: jin@jan IP: วันที่: 7 กุมภาพันธ์ 2550 เวลา:22:44:37 น.  

IT also improves children abilities to do research. Our school district invested a big deal in the last 2 years. Each elementary school now has about 50 laptops. During our class observation we found how amazing they were in used.
Media teacher dragged the cart, full of laptops to the class. Each student picks up one and bring them to their desks. Teacher starts plug-in wireless connection and Voila! kids start surfing internet through the suggessted list of websites researching about whatever subject assigned by teacher.

I felt so ashamed thinking back about my free "Study" period in the library during my high school year in which I spent most of time chatting and gossiping around.

โดย: Piglet-Yorkie วันที่: 8 กุมภาพันธ์ 2550 เวลา:2:56:52 น.  

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Note: My life has been intertwined with works and many others. New responsibility has emerged, resulting less and less time for my ordinary life. Although, a love to write is still intact... But having less time is related to having less imagination.... Therefore, I could not come up with new writings for quite some times.

It might be a good time for me to leave this forum for moment.... Please take it as Mr. A.T. is having a sabbactatical leave or something like that....

As noted above, my love to write is still the same... and will not be changed. Sometimes somehow, I hope I could come back and give some thoughts in this blog once more.

Mr. A.T.
June 6th, 2008



My pen-name in Pantip is amatuer translator. Actually, I'm a lousy translator with lame translation. My pen-name is somewhat misleading, I have no background in linguistics what-so-ever. Anyway I love to read, write and communicate with people...

Reading is my most favorite hobby. I read everything from shopping bags to articles in theoretical physics. I do research and teaching for my living. So, reading, writing, thinking and doing research works are my everyday routine.

I would like to define myself as a person who is accepting new ideas and adopting those into my way of life.

I believe in power of knowledge/education. I think every society can be a better society with knowledge. Ignorance can be dispelled by it. Humanity can live sustainably and harmoniously with each other along with its biosphere with understandings in the nature surrounding it.

Apart from my philosophical thoughts reflecting who I am, I can tell you something I like or love in particular;

I love dogs.... Particularly, labradore retrievers.... One day, I would like to spend my time and life with them as a big part of my family.

Zhuge Liang is my hero. With his wisdom and faithfulness, he led a tiny army to a mighty and formidable kingdom. He left his humble residence with a hope to come back. But, sadly, he had never returned and died far far away from home in a horse carriage in a battle field. If I could choose where I would, I would say where-ever my lovely wife was nearby.

I value happiness and my family as my first priority. My profession and my philosophy come in the second. Pursuit in wealth has never been in my desire.

I'm glad to be your friend, and look forward to seeing you around krub.

Best wishes,
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