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ERIC Number: EJ810195
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0218-8791
The Buddhist Approach to Education: An Alternative Approach for Sustainable Education
Chansomsak, Sant; Vale, Brenda
Asia Pacific Journal of Education, v28 n1 p35-50 Mar 2008
This article is based on research undertaken as part of a study of sustainable school design in Thailand. Since school design solutions are inevitably affected by educational theory and practice, in the search for appropriate building solutions, it has been necessary to review Thai educational theories and practices that relate to the sustainability approach. Recently, there have been several attempts at the international level to respond to sustainability concepts and practices in both educational and architectural fields. These have included changes to the physical building through the introduction of techniques like passive solar cooling, and curriculum changes such as the use of native plants in the school grounds for science teaching. In Thailand, sustainable practices in both fields appear to be in their infancy. This article aims to explore one current Thai educational practice that presents the possibility of responding to sustainability concepts via culturally sensitive education. The practice is based on the three Buddhist principles of learning: sila sikkha (moral conduct); samadhi sikka (mind training); and panna sikkha (wisdom development). In this holistic approach, the principles are practiced simultaneously and can be applied to many dimensions, including personal, family, school and communal levels, to cultivate responsive sustainable living practices for the learners. Because the majority of Thai people are Buddhists, this approach may be an alternative way of developing sustainable education in Thailand. It also presents a way to apply local knowledge to promote sustainable ways of living in particular contexts. This may be the first step in the development of sustainable school design in Thailand and could become an integrated part of the country's sustainable systems. (Contains 5 figures, 1 table, and 14 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Thailand