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Toward school and community collaboration in social forestry: Lessons from the Thai experience

by Portal Web Editor last modified Jan 10, 2013 09:10 AM
Contributors: Maureen H. McDonough, Christopher W. Wheeler

The primary purpose of this paper is to describe the major themes and lessons from the Social Forestry, Education and Participation (SFEP) pilot project in Thailand. The project's objective is to change teaching, learning, and school-community relations by involving grade school students in studies of local village problems related to forest management. Key insights regarding the collaboration between schools and communities under this project inlcuded the following: Local communities were very supportive of student interviews and presentations, understanding that it is a new and better way to teach; Creating the right conditions for School-Community projects is a complex and difficult task; School-community relations improved, but community engagement depended on the implementation of joint forestry activities; those communities in which students simply conducted surveys and education were less enthusiastic; Villagers are well aware of the economic issues and disparities underlying their forest-related problems, among them their dependency on forest products such as fuelwood and mushrooms, and the need for alternative economic strategies. Lessons learned from the project included: There is strong latent support within communities for projects like the SFEP; As communities become involved with schools, relations improve and community expectations for schools increase; Students represent a powerful force for change within villages; There is a need for links to outside sources for technical expertise for teachers and villagers.

Author(s): Maureen H. McDonough , Christopher W. Wheeler

Publication Date: 1998

Location: Thailand

Download File from Portal: PNACE123 Thailand.pdf — PDF document, 467 kB (478,973 bytes)

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