Tag Archives: education

TGO VIPs Visit Panyaden

VIP visitors from TGO at Panyaden International School

Panyaden received VIP guests from Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (TGO) today. The team had come to visit our campus and observe how our green school is run. The visitors wanted to learn more about our curriculum and education approach based on Buddhist principles and inner values.

Our honoured guests included Mr. Sunthad Somchevita, Former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology Thailand, Mrs. Prasertsuk Chamornmarn, Director of Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (Public Organization); Mrs. Natarika Wayuparb Nitiphon, Deputy Director of Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (Public Organization) and Mr. Jakkanit Kananurak, Director of Capacity Building and Outreach Office as well as officers from Energy Technology For Environment Research Center.

VIP visitors from Thailand's TGO at Panyaden TGO Thailand VIP visitors tour Panyaden

Photos on Panyaden’s blog image gallery.

Panyaden Video in Huffington Post

Aerial shot of Panyaden International School campus 2

Natural Environment for Education

Panyaden Video in Huff Post Parents

Panyaden’s bamboo Sports Hall and green campus is showcased in a video (below) on Huff Post Parents. Research shows that studying in a green environment brings significant benefits to children’s intellectual and emotional development. This exposure to nature increases children’s ability to focus, enhances cognitive abilities, supports creativity and problem solving1. This is why all our buildings are made from natural materials like earth and bamboo, creating a natural environment for children to enjoy learning both academic and life skills.

 Video downloaded from Huff Post (with thanks).

1Benefits of Connecting Children with Nature


Panyaden Teacher Spotlight

Panyaden teacher-spotlight_kru-teeraporn

Kru Teeraporn, Kindergarten 2 Teacher

My aim is to teach children how to be with others, how to manage their happiness and the most important thing is to listen to them,’’ says Kru Teeraporn, Panyaden’s K2 homeroom teacher. “As a teacher, we have to be very careful not to dominate children without listening or giving them a chance to speak. This is what I always remind myself. With preschool kids, the priority is to develop the four key areas, physical, social, emotional and intellectual, and each day to make sure they are eating and sleeping properly, that they are learning routines, being safe and being self-sufficient.”

Kru Tee has worked in education for many years as a specialist teacher, a school secretary and a curriculum coordinator. Four years ago she changed to be a classroom teacher and she has loved the role.

“First of all, I like working with children and a close school community where there are lots of festivals and school events. It’s not like working at the office, with only documents! Working with children, real living beings, whom we have to truly take care of and help them better understand the world, is something that really motivates me.

“Kids are so natural. As we grow up, this tendency is reduced and being around children helps remind me of the beauty of human nature. Children are so lively and bright. Working with adults, we need to be so careful to avoid mistakes and misunderstandings and choose our words carefully. But with kids, we learn how to be natural, to let go and not to attach to our ego and our thoughts.

“I feel lucky that I have a chance to work with children, to help them grow from seedling to young plant to a big tree, self-sufficient and a good influence on society. I am so glad to be a starter point for them.”

Article in Thai is on the page 2 of our Sep-Oct ’16 newsletter.

Live and Learn: Helping My Child at Home


How can I best support my child’s education at home?

By Michel Thibeault, Head Teacher

Michel Thibeault, Panyaden School Head Teacher

Relax, have fun together, share your passions and give your child lots of space to be his own person!

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the time spent helping with homework that is likely to make the biggest difference in our children’s education. In fact, research shows that only high school students benefit from doing homework, while elementary school students gain little or nothing. What does make a positive difference then? Well, “Relax, have fun together, share your passions and give your child lots of space to be his own person!” seems to be what is needed!

The usual “What did you do at school today?” rarely yields more than the monosyllabic “stuff” or the extended version, “I don’t know”. What we would like of course is for them to share the exciting moments of their day, the learning highlights but also the challenges they faced and the way we dealt with them. In “How to Talk so Kids will Listen & Listen so Kids will Talk”, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish suggest we simply talk about our day first and model what we would like them to do! Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work right away. Staying relaxed and avoiding interrogation sessions is likely to do the trick over time.

One of the key elements of the Panyaden approach is support the development of the wonderful Wise Habit of Chanda, the love of learning for its own sake. This requires that we create an environment that will be conducive to inquiry, that will support creativity and make discovery and learning a fun activity. Pressuring students takes them in exactly the opposite direction. Whether it’s from Buddhist principles, new data on how the brain works or research by people like Carol Dweck or Alfie Khon, the conclusion is the same: feeling pressured and stressed kills creativity and limits our learning potential1.

Besides modeling, there are many small things that can help boost our children’s learning:

  • Make sure they get enough fresh air and opportunities to run around after school.
  • Avoid high sugar and other unhealthy snacks.
  • Read to them, never mind how old they are.
  • Read yourself and do it in front of your children: children will follow their parents’ example.
  • Work together on home activities.
  • When there is homework, provide a set time and quiet environment for it to happen. Patiently help out if needed but don’t feel you have to do the teacher’s job. Send a note to school to inform the teachers if you encounter any problem.
  • Look up information together when you’re not sure about something.
  • Listen to his ideas and respect the level of his attempts.
  • Understand and accept that while the goal is always mastery of a concept, skill or knowledge, we can only take the next step today. Tomorrow might take us closer to the goal.

img_3178 (1)If your child is reluctant to do his work, it might help to ask him to estimate the time needed for various sections and set a timer to see if his prediction was accurate or not, “how long do you think it will take you to read the text?”. The next questions, after the text is read, could be something like “how long do you think it will take to answer the first 5 questions?”. You could also build in an incentive such as “dinner will be served as soon as your homework is done”. Or “I hope you’ll be done before I go to your uncle’s house because I would like you to come with me”. In this case, dinner is not withdrawn, nor is his chance to go to his uncle’s house but it’s clear that something else must happen first. The child then has to decide by himself to do his homework and reap the benefits or not do it and assume the consequences. The wording is important to make sure it is not perceived as a reward. It’s best to avoid statements such as “If you do … you will get …”

If, as the saying goes, “practice makes perfect”, let’s allow our children as many opportunities as possible to practice making decisions. If they feel they have a choice – even if it has to be limited – about when and where they do homework or other duties, when to have a break and so on, they are more likely to feel empowered…and from there Chanda will follow.

So, relax, have fun with your child, share your passions and give him lots of space to be his own person!


1See also recent New York Times article by Adam Grant: “How to Raise a Creative Child. Step One: Back Off”, January 30th 2016

12 Wise Habits: Viriya by Neil Amas

DSCF0295 Panyaden wise habit, viriya (pesevering)

DSC_1716 Neil Amas, Panyaden School DirectorViriya (pronounced wi‐ri‐ya) is a very important virtue in Buddhism, commonly translated as “perseverance”, or “diligent effort”. It can be defined as an attitude of gladly engaging in wholesome activities and staying with them in order to accomplish the desired results. It is the mind intent on being unshaken and not giving up. It supports the other Wise Habits, in that making progress is impossible without resolution, and is the virtue that follows chanda, for you first need self‐motivation to be able to put forth diligent effort.

Viriya originates from the Sanskrit vira which means ‘hero’ and, as such, we can see viriya as the act of conjuring forth the qualities of a hero. Viriya is identified in Buddhist teachings as a critical component of a number of qualities that lead to happiness and liberation of the mind, such as the five spiritual faculties (indriya) and the ten “perfections” (parami). It is also associated with Right Effort, one part of the Noble Eightfold Path, which identifies four types of right effort:

  • to prevent negative, unwholesome states of mind from arising
  • to abandon them if they have arisen
  • to generate positive, wholesome states not yet existing
  • to maintain them without lapse, causing them to develop and to reach full growth.

Viriya has to emerge from your heart, from a place of Right View and Right Intention and in balance with other Wise Habits, such as patience (khanti), concentration (samathi), awareness (sati) and wise reflection (yoniso-manasikara). If we put our energy and effort into actions without the right mind we will cause more harm than good. Venerable Ajahn Pasanno teaches, “while it is important to put forth effort it is also important to slacken off at times. If you are always pushing, the mind can get on edge, restless and unsettled. We need to gauge and reflect on what is appropriate effort.’’ When we fix our sights too firmly on the goal, willpower tends to take over and only gets us so far before we feel frustrated. Viriya is a relaxed energy, a peaceful vitality which continues to sustain us without irritation or despondency.

DSC_1404 Ven. Ajahn Jayasaro at Panyaden School in Chiang MaiVenerable Ajahn Jayasaro explains the role of viriya in education. ‘’While it is important to be relaxed when we are learning, we also have to teach perseverance and determination.  Enthusiasm (chanda) leads to perseverance (viriya) which leads to concentration (samathi) which leads to skilful use of the mind (yoniso-manasikara). If we have chanda we are eager to know, learn the truth and value what we do. From there viriya will occur and be followed by patience and tolerance towards any obstacles we find in our way.” When the mind is motivated yet patient, we are more able to make decisions calmly and with wisdom.

For children to understand viriya we can encourage them to reflect on their feelings after completing a task with perseverance. To encourage greater effort, we can try setting mini‐goals on the way to achieving a greater task, extending the distance between these steps as the child gets older or gets better at cultivating perseverance. We must also lead by example with our own displays of viriya. When we see others refusing to give up despite obstacles and setbacks, it can be very inspiring.

Having desire to do something is essential because it gets us going, but actually sustaining effort and energy is where a lot of the hard work is. We might have the desire to get off the sofa and get some exercise and even make a start, but in order to achieve the desired long term results such as weight loss or fitness, we need to keep at it!

lotus2 transparent

Read the Thai version here: Viriya _TH

Open House Day Update:

You Are Cordially Invited To Our

Kindergarten School’s Open House Day!

Come by to meet our team! Take a tour around the first Nursery/ Kindergarten School, the Parents’ Sala and the Big Assembly Hall.

Talk to our Principal, Kru Maggie, and the teachers about the type of education you can expect for your child.

  • Day: 28 November 2010
  • Time: From 9am to 1.30pm (lunch buffet at 12pm)
  • Location: Panyaden School (see map below)

Ajahn Jayasaro Visits

There is a quiet excitement in the air as we gathered at K. Tik’s house to meet the Venerable Ajahn Jayasaro, the Spiritual Advisor of Panyaden School. He had come to Chiang Mai to visit the school construction site and to give a dhamma talk to the trainee teachers and to the Panyaden School team (foremen, the local liaison Ajahn Sorn, the ‘Bamboo Boss’ Ajahn Decha and many more).

Once we are all seated, Ajahn Jayasaro is given booklets that Kru Maggie (Principal and designer of the school’s curriculum) and the trainee teachers have brought with them after their 2-day nature jaunt in Doi Inthanon. The teachers had written down short poems, sketched or painted their meditations on the connection between life and nature.

Ajahn Jayasaro went through the booklets, smiled and made comments before he began to share his thoughts on education.

In his dhamma talks, Ajahn Jayasaro often states that “Buddhism is not a belief-based religion” but an education-based one which teaches people to “liberate themselves from all suffering through a clear penetrative understanding of the way things are.”

The biggest obstacle to true happiness in life is ignorance. The Buddhist teachings show us how to transcend ignorance. “From then you can see it is a matter of education.”

Ajahn Jayasaro is a well-known advocate of “adapting Buddhist developmental principles to the education process” – one that involves teaching children to develop wise relationships to the physical, social, emotional worlds they inhabit.

“Most importantly, the jewel in the crown of Buddhism is its emphasis on wisdom and the practical technique to develop and to nourish this …A Buddhist approach does not overlook “the traditional features of an educational system but adds on to it…”

“In order to flourish in the world, it’s not then a matter of merely accumulating a body of knowledge, so much as cultivating a strong but supple mind and the ability to develop life skills such as skillful communication, the ability to work in a team, patience, resilience (the ability to bounce back after disappointments), the ability to manage one’s moods, and to protect the mind from pride, arrogance, greed, hatred, depression, anxiety, and panic. These abilities are being increasingly recognized as being more useful and necessary in the long run to a successful working life rather than having a particular degree under your belt.” (Ajahn Jayasaro, “Buddhist Wisdom In Education”, Buddhist Approach, https://www.panyaden.ac.th).

After the talk, Ajahn answered questions from the floor before guiding everyone in meditation. An appropriate ending to an insightful afternoon.

Ajahn Jayasaro and the Panyaden School team