Mind, Culture, and Activity
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What does it mean to become a village that learns? In this paper we document the transformative learning journey of a small Thai village over 24 years, becoming a community that identified, tackled, and iterated on problems, altering their everyday practices and lives. In that process the village shifted from a subsistence agricultural community staggeringly in debt to one known for its sustainable environmental, agricultural, and financial initiatives. To understand the village’s learning journey, we consider the village itself as the primary unit of analysis, applying an iterative case study approach, with chronological sequencing, thematic, and biographical narrative analysis across 37 hours of interviews and over 350 pages of scanned project documentation (mostly from village records and writings) collected across four visits. Throughout the paper we elaborate on the role of learner interest and agency, the necessity of infrastructural (often policy) changes, the prioritized role of children in leadership, and the method of “Thai Constructionism” that the village iteratively applied to support their learning. In the discussion we argue that to understand the village’s learning journey, we must study it across multiple scales of time, multiple series of village-initiated formative intraventions across domains, and within larger ecological systems.
Fields, Deborah A.; Morales-Navarro, Luis; and Blikstein, Paulo, ""The Village That Learns": A Learning Journey Across Intraventions and Domains Over Two Decades in a Rural Thai Community" (2022). Mind, Culture, and Activity.
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