A look at the arts, education and life in Cambodia, the Kingdom of Wonder.

Episode Two Show Notes

You're listening to Good morning Kampuchea
Good morning. This is Lucien grey with slurred on media. We're a part of Phnom Penh podcast
so welcome to another episode of Phnom Penh podcast. And today we're going to have a look at inquiry based learning what exactly is it and how does it work? And we're going to have another quick look at COVID-19
and why are the numbers for COVID-19 so low here in Cambodia.
Finally following that, we're going to talk to mon sin net mon senate Senate is
A bit of a legend in Phnom Penh. He, he runs, owns and runs expert advisory services. He can be contacted through Facebook, we'll link to him in the comments and the show notes. Now as sonet can basically do anything that an expert would need, he can get you an apartment, he can teach you come by, he can arrange a work permit, he can arrange a visa, you can arrange all of these things for you. But sonet is also a Buddhist and being Cambodian, like many Cambodian man, he has been a monk. And we're going to talk to Senate today about Buddhism. Buddhism in Cambodia is technically Tera vaada Buddhism, kind of similar and yet distinct from Thai Buddhism. And there are things that set it apart and now we're going to make a short series about Buddhism. Today is number one.
So let's kick off with inquiry based learning or inquiry based learning.
Is it inquiry with an eye n? Is it an inquiry with an EM? I mean really doesn't matter. Basically, grammatically, the two words are interchangeable, doesn't really matter. Americans are probably more likely to say inquiry, British inquiry, but a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
So what is it exactly? Well, of course, it is exactly how it sounds. It is a system of teaching and learning by which the kids or in fact, even the adults, but in this time, we're talking about kids. The kids devise their own lines of inquiry. They have questions that advise themselves, the process is just as important as the content.
In a primary situation, there are three kind of main ways of doing inquiry based learning. You've got structured inquiry, you've got guided inquiry, and then you've got true or real inquiry.
Now the structured inquiry is the
The bottom end, if you like, of the Bloom's Taxonomy type of scale, what this is structured inquiry is that it is structured. The content is designed by the educator, the questions, the lines of inquiry are designed, and the kids are taught or encouraged
to find the information themselves as far as possible, the guided inquiry goes a little step further.
Whereas, as we got the guide on the side, we've got the person the educator who is leading the kids in their inquiry, but it's still the kids inquiry, then we've got true inquiry where you have content. The kids may come up with the content themselves, but they certainly come up with the lines of inquiry. With the method of inquiry with the research, they come up with all of this themselves, they find out what they would like to find out.
Today we're going to explore inquiry based learning by using two narratives. We have two different narratives with our two different guests in two different places because of COVID-19, social distancing. We have Jay who is an IB educator. He's worked for years and the P wipey. Here's a grade five educator at the moment. And we've got Landon, who is more the middle school secondary end of things. And right now he is a curriculum coordinator. We have these two narratives side by side. I'm not going to decide what questions that are I've allowed the guys to design their own inquiry. This is inquiry based learning about inquiry based learning. Alright guys, let's see what you guys have to say two narratives. two perspectives, inquiry based learning, inquiry based learning or inquiry learning stems from the idea that there is this guide on the side who directs the learning towards some end goal
usually called a big idea question, I
think it's important for us to understand that children
using verbal communication between each other, and adults is a very powerful force, helping them acquire conceptual knowledge.
This interaction tends to provide a richer range of concepts then an individual might construct on his or her own
and gives them immediate feedback provides feedback scaffolding for that construction of these concepts. So children learn to speak through dialogue, and later understand the meaning of the speech by making subjective connections among concepts. And that's really at the heart of what inquiry based learning is learning.
Looking to do. And so when we look at the role of the teacher, and understanding that knowledge and understanding are in a constant construction and reconstruction process for these students,
constructivist classrooms as a place where students develop their ideas through dialogue with their peers,
So, this hypothesis testing that the kids go through, by putting out ideas to their peers
is an attempt to make sense of their understanding of what the conversations are between each other.
So I believe that teachers, their primary job is not that of being the central component in an inquiry based class.
bathroom, but rather a person who scaffolds learning.
So teaching in this kind of a social constructivist environment needs to encourage knowledge formation, foster skill development, and which includes judgement and organisation. So what ends up happening is as teachers act primarily as coaches or facilitators, rather than merely information transmitters, and as we look through this process,
as the teacher, they not only play that role of facilitator or coach, they also play the role of the student, because these roles that the student then takes on are similar to that of the teacher, where the student then can also become the teacher and the teacher can become the student based on
The knowledge that's being acquired by either party.
Now they analyse exactly what inquiry based learning is, it's helpful to start with what role the teacher plays in this.
I like to think of the teaching in inquiry based learning as the director or choreographer of this grand show. When the show like any other, we have a cast of characters, each with different personalities that need to be lifted off the page and brought to life. This is something that doesn't just happen on its own, but it's something that happens through the exploration of the characters psychology, interactions with others and experimentation.
The actor is fully present in discovering this character brushing away the parts on the surface, digging to the bottom and finding out what was buried, ultimately, bringing what was buried underneath the surface to life. We
work together, we collaborate, we share ideas. We come up with some fabulous ideas.
And it's not about us, somebody teachers tend to be very egocentric and both Andy and I, we're teachers who
don't need that.
pat on the back that teachers tend to look for.
Look how great my classes are, look how great I'm doing. Me, me, me. And it shouldn't be that.
So if we hire professional teachers who understand the value of teamwork and really at a very
detailed level,
we won't struggle with classroom management. We won't struggle with it.
Planning, vertical planning throughout the school which is also important to do in an inquiry based environment, because you want to be able to build upon because the students as we've discussed,
create, create their knowledge from previous
learning experiences. So if we vertically plan and we create learning experiences that
build upwards and extend year after year after year.
They the students will always have that prior knowledge to tap into, and then their questioning and their inquiry
then becomes much more poignant.
Creating a much more
depth of knowledge that normally they wouldn't achieve
is given students being students. If they can learn superficially they will. But when they're in this inquiry based system and when set up properly
they automatically want to keep on asking the right question which increases the breath of knowledge
silicates the removal of these barriers, because they begin to make personal connections between the knowledge base and their own personal lives. And when this connection is made, a deeper understanding forms
and this is done not by
Teacher centred
classrooms. This happens solely because the questions are coming from that student. They're coming from a place inside of them, and to
foster an environment where
these behaviours
become normal, or become the norm for the student
does nothing but increases their ability to learn. And it allows them to understand that learning is not something that we do in a classroom. They start to learn that the knowledge acquisition happens everywhere because when they draw their prior knowledge out, they realise Oh wait, I learned this by going to my grandmother's house. Well, I learned this by talking to my friend
This is something that we need to look at a lot more and understand when developing a classroom that fosters this type of learning.
And it's through this process of being this other character and acting as this other personality that filled mould that helped shape this character. In this show, the choreographer can't do the work for the actor, the becoming can happen through anyone else other than the Explorer, or the actor. And when opening night comes along, it's completely hands off. The act of is broken out of the mould formed into this role he or she needs to actually do the performance.
In this way, the process of becoming the character is like a journey and it's an enormously personal one. The choreographer that going on the sign is there to make minor adjustments and course code
reactions, pushing if you like the actor onto the stage when his or her cue comes up, but the performance is up to the actor. inquiry based learning is the chef.
learn on their own the classroom is that mould the stage that shapes them.
Like an act of becoming a character on the stage. This is a personalised journey of the self as much as it is an exploration into the specific topic. And this journey of becoming is done alongside others who have the same journey. They're on the same course on the same stage rehearsing for the same opening night and it's all up to them.
They lift the topic off the page, they dig deeper by asking questions that bring them to the core of what they're studying. The teacher might make minor course corrections along the way planting different seeds seeds of wisdom, but the growth
done by the student students shaped into this role of in clover get to perform and show off what they can do.
Okay, now I'd like to bring on board monta net sonet is the owner, operator of expert advisory services. He's a good friend of mine and he is a bit of a local legend here in Phnom Penh. So with monster net no further ado, but as a one on one.
Hello, my name is Jeanette. I run Cambodia expert services and
I know it's hard to move to a new place. And so I tried to have with the decision for expert in Cambodia as comfortable as possible.
And I have many kind of a bunch of service or one stop shop.
I do housing for helping people to get the house or apartments and I do my lessons and moto rental car rental business visa, and some legal documents like
to licence police clearance or style. Also do
repairing or helping people to get stuff. So kind of everything you need in Phnom Penh.
So, the men, the men, teach
Buddhism is to reach to Nirvana, Nirvana, and
in Buddhism, that the Nirvana and heaven are different, not the same. Some religions would say they are the same, but
in Buddhism is to me, to what I understand is completely different. So the heaven is just one temporary place, but the Nirvana is the fine, not non called a final call.
And the man's teaching to get to the, to the neighbours.
There's three thing the policeman and the follower should follow. I don't know how to say in English, but it's called style. So it's one some RP is too
so so it's mean the discipline like the rule, how to control your physical action, and how to, to control your, like the big speed, the nice. So, kind of discipline.
And number two sumati
is meditation.
And that's how to control the mind. So one is, the previous one is physical and verbal like speech. And this one is mine like practice, mind, practice, how to control the mind and the last one. So when we practice the meditation more and more, more and more than this tape to reach to Penang when me
Wisdom or enlightenment.
so all the teaching
follow this three step. So had to be this three thing to, to go along to reach to Nibbana they're more teaching about like
what do you say? A spoke?
It's about the way of life right? Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Like
I think it's, yeah, so it's different than a lot many ways but in short, in short for Buddha's teachings like to,
if I summarise for the whole teaching one, the first one is to stop doing bad, either physical or mental
Second is to, to,
the to, to pure German, like similar thing.
Meditation, same thing. And the last one like to reach to the wisdom, wisdom or enlightenment so that the top part is enlightenment. That's medical.
What happens when you reach that goal? What happened?
It's kind of like to understand it's,
it's it mean
we are killing that desire.
So, the main goal is to get rid of the suffering and Nirvana is the place, the place which there is no suffering.
So also, people can reach Nirvana when they are still in
Life after the desire being
something then they said, Mom, we said the song, my song means killing, that killing the desire.
So I think is it something too different to other religions in the world?
In general people, for example, people will say, I am pleased to know my family's Christian, but they might not practice seriously as a Christian, and in the same way as Cambodians as well. majority of people in Cambodia said, they do this, but they don't really practice the five precepts of Buddha only, usually all people who practice and
try to practice but
maybe cannot obey all the rules all the time, but they try to practice
And I believe the Buddhism in Cambodia really have the country really have Cambodia, because in the past, I remember,
monks were powerful and wise and his place like pagoda is the place where people could get education, education,
because there were not much many school.
I grew up Pagoda, and these are sayings that a man who who
does not become a mind is not a real man in the past. So, good man has to be become a monk or at least going to stay in study with the man. So in the past mile
We are a very very knowledgeable and learns education and knowledge and skills there. And also pagoda is a place where
we are the try to hold the the tradition and culture. So they try to preserve the culture as well. So, the Buddhism helped to, to reset the culture and tradition and also help with the life life education's like how to live like mortality as well how to behave well in the society. And also many, many people who, who do not have food they can go to the Gulag for free and stay there. And it's the especially during the holiday big festival like cumin or
C'mon India and also poor people who really want to continue their study they usually go to grow that to, to be able to study more because
the family financial problem like me For example,
I would not be evolved to, to become like me now if if there is no Buddhism in Cambodia
Okay, thank you sonet Thank you very much. Now that was the very first in series we're gonna do an ongoing series about Buddhism about how to be a Buddhist that was the very first so we're gonna welcome cynic back in future weeks. And so thank you very much Monson that we will be looking for your business in the comments. It's all going to be down there. Bye bye.
So COVID-19 Why hasn't
COVID-19 taken more of
more of a hold here in Cambodia specifically, but actually in Southeast Asia more generally, because the numbers here in Cambodia are really relatively modest. As of when we speak right now, there are 122 cases in Cambodia with no deaths whatsoever. Now that relates kind of to Vietnam, I mean, with the difference in population, it does really rather simply, Myanmar has a much lower number still, and Thailand has a higher number, but still compared to many Western countries. Thailand also is doing pretty well.
So what is the factor? Now what are we, what do we hear here? We hear a lot of people saying, Well, it's because you know, the government aren't acting robustly and they're not giving us proper numbers now. See, I'm not sure about that.
I mean, okay. There is the thing that the
testing facility is the Louis pastor Institute, which is on street 51. There's just one Institute, they they're testing about 500 testing or tracing about 500 people a day right now.
Okay, maybe not robust, but it's, it's not bad. But one thing the government did do
was the government acted really quite promptly. I think there were nine cases here in Cambodia. At the point at which the government closed down the schools, the Katy vs, which are like karaoke bars, she was saying, they closed down the schools, the karaoke bars, and it was very, very shortly after that, that international borders, flights got shut down.
The worst still some flights come in, there are still some flights coming in, but generally, generally largely shut down.
And that's that's one factor. So I think the government actually did act quite promptly. And I think that helped a little bit.
I can't be the only factor. There must be other factors. I think one of them could be a relatively small population.
Another factor which could have played into this is a relatively small, fairly rural population
is like maybe 18 million. I'm not exactly sure the population of Cambodia but it's really quite low.
Along with that, there are other factors. Back in the west where you're likely to when you meet someone, you're going to hug them, you're going to shake their hands a lot of physical contact involved here in Southeast Asia, that doesn't really happen. That's not as, as not as accepted. That's not how you agree you agree with a Assam pay you your hands meet in the front. You don't actually often touch each other and that lack of social contact is also a way to couldn't tell contain the spread of a virus like this.
Also there is a complete lack here of a mass public transportation system. I mean, the biggest public transportation system is the fleets and fleets and fleets of trucks,
which are relatively open. And the old Cambodian talks, the remarks are completely open, but even the small by judge the newer ones, they you know, they've got air flowing through and it's not a mass of people. Usually there's like one or two people in tooktook you can get for in the bigger remarks, but generally it's not. So the public transport system that's lacking here, obviously, because it's like it doesn't serve as a vector where many other cities like New York, then you've got that added vector that you need to worry about. We don't have here.
Also people here are, I mean, the locals generally are scared.
The virus, there is fear. Now some of that fear is unfounded. And it sends a flame which is found by misinformation. Absolutely. But the fear is also helping people to socially distance almost straight away, people socially distance here and continue to do so even without being able to do so by the government. People automatically keep that distance. They are very, very careful. This also slows the spread. We don't see protests here because people can't go and get the hacker. You know, that's silly. We don't we haven't got to that level, people are more worried about actually staying healthy. And because of that more people do stay healthy. Because even if you want one of those that says that the numbers are maybe incorrect. Even if the numbers are off by a factor of 10. The numbers in the country are extremely low. And quite frankly, there's been an awful lot of help from the US government for example, when it comes to patient tracing trucking you
The people that are being contact with people who have tested positive there has been a great deal of hope actually that the government have done pretty well. The government and the people of Cambodia together have done very well to contain this, this this virus
so that's where we're at right now with COVID-19 here in Cambodia and things are starting to open up again but all very very small. Believe some bars are opening up but still you do not see them open on mass we are still a socially distanced country. And so Okay guys, thank you for listening to the our second episode our third episode will be out very very shortly will be long within the month because we have a special update coming Okay guys, thank you. Don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to Phnom Penh podcast on pod bean. It's on Apple and it is also searchable. Thank you guys and good night.

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