Tossaporn Sariyant

Pan retired from the Office of Nonformal and Informal Education of the Ministry of Education, Thailand after 37 years of service. She taught part-time at the Chiang Mai University School of Education until October 2016, and is now relaxing and going through old papers, as well as meeting occasionally with her 3 doctoral and 2 master’s advisees from Chiang Mai University. She co-taught a qualitative research course there for the past two years. She plans to rest and enjoy retirement with non-academic activities: cooking, quilting, gardening,


After traveling to Europe with her husband this summer, she plans to start writing. She says:


I will probably start drafting a personal narrative, writing about my working experience with the Non-Formal Education (NFE) Department in the past 37 years, reflecting on the rise and the fall of educational systems, especially NFE, in Thailand.


Some activities Pan has been involved with in recent years include facilitating learning activities for participants in literacy and high school equivalency programs of Doi Saket NFE District Office in Chiang Mai in 2013, and organizing an exhibition on literacy programs for tribal women in northern Thailand to celebrate World Literacy Day that same year. The exhibition was held by the NFE office in collaboration with UNESCO Bangkok.


She has also been active in participating in regional alternative learning and education conferences. She commented, “Attending the Asia-Pacific regional conferences on women's literacy recently… reminded me of what I once heard in Amherst: ‘if you throw some stones into a crowd of participants in literacy conferences around the world, one will hit a person who has some connection with CIE.’” Indeed, Pan has met up with many fellow CIE graduates, including Joanie Cohen-Mitchell, Toon and Rob Fuderich, Cole and Jenny Genge, Andrew Jailani, and Elias Moning. [2/17]


Pan wrote to CIE about an interesting action research project she was conducting in 2011:


“I have been trying out a life skills learning through income-generating activity. It is an action research I called Patched our life, Patched our world. It involves vocational skills training using scraps of cotton fabric, dumped by cotton product factories around one village, to make patchwork quilts and other patchwork products to sell in handicraft shops in nearby towns.


The action research started with asking a group of interested women to explore ways to reduce waste in their village and to create something of value from the waste. The group discoverd that garment factories in their area produce fabric waste that can be made into other useful or saleable products.


The quilt that Barbara Gravin Wilbur gave me sparked the idea of skills training for making patchwork products. Many women are able to design and make patchwork products to sell for extra income. However, they need more training in skills such as designing patchwork patterns, color theory, basic math for calculating the cost of materials, labor time and for pricing their products.


Thus, the training is a way to help maintain literacy and numeracy skills, together with an awareness of how to create self-reliance and reduce waste problems in their community at the same time. I have a lot of fun doing this little project.” [10/11]






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