Recent legislation in Thailand has opened up the process of curriculum development to allow for decentralization to the local level. The 1999 revision of the National Education Law makes local educational institutions responsible for tailoring the content of the national curriculum to the social needs of each community and, most importantly, for teaching ‘local wisdom‘ as part of the coursework in public schools. Curriculum content can now be developed at the local level. Two schools are brought into focus here: the primary schools of Ban Narai and of Ban Daeng in northeastern Thailand. Their efforts to integrate traditional local wisdom into the curricula have yielded impressive results. Developing local curricula has also helped the schools to preserve local knowledge for younger generations and has opened up the classroom to student-centered learning approaches. As an employee of PLAN International, I worked inprogramme development for the Thailand office. I was developing a programme to promote the use of information technologies in the rural schools with which PLAN works. I wrote this article because we realized that this would make an excellent case study from which other schools and NGOs could learn.
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