This study aimed to enhance elementary-school science teachers' understanding of astronomy concepts including season, moon phase and eclipse by using and building scientific models. Twenty-nine elementary-school science teachers from Udon Thani, Thailand participated in this study in 2014. The teaching sequence was designed to address difficult astronomy concepts. Firstly, questions of the astronomy phenomena were asked. After common misconceptions were answered, teachers become dissatisfied with the old conceptions. Then, scientific models were presented and explained. Finally, science teachers built scientific models to explain the astronomy phenomena. The research design of this study was one group pre-test-post-test design. Twenty-five questions from an astronomy test were used to access teachers' understanding of the concepts. The data were analysed using the mean score, percentage, standard deviation and t-test for dependent samples. It was shown that the average percentage of correct answers before and after the teacher training programme were 32% and 58%, respectively. The post-test mean score was significantly higher than the pre-test score. These findings lead to the suggestion that teaching astronomy concepts by building scientific models and using them can be a meaningful learning activity in the science classroom.
The objective of this article is to study the guidelines for the development of the Nanglae pineapple, which is the major economic crop of Chiangrai province and has been granted the geographical symbol of Nanglae, Muang, Chiangrai by the Department of Intellectual Property. A sustainable opportunity for the Nanglae pineapple has been achieved by combining sufficiency economy and creative economy concepts. The Eight, Ninth and Tenth National Economic and Social Development Plans of Thailand have adopted the philosophy of sufficiency economy to promote agriculture. The Eleventh National Economic and Social Development Plan (2012-2016), which is in use today, also adopts sufficiency economy to develop the country with an emphasis on human development to achieve strengthened economic and social security. The government provides fiscal budgets for research and development as well as encouragement of creative economy in every sector. The article ends by offering methods for sustainable development of the Nanglae pineapple and provides examples of products made from the pineapple that successfully utilise the principles of sufficiency economy and creative economy combined to enhance the quality of life of Nanglae farmers.
Sufficiency, creativity, Nanglae pineapple, sustainable development
The objectives of this Participatory Action Research (PAR) were to discover the needs and problems affecting production and marketing development of a seasoning powder product; to investigate guidelines for its development, production and marketing according to the needs of the networking community; and to evaluate the processes of planning, acting, observing and reflecting undertaken in its development and production. The target area was the Inpang Network at Yangloan village, Phuphan district, Sakonnakhon. The participants were four researchers, 10 local researchers and 20 key informants. The duration of the study was eight months. The results of the study indicated that the problems affecting the development of the seasoning powder occurred in its production and marketing stages. Therefore, there is a need to improve production by using more or better equipment in order to save energy in the stage of raw material preparation. Also, there is a need to seek more raw materials. The new product developed was an improved vegetarian seasoning powder and a new brand was created for its marketing development. A marketing channel was established via social media with the launch of the Yangloan webpage and a Facebook account for the product. Food recipes and demonstrations were uploaded to YouTube. Booths selling local-wisdom products were provided with public relations materials in the form of a big cut-out at the Kampoem intersection in Phupahan district, Sakonnakhon. A cut-out was also placed at the entrance of the enterprise's work premise. The local researchers were satisfied with their participation in the product development process. The sales volume was significantly higher compared with that of the same period the previous year.
In introductory level courses, the learning environment of the large class makes it difficult for teachers to implement methods that facilitate and engage students through interactive pedagogies. In addition, assessment methods tend to align with the mainstream teacher-centred approach. This paper presents an analysis of qualitative data from in-depth interviews with science faculty members at King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), who provided insightful perspectives on teaching improvements. The reflections of these teachers indicated the constraints of department, faculty and course level that challenged the transformation of science education at the university. The discussion proposed that professional learning development was highly required for any initiatives towards change in teaching and assessment practices that would result in meaningful learning by students.
Large class, learner-centred teaching, introductory college science courses
Different cultural backgrounds may perform different semantic formulas. This study aimed to investigate the occurrences of apology speech acts in two dimensions of semantic formulas: frequency and pattern. The participants for this study were 32 English native speakers and 32 Thai EFL learners, making a total of 64 participants. The participants responded to 10 acts of apologising in a written discourse completion task (DCT) that simulated apology-provoking situations. The responses from the DCTs were coded according to the apology taxonomy. The data were then analysed according to the frequency and pattern of the semantic formulas used by the two different groups. The findings revealed that the three most frequently used semantic formulas of the two groups were "Expression of apology", "Offering repair"/, and "Explanation", respectively. Also, the three most used patterns of semantic formulas found in the two groups were "Expression of apology + Offering repair", followed by "Expression of apology + Explanation", and "Expression of apology + Offering repair + Showing concerns", respectively. The findings suggest opportunities for building cross-cultural communications across continents. The results have implications for teaching and learning of English as an L2 in the cross-cultural contexts.
Cross-cultural study, speech act, apology strategy, social status
Researchers have claimed that the English language in Malaysia has deeply progressed into a phase of Independent/Liberation and Expansion (Gill 1999) or Nativisation (Schneider, 2003b). In this phase, English in use acquires significant structural changes. In fact, many syntactic variants that can be attributed to this phase have been identified by Malaysian English ME scholars and researchers since the 1970s. The findings of earlier research (Tongue 1974, Platt & Weber, 1980) reveal that some usages have been nativised in the Malaysian linguistic repertoire, but those findings are mostly based on spoken data. In terms of the written language, the extent of nativisation has yet to be extensively researched. This study seeks to explore Malaysian teachers' perception of certain syntactic variants of English and their acceptance in written English. Teachers, especially English teachers, are regarded as gatekeepers when it comes to the use of English in Malaysia. With the perceived decline of the national standard of English in the country, it is crucial to investigate if the use of these syntactic variants by English teachers is a matter of choice or a manifestation of language proficiency. In this study, 150 English teachers from Malaysian secondary schools were recruited to respond to a questionnaire, exploring their perception of selected syntactic usages. The findings corroborate much that has been documented over decades about Malaysian English, showing essentially that changes in what is known as acceptable English usage is ongoing. However, the findings also indicate that the acceptance of these variants among a number of young Malaysian English teachers is not a matter of choice but a reflection of their language proficiency. The findings will have some pedagogical impacts on English language teaching (ELT) in Malaysia.
Malaysian English, grammar, English language variations
The main objective of this study is to assess tourists' expectations and perceptions of service quality of resorts and hotels in Luang Prabang by integrating the SERVQUAL model and Kano's model. Four hundred and seven sets of responses were collected from tourists staying in resorts and hotels in Luang Prabang using a structured questionnaire. The results of the study showed that tourists' perception of resorts and hotels service quality is significantly higher than expectation in terms of service reliability and tangibles. According to Kano's model, the results show that among resorts and hotel quality improvement indicators, there are two one-dimensional quality elements (O). These include the non-unexpected service costs and friendliness indicator and courtesy of the service personnel indicator. After integrating SERVQUAL results with Kano's model results, both areas show high expectations from tourists. Moreover, the results from an expectation-service gap matrix indicate that the areas that require attention and improvement, due to high expectations and high negative service gap, are availability of service personnel when needed, provision of adequate information about the service delivered, ability to handle customer complaints efficiently and seeking the best to satisfy the interests of customers.
SERVQUAL, service quality, Kano's model, Luang Prabang
The present study is part of the research "Japanese instruction package for developing sport tourism staff (caddies)" and is aimed at studying the information that Sport Tourism Staff (Caddies) need to serve golfers. At Dongpookerd Golf Course, Phitsanulok, the working population includes 200 caddies and 11 executives of the golf course. The sample for this study was 132 caddies chosen by systematic random sampling. The sample size was calculated based on Yamane Taro's (1960) work. The tools of this research were two checklist questionnaires for studying the needs and expectations of executives to caddies and for studying the information that sport tourism staff (caddies) need to provide assistance to golfers. The results showed that the first three levels of qualification and situation expected by the executives were 1) service mind (" " ¯x = 4.73), 2) golf course rules ( ¯x = 4.64), and 3) knowledge and perception of responsibility and duty (4.64). In addition, the results also showed that the information that caddies needed most to provide assistance to golfers was about the golf course: field condition, out of bounds, relief area without penalty, water hazard, bunker and tree (3.90). Next was information about course fee and service fee (¯x = 3.71) and the third was information about golf rules, etiquette and directions in which the golfers hit the balls ( ¯x = 3.67).
The purpose of this research was to adopt the refined Kano's model, customer satisfaction index and the Importance-Satisfaction model to identify and evaluate the quality of tourism destination attributes at the Ban Chiang Archaeological Site in order to provide a reference for improving and enhancing its cultural heritage tourism management. A questionnaire was designed based on the 6A's framework of tourism destination attributes including attraction, accessibilities, activities, availability, accommodation and ancillary services. A total of 397 valid questionnaires were analysed. The results revealed that all of 30 cultural heritage tourism destinations were one-dimensional quality attributes (O). All attributes resulted in satisfaction when fulfilled and in dissatisfaction when not fulfilled. The satisfaction increment index (SII) of these attributes was between 0.58 and 0.76, while the dissatisfaction decrement index (DDI) was between -0.50 and -1.00. These indicated that all quality attributes were a great influence on customer satisfaction. At the same time, it was found that if all of them were not fulfilled, the influence on customer dissatisfaction became stronger. Furthermore, there were 14 quality attributes categorised under high value-added attributes which could fulfil customers' satisfaction at a higher level. Among high value-added attributes, there were five attributes that had high SII and high DDI, so the Ban Chiang Archeological Site should fulfil these requirements as its first priority. Only one attribute should be improved immediately while the remaining five attributes should be continuously fulfilled to gain competitiveness in the future.
Cultural heritage tourism, quality attribute, Refined Kano's model, satisfaction, dissatisfaction
Teachers' content knowledge and their skill in teaching concepts are key research findings for effective teachers. Collaborative learning is also found to be a way to improve teachers' subject-matter and pedagogical knowledge. Taking this into account, the practicum course in the second semester of the academic year 2013 at Udon Thani Rajabhat University was designed to prepare professionals in teaching for 4th year Thai student teachers. There were six stages of learning that the students had undergone in order to develop these professional skills. In this research, the following steps were followed. First, student teachers' misconceptions in specific science contents were diagnosed and discussed. Second, the students were made to participate in learning activities using those concepts. Third, a peer review of science lesson plans was analysed, focussing on an appropriate teaching method to teach specific science content and learning tasks. Peer discussions and reflections were conducted from Stages 4 through 6: collaborative lesson preparation; peer observation of teaching; and reflection. It was found that the student teachers held common misconceptions in science as revealed in the research findings. The preparation process was effective in that it gave a sense of ownership to student teachers working in collaboration with their peers to plan and implement instructional activities.
The Eleventh National Economic and Social Development Plan (2012-2016) allocated the biggest income distribution and infrastructure development to enable community entrepreneurs to grow efficiently and sustainably (Porter, 2003). Entrepreneurs have to adapt their business strategies related to internal and external quick-business (Mabry & Mabry, 1981). They should focus on strengthening their community by being self-dependent, maximising benefits of local resources and being governed by local residents (Katz, 1991). Thus, entrepreneurs are a crucial force for generating jobs and earnings and strengthening the community and country. The objectives of this research are (1) to study the internal and external factors that affect the competitive potential of entrepreneurs (2) to create potential competitive strategies for entrepreneurs and (3) to test and assess results of potential competitive strategies. The primary research methodology was SWOT analysis of local entrepreneurs' potential development; this included documentary research, interviewing, field observation and data analysing of tourist questionnaires by the Priority Needs Index (PNI) and entrepreneurs using factor analysis and structural equation analysis. The secondary research methodology was creating potential competitive strategies by the focus group and brainstorming. The tertiary research methodology was testing and assessing the outcome from the strategies performed by Repeated Measures ANOVA and Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test. The results showed that three factors were selected, namely, production, marketing and management, to be models of creating strategies with chi square = 66.61, p-value = 1.00, CFI = 0.95, GFI = 0.99 and RMSEA = 0.00. The competitive strategy used was based on the 4-C Model, including Capability Customer Communication and Culture. Twelve strategic activities including three dimensions were carried out. Four activities were performed by six entrepreneurs. After implementation of the 4-C Model by the six selected entrepreneurs, their competitiveness and operating bottom lines were found to be higher, significant at 0.05.
Strategies development, competitiveness, community entrepreneur
This research studied and analysed the creation of content, styles, types, meaning and interpretation of surrealistic advertisements. The study compared the surrealism of fine art and advertisements, their similarities and differences of the two models of the surreal: traditional and modern. The research was conducted using qualitative research methods and utilised a random brand advertising selection that was composed only of ads that used surreal images. Most of the samples were compiled from print advertisements including magazine ads, newspaper ads and clippings that were published both nationally and internationally on the internet, websites or blogs. An integrated analysis of theories and concepts from semiology theory, advertising creativity, surrealist creativity and marketing concepts were used to analyse and explain these results. The findings indicated that creative images in surrealistic advertising were mainly influenced by the paintings of Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte. Their works contain fantastic and incongruous imagery that affects advertising by means of unnatural, irrational juxtapositions and combinations. Techniques used by the works analysed were painting and computer retouched photography. The magnificent images and ironical appositions symbolised products, encoded products and serviced single-minded concepts or unique selling propositions in order to retain brand information and brand awareness and increase sales. During an epic competition among advertising companies and their profit earning enterprises, surrealist advertising was marketing niche specific products and had become a trend in advertising execution amongst these competitors. Surrealist ads were a very good alternative, which made an unparallelled impression in the consumer's mind.
Surrealism, surrealist advertisement, traditional surrealist, modern surrealist
Luang Prabang native textile is regarded as the city's principal cultural merchandise. In the past, aesthetic and refined weaving was intended as gifts to present to kings and aristocractes only. However, after Luang Prabang was declared a world heritage site, the city became a popular tourist attraction, and this raised the value of its cultural goods. Textile became an item precious to travellers, the most famous being the royal fabric or (Pa-Tor-Raj) of Luang Prabang's Royal Residence. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate patterns, identity and creative processes of the native textile industry of Luang Prabang, a World Heritage city of the Lao People's Democratic Republic. The study uses the in-depth interview method to elicit information from well-known professional weavers and royal fabric weavers who have been producing textile since before the regime change. The results of the study revealed that the patterns of native textile could be classified into two main categories. The first was textile used in daily life, such as sarong, Pa-Biang (shawl used by women that wraps over one shoulder around the chest and back) and shawl (used by women to cover their shoulders), while the second category was textile used in religious ceremonies, such as tung (fabric hanging down a long piece of wood) and curtain material. The prominent motif used in weaving is a pattern inspired from ritual and traditional belief representing the great naga or serpent. Manufacturing procedure was developed from the surroundings and religious faith; these may be divided into three categories: 1) patterns derived from animals, such as the naga, mermaids, birds, lions and the Morm, mythological creature 2) patterns derived from flora, such as trees, vines, flowers and fruit 3) patterns based on people and folklore, such as virtue codes of morality and tradition.
This research aimed to study the process of course redesign for a five-year teacher education programme, and to develop the learning management ability of the pre-service teachers. The target groups were 82 third-year pre-service-teacher students from the Faculty of Education by purposive selection. The research instruments included a student reflection form, a student learning management ability checklist, a school mentor reflection form, a peer reflection form and a teacher's stages of concern questionnaire. The research results revealed the process of course re-design on the teaching profession, learning management ability of the pre-service teachers, content, learning activities inside and outside the classroom and various assessments, which were built from the learning outcomes and the teaching professional standard for teachers. After implementing the course, the students identified that they became better at learning management ability because they had had the chance to teach in an authentic situation and had received recommendations and guidance from the lecturer and school mentors. Moreover, reflection from students with hearing impairment and peer assessment helped them understand and know what occurred throughout their learning activities. Teaching practice in a school for the deaf revealed that the satisfaction of school mentors and students with hearing impairment was positive.