Skip to main content Skip to navigation

GSD postgraduate research featured in New Mandala

Coffee shop in Paksong

Image credit: Coffee shop in Paksong, by Adriaan Castermans on Wikimedia Commons

    Published last month, a New Mandala article features the work of one of our PhD students, Thipphaphone (Kee) Xayavong, and his Learning Space Project.

    The article, co-authored with Assistant Professor Marco J Haenssgen, addresses “education,” whose place in global development appears to be beyond doubt. However, Kee’s research with the Yru in Southern Laos reminds us that “everyday cultural heritage” is a threatened but formidable force of community wellbeing. The article thereby reactivates recent debates about the neglect of indigenous peoples in education and it offers a thought-provoking perspective on how we can build on the notion of “culture” (through heritage) to think more critically about our common assumptions in education and development. The article therefore showcases participatory and art-based research techniques to generate new forms of knowledge that are more responsive to the perspectives of indigenous communities.

    The article follows Kee’s webinar success on 16 October 2021 and is an abridged version of a longer text produced for the GRP Connecting Cultures Blog, which contains further methodological detail, interview excerpts, and a link to the webinar. Tune in!

    About the Learning Space Project

    Situated in the province of Champassak in rural southern Laos, the Learning Space Project studies the impact of primary and secondary school education on the health of ethnic minority groups. By investigating social, political, and cognitive mechanisms underlying these impacts, the researchers challenge the conventional wisdom that education automatically and intrinsically benefits health beliefs and behaviour.

    Co-led by Thipphaphone Xayavong and Marco J Haenssgen, the project takes place with co-supervision from Elizabeth Auclair (CY Cergy Paris Université) and in collaboration with Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) Laos, the University of Health Sciences (UHS) and Lao community-based and non-governmental organisations such as Namjai Community Association, Gender Development Association, and the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (TAEC)Link opens in a new window in Luang Prabang. The project is supported by funding from the GRP Connecting Cultures, the Institute of Advanced Study, the Warwick Institutional Research Support Fund, IRD Laos, and a EUTOPIA PhD Co-Tutelle studentship (ref. EUTOPIA-PhD-2021-0000000091), and operationally also by TAEC and UHS.

    Read more

    Connecting Cultures Blog Post: Co-producing knowledge on cultural healing practices: The Yru of Laos

    Haenssgen, MJ, Xayavong, T, Charoenboon, N, Warapikuptanun, P, et al. (2018). The consequences of AMR education and awareness-raising: outputs, outcomes, and behavioural impacts of an antibiotic-related educational activity in Lao PDR. Antibiotics, 7(4), 95. doi: 10.3390/antibiotics7040095