Wichian Chaiyabang

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2011


This profile was prepared when Wichian Chaiyabang was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2011.
The New Idea
Wichian is among the first in Thailand to integrate alternative education philosophy into the public education system, by way of establishing a school for public school teachers and administrators. By bringing educators to learn in one of Thailand’s poorest rural communities, he is overturning assumptions that quality education must be exclusive and expensive. His “school outside the box” model is now an expanding movement of teachers, principals, teaching colleges, and policymakers. Over thirty public classrooms have permanently changed the way they provide public education, and the government has recently endorsed Wichian’s model as part of formal training for newly-certified public school teachers. In a country where public education is highly dependent on an ineffective national administration, Wichian is equipping teachers and administrators with the tools to make their own education reform.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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