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Kids in Captivity

This was by far the most poignant lesson of my 23 year teaching career. One morning, Celi and Huw (Gecko teachers aka ‘dolphin trainers’) rounded up the children (with parental permission) with bamboo sticks and whistles.

By The Phuket News

Monday 26 January 2015, 10:00AM

The children were herded into a small area and then ‘driven’ into a room where they spent the whole day. They were provided with water and given only a bowl of rice for lunch. Throughout the day the ‘dolphin trainers’ entered the room but only communicated with the children through whistles. Materials and games were removed from the room to ensure the kids could not be distracted and amuse themselves, and forget that they were in captivity.

At first the children thought this was fun, cool and exciting, but soon the boredom set in and bickering began. The kids begged for food and even learnt that doing tricks in front of the dolphin trainers would earn them a small reward like a splash of soy sauce on their rice.

Even at home time the trainers did not speak to the children, they simply opened the door. Towards the end of the day the kids wrote a reflection on their experience of being in captivity.

Kids reflections

Phuket Property

“ They made us go in a corner just like in The Cove. It was really scary when Huw and Celi were blowing the whistles,” said Amelia.

“I was too hungry and was about to give up. Huw walked into the room with this giant piece of cake then I had hope. But he started to eat it. I just wanted to be slaughtered at that moment, I couldn’t take it anymore. This was the worst day of my life. I soooo wish this doesn’t happen again,” said Jackson.

“Today I experienced how dolphins live in captivity, it made me really angry, frustrated and depressed. It was horrible. It really sucks to be a dolphin,” said Connor.

“I realised everyone was angry and stressed because they were hungry so they started arguing. I experienced what dolphins go through,” said Jack.

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n.weekes | 10 February 2015 - 09:10:33

Immersive learning - love the idea!  

raj0194 | 31 January 2015 - 08:35:54

Brilliant example!! This type of teaching can make a difference.


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