“Human beings are social animals,” said Aristotle. Naturally, humans cannot live alone. They always interact with other people. As a result, when group size increases from two to three members or more, the society becomes bigger. However, society cannot develop without a structure because social structure guides human interaction. During Week without Walls at Khao Yai Nation Park, Prachinburi; group of RIST students associates directly to social structure passed through learning activities. Students walked in the jungle, went canoeing activity, cooked and told ghost stories together as a team. Learning activities outside the classroom encourages students to understand status, role, group organization, social interaction concepts, and they experience work together as a team.
First of all, before the students go on the trip, the teachers separate the students appropriately into a small group (six members) by their ascribed status which is sex and nationality. The colors such as pink, green, purple and blue are identity by the different of each group. The groups are distinguishable by the colors as a reference group, who individuals identify, and whose attitudes also values they often adopt. All teams are in competition.Competitors try to win each game in exchange for team points. The best way to win is the members cooperatesmutually and works together.
In addition, night navigation activity connects to group organization and role concepts which are size of group, two categoriesof leader and reciprocal role. After the students learn how to use a compass from the staffs, each color is segment into two small groups. The purple team has five members, so one group will be two members, is called a dyad and another group which a three-person group, is called a triad. The dyad and triad groups have to work together to beat other colors. In this activity Shuhei occupiesmaster statue which is expressive leader, his greatest role is finding the way to keep the group together and maintain morale. He always says “You are excellence, do your best.” This sentence encourages the members to do best. It is an effective means to win the game. Another type of leader is instrumental leader which is Poon and Daisuke. One of them always find specific means that help the group reach its goals, and be the first person who knows how to perform the activity or use the tools such as the compass. Daisuke is the first person who knows how to use the compass and then he intimates how to use it to Ayaka and Pim. Leader and subordinate are reciprocal role because these roles are corresponding roles that define the patterns of interaction between related statuses. One role cannot fulfill the role associated with the status of leader without having someone else perform the role that goes along with the status of subordinate.
Next, river bed scramble activity influences the student to think about role and status concepts which are role performance, role expectation and role-strain. While, students walk in the jungle and experiences the nature; in addition, they help the environment by picking garbage. The group that picks a lot of garbage will be the winner, so role expectation of every member is picking a lot of garbage as much as they can, but sometime their conducts are different from their role expectations, just walking is so tiring for someone then they do not pick garbage. Consequently, they do not perform the best as they expect. As well as, this situation also motivates students to realize about role-strain concept. A person has difficulty meeting the role expectation of a single status because a lot of demand which is walking and picking garbage in one garbage picker status.
Also, canoeing activity connect to group organization concept which is group functions. This activity stimulates students to understanding group functions. They set their goals, assign their tasks and their behaviors are controlled by group. All of these concepts are the patterns of group functions. The final competition of canoeing activity is four members have to paddle in the same direction, one person has to attach the two canoes together and one person stands between the two canoes. First of all, everyone discusses who going to be in what positions. After they make decision they assign the tasks. Poon, Daisuke, Shuhei and Mr.Dan are the paddle, Pim is the connector and Ayaka is the person who stands between the canoes. The goal of purple group is being the first group that reaches the white rock. Everybody do the best in the last canoeing competition because they are stabilized in unity. Finally, the result is they are the winner in the canoeing competition.
As well, Thai cooking activity can refer to roles and status concepts which are role conflict, and achieved statue. While the students perform this activity student has different roles and different conditions which are role set such as an ingredient organizer, cook and cleaner. Some time role sets is a cause of role conflict and role strain. For example of role conflict, one person is cleaner and cooks. Some time he or she has to do two roles in the same time because they do not have a lot of time in this activity. He or she cannot perform the best for each role such as he or she does not wash the clean dishes because he or she monitors of the food on the stove. Accordingly he or she makes it difficult to fulfill the role expectation of another status. In addition, Man of match in this activity is Shuhei, he is the best cook. His achieved status is cook, he put a lot of effort when he cook PadKaPaw and Green curry. He concentrates when the staff teaches how to cook the food, and he puts all of his ability to cook delicious food as much as he can.
Moreover, scariest Ghost story challenging activity affects social interaction concept because it leads the student to consider about accommodation concept. Each color has to try to tell the scariest story. For purple group, Pim and Poon think about Thai ghost story, they are alliances, but Shuhei and Daisuke prefer to narrate Japanese ghost story. At that time they had conflictbecause in group has two contradictory ideas. First of all, they do not make any decision and they are in cease of disputation. They are truce, and then they have to accommodate. They ask Ayaka for her opinion. She chooses Japanese ghost story because it is easy to act. Thus they agree with her to perform Japanese ghost story. This situation is mediation which is one of the four forms of accommodation.
Finally, everyday students have free time before light out. It motivates the students to communicate group organization concept which is type of groups such as e-communities, out-group, primary group and secondary group. Every night the students have time to do what they want to do. It is a good opportunity to communicate with their primary group which is a small group who interact over a relatively long period of time on a direct and personal basis. For example Beau uses her Blackberry to communicate with her sister. In the same time Yo decides to chat with her secondary group which is roommates. Roommate group is a group in which interaction is impersonal and temporary in nature. Roommate group is informal group because there is no official structure, or established rules of conduct. Everybody who sleeps in the room is in-roommate group because the person belongs to and identifies. The last night, Ms.Yuree goes to visit the students at the room. She is out-group because she does not belong to or identify in roommate group.
In conclusion, every group relates to social structure because structure is existed to guides human interaction. During WWW, learning activities influence students to understand social structure concept. Learning activities inspire students to experience role, status, leader, type of interaction, function of group and accommodation concepts. All of these concepts connect mutually in group. The learning activity promotes the students to understand group dynamic lesson. While the students perform the activity, they also comprehend status, role, group organization, social interaction concepts, and they experience about working together as a team. Human being is social animal, so to understanding their interactions student has to focus on the actions of groups and the roles of individual within groups.