Education & Knowledge In Thailand: The Quality Controversy
by Mounier, Alain; Phasina Tangchuang (Eds.)
About This Book
If an observer asked today whether Thailand is becoming a "knowledge-based society", the reply might be yes - provided that the country continues to invest in the education of her citizens.
Yet the authors of this book take a strongly critical view of Thai education. Investing more money in education is certainly essential, but it will not automatically lead to a knowledge-based society. On the contrary, they say, current changes in policy and approach are actually moving Thai education away from transmitting and producing knowledge and scholarship, away from developing and honing individual abilities to think and learn. This failure parallels world trends: the uncontrolled and unbalanced increase in enrolment; the interference by political and economic interests in the orientation and management of educational institutions; and the commodification of education - in particular, privatisation, internationalisation and vocationalism. These symptoms are diagnostic of the so-called diploma disease which pervades the system. Public policymakers in Thailand are unfortunately too quick to compromise and may be unable to reverse this trajectory.
The book is a lively interplay between theory and well-documented facts. It offers a quantitative and qualitative analysis which is fundamental to understanding the overall situation of Thai education, to advancing the debate on educational quality and to charting a course for the future. It will appeal widely to educators, students, parents, academics, researchers and policymakers who are concerned about the state of education in Thailand.
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