This study addresses the gap between the vision of education reform in Thailand embodied in its Education Reform Law of 1997 and implementation results a decade later. The paper draws on data obtained from a sample of 162 Thai school principals in 2008 during a series of workshops held for 1,800+ principals from all four regions of the country and levels of the K-12 system. The paper analyzes trends in reform implementation in the K-12 educational system by addressing three research questions: 1. Which types of reforms do school principals perceive as high priority? 2. What pattern of progress has been achieved in implementing these key reforms? 3. What factors are impacting educational reform in Thai schools? The results suggest that a decade following the formal initiation of education reform, changes in teaching and learning, ICT implementation and school management systems have yet to engage the nation’s teachers to a substantial degree. The results are linked to a reform strategy that has emphasized top-down implementation and a cultural predisposition to treat change as an event rather than as a long-term process. The findings offer insight into the extent of progress as well as factors that are impacting efforts to bring about change at the school level. Understanding the nature of factors impacting successful educational reform represents a potentially important contribution for regional policymakers, as well as to the theoretical literature on educational and organizational change.
|Publication status||Published - Sept 2010|