In 1999 the Thai Government introduced wide-ranging educational changes through the National Education Act. One major reform involved instructional reform. This required changes in teaching styles from traditional rote learning to one closely supporting students' learning, or what can be termed a learner-centred approach.
This thesis investigates the implementation of this policy of instructional reform
in Thai secondary schools. It addresses questions related to the policy implementation process, and the impacts of the policy at the school level.
This research derived data from two main sources: the Department of General
Education (the governmental unit whose duty it is to oversee public secondary
schools in Thailand), and two public secondary schools (one in Bangkok and the
other in another province in central Thailand). To gain insights into the level of
implementation three qualitative methods were employed. These included
document analysis, school observation, and in-depth interviews.
Amidst some supportive elements and outcomes, it was found in this research that
schools were left to implement the policy with inadequate support and
complicated obstacles. Many teachers and school administrators had neither clear
knowledge nor experience about how to initiate such a policy successfully and
how to cope with problems created by the different approach to teaching.
Although most policy people have goodwill towards the nation educational situation, they did not understand all of the difficulties faced by the teachers
implementing the policies in schools. Many teachers and administrators at the
school level believed they were left alone encountering problems.