If education is the sine qua non of modernization and social change, then the relative paucity of scholarly attention to education in Thailand is difficult to explain. It may reflect the fact that education is among the most complex of all societal institutions. And we have not gotten around to “disentangling the educational system from other systems in society and specifically identifying those organizations significantly involved in the educational process.... It is both education as process and education as structure that must clearly be delimited before one can proceed very far with any analysis of the relationship between education and any other institution.”* In any case, social scientists and professional educators interested in Thailand have produced very little that attempts to relate the Thai education system to the politicai, economic, or social systems, as shown by the limited number of entries in this section.
The formal education system in Thailand, like those in most developing countries, is an exotic import —or, more accurately, an unmindful blend of British, Continental, and American forms. Volume Π of Higher Education and Development in Southeast Asia makes this point and gives an adequate profile of Thai postsecondary education. By far the most comprehensive statement of the problems and pressures which, in varying degrees, confront all of the universities of the region is T.H. Silcock’s Southeast Asian University, A Comparative Account of Some Development Problems. The shorter statements by Fischer and Myint are also well-done.
Two reports of the Michigan State University contract team, Current and Projected Secondary Educational Programs for Thailand: A Manpower and Educational Development Planning Project and Teachers in Thailand’s Universities: An Analysis and Forecast are worthwhile for the data they contain. The study of the diffusion of innovations in Thai secondary schools by Everett Rogers and others is both interesting and provocative. And the detailed study of the failure of two UNESCO educational projects by Ronald Nairn is especially valuable.
This section is divided into two parts: Part I, higher education, and Part II, elementary and secondary education.
Barry, S. J., Jean. Thai Students in the United States: A Study in Attitude Change. Ithaca: Cornell University, Southeast Asia Program, Data Paper No. 66, 1967. 160 pages.
A survey of 1,214 Thai students in the United States, which seeks to examine whether student exchange might be beneficial to the socio-economic growth of Thailand. Concludes that students tend to move from a stature and pre stige-seeking perspective to a more equalitarian and less conservative view of careers; that they become more family-minded, more selfconfident, and more willing to take risks; and also, that they move away from traditional religious concerns toward more nationalistic values, while retaining an underlying stability in religious beliefs or orientation.
Guskin, Alan E., with Tussanee Sookthawee. Changing Values of Thai College Students. Bangkok: Faculty of Education, Chulalongkorn University, 1964. 116 pages.
An attitude survey involving a sample of 2,878 male and female students at Chulalongkorn University and nine teacher training colleges. Probes the educational attitudes, occupational expectations, and social value orientations of the group, and provides some suggestive information on attitudes toward security and desires for material achievement. Leaves an impression that the students surveyed aim to work out their futures within the given political system. A study of “values” in a time of change rather than one of changes in values over time.
Guskin, Alan E. “Tradition and Change in a Thai University,” in Robert E. Taylor (ed.), Cultural Frontiers of the Peace Corps. Cambridge, Mass.: The M.I.T. Press, 1966, pp. 87-106.
Personal observations and findings from research on attitudes and behavior within a Thai university. Emphasis is placed upon the conflict between traditional Thai culture and Western norms within the university context.
Handbook of Southeast Asian Institutions of Higher Learning.Bangkok: The Association of Southeast Asian Institutions of Higher Learning, 1966. 178 pages.
Describes thirty-five institutions of higher education in Burma, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Includes descriptions of programs, enrollments, fees, organization, and similar matters for seven Thai institutions.
Higher Education and Development in Southeast Asia. 3 vols. Paris: UNESCO and the International Association of Universities, Vol. I, 1966; Vols. Π and ΙΠ, 1967.
The product of nearly four years of field work, these studies, although uneven in quality and coverage, are the most comprehensive yet done of the role of higher education and its relationship to economic, social and cultural development in the countries of Southeast Asia. Volume I, the Director’s Report, by Howard Hayden, is essentially a summary of the other three reports. Volume II Country Profiles, is a detailed series of educational profiles. Volume HI, Part One, by Guy Hunter, discusses high-level manpower for development. Volume ΙΠ, Part Two, by Richard Noss, is concerned with the problems of language in education.
Maxwell, William E. Thai Medical Students and Rural Health Service. See Section G-l.
Myint, Hla. “The Universities of Southeast Asia and Economic Development.” Pacific Affairs, Summer, 1962. pp. 116-127.
A perceptive appraisal of pressures for expansion and change which confront the universities of Southeast Asia. The consequences for development are examined in terms of (a) the substantial differences between the “need” for university graduates and the effective “demand” for them; (b) the importance of distinguishing between supply and demand factors affecting the post-war student population explosion; and (c) the distinction between education as a socially desirable consumer good and education as an investment in human capital.
Porter, Willis P. The College of Education, Bangkok, Thailand: A Case Study in Institution Building. Pittsburgh: Inter-University Program on Institution Building, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh, 1967. 218 pages.
A case study of the establishment, with American technical and financial assistance, of the first teacher training college in Thailand. Covers the period 1954-1967. The author has been closely associated with the college since its inception.
Schuler, Edgar, and Vibul Thamavit. Public Opinion Among Thai Students. Bangkok: Faculty of Social Administration, Thammasat University, 1958. 150pages + bilingual interview schedule.
An interview study of the opinions and preferences of about four hundred Thai college and university students. Examines the attitudes and aspirations of these students, and suggests little disposition among the group to press for political change. For an analysis of the Schuier-Thamavit findings, see the Mosel article cited in Section G-l.
Shaw, Archibald B., and Thamrong Buasri (eds.). Teachers in Thailand’s Universities: An Analysis and Forecast. Bangkok: Educational Planning Office, Ministry of Education. East Lansing: Institute for International Studies in Education, Michigan State University, 1968. 92 pages in English.
A study of some 1,807 teaching staff in thirty-two faculties in seven of Thailand’s eight degree-granting colleges and univer sities, based on data provided by the institutions. Suggests that the institutional staff is young, relatively under-educated, not highly motivated, and lightly regarded by the political and bureaucratic elites.
Silcock, T. H. Southeast Asian University, A Comparative Account of Some Development Problems. Durham: Duke University Press, 1964. 184 pages.
An authoritative account of the problems of structure, attitudes, standards, research, language, and economics of postcolonial Southeast Asian universities by a professor emeritus of the University of Malaya. Touches on Thai higher education only in passing, although many of the regional problems are relevant to Thai education.
An Application of Advanced Technology to the Educational System of a Developing Nation. Los Angeles: Department of Engineering, University of California, 1968. 401 pages.
A report of the 1968 UCLA Engineering Executive Program class presenting a systems-engineering approach for the application of advanced technology (essentially the transmission of information through audio and visual data links) to Thai public education. As a study of the possible uses of advanced audio and visual technologies in mass education, the study is interesting and useful. It says very little, however, about Thai education.
Brembeck, Cole S. Educational Planning in Thailand. Paper presented to the Summer Conference on Educational Planning, Syracuse University, July, 1964. 30 pages.
A Cooperative Venture in Teacher Education. Bloomington: Indiana University School of Education, 1963. Ill pages.
The final report of the Indiana University School of Education Agency for International Development assistance project to the College of Education in Bangkok, Thailand. Contractor reports are rarely the most candid or illuminating of documents but this one contains some useful information.
Current and Projected Secondary Education Programs for Thailand: A Manpower and Educational Development Planning Project. Bangkok: Educational Planning Office, Ministry of Education, 1966. 257 pages.
A report on Thai secondary education, with emphasis on its relation to the nation’s manpower needs. An outgrowth of a study cited in this section below: Preliminary Assessment of Education and Human Resources in Thailand. Prepared with the assistance of a Michigan State University contract team, the report contains recent data on Thai secondary education, along with manpower estimates.
Education Statistics. Bangkok: Division of Educational Techniques, Ministry of Education. Annual.
Statistics on educational finance, salaries, schools, enrollments, teachers, classrooms, students abroad, and related matters. Published in Thai only, 1954-1956; in English and Thai after 1956.
Fischer, Joseph. “Social and Cultural Aspects of Educational Development,” SEADAG Papers on Development and Development Policy Problems, No. 9. Southeast Asia Development Advisory Group. New York: The Asia Society, n.d. 11 pages.
An outline of assumptions about and potential approaches to studying the relationship between education and social, cuiturai, political, and economic change, with specific references made to Thailand. Includes a sharp critique of Current and Projected Secondary Education Programs for Thailand: A Manpower and Educational Development Planning Project, cited above.
Fischer, Joseph. “The University Student in South and Southeast Asia.” Minerva, Autumn, 1963, pp. 39-53.
A perceptive inquiry into the causes and conditions of student unrest, restlessness, and indiscipline in South and Southeast Asia. These, in the main, are said to be: the cleavage between generations, the absence of authoritative models of conduct, the restricted range of opportunities for achievement and conviviality, and the scarcity of socially and economically rewarding opportunities for employment. Not as relevant to Thailand as to Indonesia, Burma and other states in the area, except perhaps as a forecast.
Hatch, Raymond N., and Ampar Jotikasthira. Vocational Counseling in Secondary Education. Bangkok: Educational Planning Office, Ministry of Education. East Lansing: Institute for International Studies in Education, Michigan State University, 1966. 76 pages in English.
Prescriptive statement of the need for vocational counseling. Some data on manpower resources and needs.
Nairn, Ronald C. International Aid to Thailand: The New Colonialism? New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966. 228 pages.
A valuable case study (which is surprising, given its title) of two UNESCO educational projects — the Cha-Choengsao pilot project and the Thailand UNESCO Fundamental Education Center (TUFEC). Its value lies in a vivid account of the difficulties related to transferring skills from one kind of society to another (e.g., ill-defined project goals, relatively short project life, rapid turnover of personnel, maladaptation to the Thai milieu, and inadequate Thai language skills) and in a demonstration of the importance of host sponsorship to project success: TUFEC was assigned to the Ministry of Education but “this was not where power was located in the Thai hierarchy.”
Northeastern Thai and Education. Bangkok: U.S. Agency for International Development, 1968. 7 pages.
A brief summary of published materials and observations concerning educational conditions in the Northeast. Concludes that the generally poor quality of education in the Northeast is the result of many factors, basic among them the lack of teachers, the poor quality of instruction, and the inadequate facilities.
Organization and Management of the Ministry of Education: Survey and Recommendations. See Section D-l.
Preliminary Assessment of Education and Human Resources in Thailand. Bangkok: Joint Thai-U.S. Operations Mission Human Resources Study, U.S. Agency for International Development, 1963. 401 pages.
A survey of Thailand’s human resources and an examination of the nation’s educational development targets. Part One considers manpower demands and educational supply, and manpower planning and utilization. Part Two contains working papers on manpower and education prepared by the survey team. The report contains data not otherwise available in one place. Essentially a series of fairly rough working papers and planning documents rather than a polished product.
Rogers, Everett, et al. Diffusion of Innovations: Educational Change in Thai Government Secondary Schools. East Lansing: Institute for International Studies in Education and Department of Communication, Michigan State University, 1969. 181 pages.
Examines the diffusion of educational innovations from the Thai Ministry of Education, focusing on the distinguishing characteristics of teachers, principals, and provincial education officers who adopt innovations early and perceive them as beneficial. Contains some interesting findings, e.g., the earlier in time schools adopt innovations, the more likely their principals are to be male, be older, have high salaries, have more experience as principals, etc. An interesting and valuable study.
Satorn, Pinyo. “The Provincial School Superintendent in Thailand: A Study of Role Perceptions and Expectations.” Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University, 1969.
Investigates the perceptions and expectations held by three groups of Thai administrators of the roles of provincial school superintendents. The three groups were (1) provincial school superintendents; (2) provincial governors; and (3) senior administrators of the Ministry of Education and the Department of Local Administration, Ministry of Interior.
Thambiah, S. J. “Literacy in a Buddhist Village in North-East Thailand.” See Section G-l.
Thawisomboon, Sanit, M. L. Pin Malakul, Lam-Toai, and Nguyen Huu Bang. Education in Thailand and Vietnam. Honolulu: Institute of Advanced Projects, Translation Series No. 9, East- West Center, University of Hawaii, 1965. 62 pages.
Includes “A Summary of Education in Thailand,” outlining the historical development of educational policies and programs and a five-page statement, “Education in Thailand Today.” Also contains a brief bibliography.
Wyatt, David K. The Politics of Reform in Thailand: Education in the Reign of King Chulalongkorn. See Section B-l.
* From Joseph Fischer’s lucid essay on education in Indonesia (titled “Indonesia”) in James S. Coleman (ed.), Education and Political Development (Princeton University Press, 1965), p. 92. While none of the articles in this volume apply specifically to Thailand, it is stimulating throughout — especially the introduction by Coleman and the appended bibliographic guide to education and politicalsocialization by Kenneth I. Rothman.