An evaluation of teacher development in using technology during the first decade of Thai education reform 1999-2009
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This study is a historical analysis of teacher development for using instructional technology in Thailand beginning with the early origins of educational reform efforts through the National Education Reform Act of B.E. 2542 (1999) and for one decade of its implementation (1999-2009). Data sources for this study included both primary and secondary sources. These sources were historical records, government documents, newspaper and magazine articles, and scholarly books and articles. They were analyzed to determine which policies, proposals, and plans related to teacher development in using instructional technology and which of them promoted a constructivist or student-centered teaching environment. The findings indicated that many of the proposed reforms led to new instructional techniques that challenged the previous Thai education system, which had relied on a teacher-centered, top-down approach. Despite many government-sponsored teacher trainings, teachers were still uncomfortable with teaching in a student-centered environment. This study also focused on Thai methods of teacher training and identified problems with the quality of training courses, with the methods of training, with the effectiveness of the courses teachers were taught, and with the assessment of the follow-up and evaluation provided after a given course or workshop. The evidence showed that teachers resisted many aspects of the new approach. This dissertation proposes ways to help teachers out of their reluctance and resistance to reforms using instructional technology. This dissertation provides a number of recommendations to help Thai educators begin to use modern instructional technology. Among these are included a call for greater improvement of teacher education and the adoption of new concepts of teaching and learning to elevate the skill level of Thai teachers. Chief among these was treating Thai teachers as adult learners so that they would take responsibility for their development according to their specific learning needs and teaching situation. Thus, this dissertation provides a historical, methodological, and pedagogical approach to the issue of Thai teacher development in using instructional technology in a constructivist learning environment.