A decade of education reform in Thailand: Broken promise or impossible dream?

Philip Hallinger, Moosung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


This study addresses the perceived gap between the vision of education reform in Thailand embodied in its Education Reform Law of 1999 and the results of implementation a decade later. Drawing upon opportunistic data obtained from a sample of 162 Thai school principals, we analyze trends in reform implementation across schools in all regions and levels of Thailand's K-12 education system. 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 lack of results is 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-158
Number of pages20
JournalCambridge Journal of Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Responsibility for leading education reform in Thailand was shared by the Office of the National Education Commission (ONEC) and the Ministry of Education’s Office of Basic Education (OBEC). The following quotation conveys the highly ambitious and urgent vision for change as stated by Dr Rung Kaewdang, Secretary General of ONEC, in 2000.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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