Education for Enculturating the “Thainess” Ideology: Decolonizing the Siamese Colonial Discourse in the Social Studies Curriculum
Keywords:Thainess ideology, internal colonialism, social studies curriculum, postcolonial theory, global citizenship
After the coup d'état came to power in May 2014, the military government had been exercising their ideologies through the educational policies and curriculum planning which have been actively responded by the Ministry of Education. Contemporary curriculum reform is employed as a mechanism for maintaining the status quo of elites group who have held privileged positions among the Thais. Looking through the social studies curriculum, it becomes the centerpiece of public schools’ efforts to cultivate younger generations into what it means to be “Thainess”. However, Thainess becomes inevitably hybrid to certain extents in the era of globalization. By looking into the contemporary context of education from the postcolonial theory, I learn that if educationalists are to educate young Thais for global citizenship in today’s pluralistic society, the social studies curriculum must go beyond the Siamese colonization of knowledge construction, and also provides pedagogical spaces of the experiences, knowledge and perspectives of diverse people in Thai society.