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Title: Securing Quality in Private Kindergartens in Bangkok Thailand: Perspectives of the Parents and the Kindergarten Directors
Author: Tantiwiwathanapan, Siriporn
ISNI:       0000 0001 3498 9994
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2007
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From an international perspective, there has been a growing recognition of the value and benefits of early childhood education and care for the development of young children. Nevertheless, professionals in this important field continue to explore how programmes are best organised to deliver positive outcomes for children. This includes a focus on how quality may be defined and assessed as a means of promoting effective practice and consistency in 'standards. A valuable tool which has been developed and widely applied as a global standard for quality assessment is the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (ECERS). Alongside such universal approaches, there has also been an acknowledgement of the context, values, complexity and subjectivity in any definition of quality which need to be considered in the environment being studied. Based on the study of three private kindergartens in Bangkok, Thailand, this research investigates how views and perspectives on quality from the western world apply in the Thai context. The private sector is a dominant and influential sector and it is important to look closely at provision since it will likely lead the way for future development of early childhood practice. Semi-structured interviews and indirect observation are used to understand how the programmes are organised and perspectives of the directors and Thai parents towards early childhood education and the developing views of early childhood professionals. This includes a first attempt to evaluate how appropriate the ECERS framework is to the assessment of quality in Thai private kindergartens. Thailand has a rich cultural and religious background which influences perceptions of the role of the child and how they are seen to best learn and develop. Across the Thai early childhood system, there has been increased focus on the use of childcentred approaches, based on views of effective practice adopted elsewhere in the world. The director and parent interviews, however, indicate that many Thai parents perceive the role of early childhood education as the preparation of children for primary school with traditional approaches emphasising the use of teacher-directed activities. This creates a tension between how programmes are designed to meet parental needs but also align with developing views of high quality practice. This research hopes to create awareness towards how quality assurance may be secured in the Thai kindergarten and the challenges moving forward. I believe a balanced approach is needed which combines understanding the Thai context, stakeholder perceptions and emerging views of best practice such as those presented in ECERS. This may be promoted by closer partnership ~etween parents and those involved in delivery of the programmes to develop shared knowledge and common goals.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available