Uncovering a Cultural Black Box: A Case Study of a Classroom Discourse of a Regional Award-Winning Thai Social Sciences Teacher in a Topic of Culture


Cultural understanding and its knowledge are an integral facet in education. Nevertheless, the transmission of cultural related issues and knowledge in educational contexts, as with other subject knowledge or skills, is influenced by the cultural perspectives held by a teacher.  To understand a teacher's perspectivation of culture, an understanding of beliefs and practices need to be accounted for.  This study examined a Thai social sciences teacher's epistemological beliefs about culture through the teacher's teaching practices and linguistic behavior. The data was collected from a regional award-winning social sciences teacher teaching at a school in central Thailand (outside of Bangkok).  The data included a one-hour-session social sciences class focusing on culture, followed by an interview about the background of the participant. The data was prepared and analyzed in two folds, aiming for in-depth information of (1) classroom practices and (2) linguistic behaviors. The theoretical framework used is classroom discourse analysis, which includes descriptions of types of questions used by teachers and the questions' stance markers in Thai such as certainty adverbs, adjectives, and modals. Classroom practices and stance markers were also analyzed and interpreted to profile epistemological beliefs relating to feelings, attitudes, and judgments of the participant about culture. An in-depth examination of practices and beliefs, which provides teachers’ psychological insights and their classroom practices, could serve as a benchmark to better inform educational policy-makers regarding current cultural issues prevalent in this nation. This is vital in improving cultural pedagogy, promoting intercultural dialogue, as well as in achieving the nation's aspirations to be an active member of the globalizing world

Author Information
Kunthida Rungruengkiat, King Mongkut's University of Technology, Thailand
Pornapit Darasawang, King Mongkut's University of Technology, Thailand

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2013
Stream: Education

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