From “Asia As Method” To “home As Method”: The Internal (De)- Colonization Of Knowledge And Subjectivity In The Thai Curriculum Studies

Omsin Jatuporn

Abstract


Thailand has never been officially colonized by foreign powers whereas the re-appropriation of neo-liberal policy and nationalistic propaganda by the Thai government to promote the conservative elites’ version of nation-centrism clearly functions to maintain the hierarchical social structure and dominant hegemony through education. Grounded in Chen’s idea, Asia as Method, Winichakul’s framework (2014) on Thai cultural studies, home as method, has been recontextualized for understanding how the researcher gain and encounter educational experiences as well as having freedom of choice to reconstitute on the powerful curriculum discourse in Thailand. The notion of “home” signifying Thailand is a part of Asia is used to move beyond the debate over “us vs. them” or “insider vs. outsider” which is neither misleading nor productive. Additionally, it is employed for the understanding of the hegemonic roles of national elites on policy re-contextualization to combine both the neo-liberalism and neo-conservative discourse in education. Given that “curriculum studies” is an intellectual sphere in which competing discourses, plural assumptions, and pedagogical practices deserved its place, the field itself needs to be reconceptualized and goes beyond the legacy of both western cultural imperialism and internal colonialism, a legacy that continues to take place at the deep-rooted cultural and psychological level and plays a significant role in constructing cultural imaginary and subjectivity, which also has shaped many of our ideas about education, schooling, curriculum, and pedagogy. Thus, the onus is on us, critical curriculum workers, to explore and discover our diverse reflective ways in order to move forward our critical curriculum projects. The relationship between the home as method and critical curriculum projects needs to be a point of departure for discussions and an illustration of how curriculum as a form of cultural practice and cultural politics works to hegemonize particular knowledge production and distribution for many decades in Thailand.


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References


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