Learning and Motivation in Thailand: A Comparative Regional Study on Basic Education Ninth Graders

  •  Jyrki Loima    
  •  Jutarat Vibulphol    


This qualitative research studied regional motivation and learning of the basic education 9th graders in Thailand. Second topic was the school size and its possible effect on motivation. Furthermore, the data gave an opportunity to discuss, whether international research on motivation and learning was valid in Thai classrooms. The informants were randomly selected from northern, north eastern, central, and southern regions of the country. Altogether 12 schools, ranging from smaller than 500 students to larger with more than 1 500 students, participated. Three teachers and their students from each school assessed their learning and motivation into a questionnaire after lessons. Researchers selected randomly two male and female students to represent each class. Research questions were:

What is the motivation and learning of the students in the four main regions of the Thailand?

Does the school size affect the motivation and learning? If it does, what is the impact?

Research findings revealed that the most motivated Thai students study in south. The internal motivation wasn’t low anywhere, however, but it could easily drop to a situation-based interest or even less. Second, the motivation was higher in classes, in which teachers analyzed students’ motivation and learning in the same way as students did. Third, the more the students liked the teacher, the better their motivation was. Regarding school size effects, the trend favored smaller units. To foster the future development, this study urges to study motivation in all teachers training. Second, teachers’ personal motivation needs surveys in a broad context.

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