The ASEAN Journal of Education ASEAN Journal of Education

Networking Model Involving Participation in Education Development: A Case of Demonstration Schools


Adithak Suviwattanachai, Yalisa Tonsorn, Chanasuek Nichanong, Sirote Pholpuntin,


Abstract

Abstract This study sought to create a networking model concerning participation in education development, and to assess the applicability of such a model, taking a set of demonstration schools as case study. Informants included targeted schools’ management executives and teachers, representatives from the schools’ alumni associations and alumni members, and a group of experts, forming a cohort of 20 individuals in total. Research tools included interviews, applicability assessment, and quantitative data analyses including such statistics as mean, standard deviation, and basic quantitative analysis. Research results are as follows: 1) Building a network that facilitates participation in education development. Our in-depth interviews seeking to create case-study-based networking model involving participation in education development found that seven components constituted common elements embodied in the cooperative networks for education development across the four demonstration schools studied. The seven common elements were: 1) mutual recognition of shared perspective with regard to the existence of the network; 2) determination of the network’s shared vision; 3) identification of the network’s shared benefits and interests; 4) identification of each network member’s involvement; 5) reciprocal network reinforcement; 6) strategic interdependence; and 7) interactive exchange among network members. 2) Our assessment of the applicability of the networking model involving participation in education development found that the proposed model is of high quality in all aspects. The propriety aspect had the highest mean of 4.38 and a standard deviation of 0.23, followed by the evaluation accountability aspect having a mean of 4.29 and a standard deviation of 0.23. The feasibility aspect had the lowest mean of 4.00 and a standard deviation of 0.38. Keywords: model, network, demonstration school

Abstract
This study sought to create a networking model concerning participation in education development, and to assess the applicability of such a model, taking a set of demonstration schools as case study. Informants included targeted schools’ management executives and teachers, representatives from the schools’ alumni associations and alumni members, and a group of experts, forming a cohort of 20 individuals in total. Research tools included interviews, applicability assessment, and quantitative data analyses including such statistics as mean, standard deviation, and basic quantitative analysis. Research results are as follows: 1) Building a network that facilitates participation in education development. Our in-depth interviews seeking to create case-study-based networking model involving participation in education development found that seven components constituted common elements embodied in the cooperative networks for education development across the four demonstration schools studied. The seven common elements were: 1) mutual recognition of shared perspective with regard to the existence of the network; 2) determination of the network’s shared vision; 3) identification of the network’s shared benefits and interests; 4) identification of each network member’s involvement; 5) reciprocal network reinforcement; 6) strategic interdependence; and 7) interactive exchange among network members. 2) Our assessment of the applicability of the networking model involving participation in education development found that the proposed model is of high quality in all aspects. The propriety aspect had the highest mean of 4.38 and a standard deviation of 0.23, followed by the evaluation accountability aspect having a mean of 4.29 and a standard deviation of 0.23. The feasibility aspect had the lowest mean of 4.00 and a standard deviation of 0.38.
Keywords: model, network, demonstration school

Introduction
Against the backdrop of constant, fast-paced, and—at times—radical changes in a wide range of global contexts from social, cultural, economic, political, scientific, technological to communication, education continues to be instrumental in improving the quality of life, in pushing countries forward in an interconnected world, and in securing dignified livelihood in a sustainable manner. Countries deemed successful in pushing up human potential, such as the United States, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Singapore, had dedicated their investment efforts to human development through effective education reform long before they enjoyed rapid economic growths. Many developed countries have established an outstanding curriculum and a decent education management system, resulting in a high rate of education among the population. Finland, for example, was recognized by the World Economic Forum as having the best education system in the world, both at the elementary level and high-level education. Many distinct features are characteristic of the Finnish education system: 1) learning is predominantly conducted through play, as it is believed that children can learn better through play and self-discovery; 2) rooted in the firm belief that every school is of equally high quality, schools do not compete against one another and there is no tradition of school ranking; 3) emphasis is heavily placed on quality of life, as the Finns believe that happy teachers are good teachers and that Finnish teachers, with a weekly teaching workload of approximately 20 hours, should not be allowed to work too hard; 4) the Finnish education system is governed under common national standards, based on which teachers, while regulated by curricular framework, are encouraged to be creative in class; 5) reflecting the emphasis placed on process, grading system is not introduced until Grade 4; and 6) teachers are a socially recognized and highly respected occupation. In sum, the Finnish education system places emphasis on family and child development according to his/her own potential.

The Second Amendment of the National Education Act of 1999 states that society be involved in education management. Section 9 touches on structural organization and the provision of education services through decentralization of management authority in such areas as academic, budgeting, personnel management, and general administration to relevant Offices of Education District. In addition, it also emphasizes parental roles in overseeing compulsory education, as well as the roles of all stakeholders—including individuals, families, communities, community organizations, local administrative organizations, private organizations, and other institutions—in mobilizing education resources through actively organizing and participating in education management, donating needed assets and resources to education institutions, and sharing the burden of education expenses, as deemed appropriate and necessary (Office of the National Education Commission, 2002).
Studies exploring the role of community networks in the development of education management raised many issues that emerged among such networks, including: 1) the lack of knowledge and understanding of the network’s roles among network members; 2) the lack of understanding of their own roles among network members; 3) vague objectives due to the lack of managerial strategy that would guide the direction of the network; 4) the lack of coordinated efforts due to the fact that network members were not treated on an equal basis; 5) the operation outcome of the network was a result of individual rather than team efforts; 6) communication problems occurred whenever network members engaged in team efforts—i.e. acknowledgement of issues, sharing of ideas, or implementation of such ideas—to expand the scope of activity; and 7) boredom and unwillingness to participate in activities caused by repetitive miscommunication (Nuchanat Sonsong and Sa-nguan Inrak, 2018).
Founded by respective alumni associations, demonstration schools garner support and cooperation from relevant stakeholders in their education development efforts. Established under the supervision of respective universities’ Faculty of Education, demonstration schools, as an integral part of effective education management, serve as a training ground for students and prospective teachers to polish their practical teaching skills. They commit themselves to the development of education management at early childhood and primary levels that lives up to international standards. Demonstration schools are exemplary of dedication to academic services aimed towards society, partnering schools, and other institutions, and to protecting Thai cultural heritage. In the course of services as exemplary model in terms of providing quality education and improving student quality in such a way that secures valued human resources for Thai society, demonstration schools must, therefore, build upon cutting-edge teaching and learning innovation, which, in turn, can be achieved through research and development. Building an education development network that involves parental and alumni participation would serve as an exemplary model to achieve such ideal.
While envisioning the importance of such a network, the researchers also realized that, as far as demonstration school is concerned, no networking model for education development exemplary of parental and alumni involvement currently exists, and that a possible networking could build upon the strength of the original network that has been supportive of school operation all along. A possible emergence of such a network would help bridge the existing gap, resulting in effective and efficient education development and boosting the level of participation towards a network of all-out participation. For the reasons stated, a networking model involving stakeholders’ participation in education development with a set of demonstration schools in Bangkok taken as case study is, therefore, of particular interest to the researchers.

Key words: model, network, demonstration school
     
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