Journal of Educational Leadership in Action


While working in Thailand, education professionals from Western backgrounds often remark on a certain social eminence accorded to teachers by Thais, and many will also experience, especially in abridged form, the rituals of the Wai Khru, or Homage to Teachers, ceremony. However, it could be that few without direct cultural orientation can appreciate these traditions to the depth such long-standing cultural practices deserve. More detrimentally, they may not be aware of the social expectations these traditional views place on educators within Thai society. Drawing on primary sources from Thai literature and media and their own experiences as educators in Thailand, the authors of this article—both Thai-American and foreign—place the Wai Khru ceremony, along with the social status and responsibilities implicit on being an educator in Thailand, into historical and social context, with the aim of shedding light on these topics for other professionals looking to work or conduct research in this Southeast Asian nation.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.