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Concept of Quality in Cambodian Teacher Training

Title: The Concept of Quality in Cambodian Teacher Training: A Philosophical Ethnography.
Name(s): Stanfill, Enoch M., author
Milligan, Jeffrey Ayala, professor directing dissertation
Ruse, Michael, university representative
Rutledge, Stacy A., committee member
Perez-Felkner, Lara, committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Education, degree granting college
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2016
Publisher: Florida State University
Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (175 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Research shows that quality teachers are the single most significant influence on the quality of education available to students. This recognition of the importance of quality teachers on quality education is reflected in goal 6 of the EFA: Quality Education. EFA proxies for quality, however, are dubious measures of the concept......What does the concept quality mean when applied to the work of teaching or to the business of education? How do we know quality when we see it? Is it the same from culture to culture or does it differ based on the educational aims of different societies? Despite EFA's emphasis on improving the quality of education, quality education remains elusive in many developing countries. Cambodia, for instance, has enjoyed considerable international assistance for more than four decades, yet the quality of Cambodian education remains low by both Cambodian and international standards. What might explain the failure of decades of assistance to improve education in Cambodia? This study argues that before this question can be answered and more effective steps taken in the development of Cambodian education we must have a clearer understanding of the conceptualization and operationalization of the concept "quality" in the constructs "quality teachers" and "quality education" in the Cambodian context to understand whether and how it differs from that implied in the theory and practice of Cambodia's international donors. Differences may help explain the difficulty encountered in improving the quality of education in Cambodia and point to more effective strategies to achieve this elusive goal. To this end, this inquiry deployed a hybrid methodology called philosophical ethnography to discover the conceptions of quality held by Khmer teacher training instructors and administrators. This discovery is guided by the idea of dialogue expressed by Jürgen Habermas and implemented by Paolo Freire. Findings indicate that there is a tension between traditional Khmer conceptions of quality and those emphasized in modern conceptions of quality education. Traditional Cambodian conceptions of quality reflect Buddhist social virtues including of ទាន (tian, generosity), មេត្តា (mey-ta, generosity), ករុណា (garunna, compassion), មូទិតា (mutita, empathetic joy), and ឧបេក្ខា (upeka, equanimity) to be a good person in a moral sense. This differs from modern conceptions of quality that emphasize equality, individual achievement, and economic drive for education to produce a person with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to do some job that supports the growth of the economic machine. The results of this study suggest that the introduction of modern ideas of quality in education beginning with the French in the 19th century and continuing today through foreign aid donations have permeated the education sector in Cambodia influence how Cambodian teacher trainers perceive quality education with respect to how day to day operations of education should function and influence contemporary policy decisions. Despite the push to change reform Cambodian education, participants indicate that being a good person (in the Buddhist sense) is still how quality should be measured and should be the primary objective of Cambodian education.
Identifier: FSU_2016SP_Stanfill_fsu_0071E_12853 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in partial fulfillment of the Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester 2016.
Date of Defense: February 24, 2016.
Keywords: Cambodia, Teacher education
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Jeffrey Ayala Milligan, Professor Directing Dissertation; Michael Ruse, University Representative; Stacey Rutledge, Committee Member; Lara Perez-Felkner, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Education -- Philosophy
Education -- Study and teaching
Teachers -- Training of
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Host Institution: FSU

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Stanfill, E. M. (2016). The Concept of Quality in Cambodian Teacher Training: A Philosophical Ethnography. Retrieved from