Main Article Content
The present study draws upon Conceptual Metaphor Theory, its findings revealing the core concepts of the current education system in Thailand. The data is gathered from fourteen handbooks concerning quality assurance in education published on the website of the Bureau of Higher Education Standards and Evaluation, Office of the Higher Education Commission and the Education Criteria for Performance Excellence; website of Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. The results show that students are metaphorically understood as customers, products, business persons, resources, and engines; instructors as engines and artisans; and academic institutions as service industry organizations, producers, engines, depositories of wisdom, and combat units. The engine metaphor is found in every element of the education system, reflecting the fact that the Thai education system tries its best to develop people in order to ensure they can remain up-to-date with contemporary trends and function effectively in a highly competitive global environment. Moreover, the study sheds light on the effects of the “student-as-customer” metaphor, one which may cause a deterioration in students’ creativity and enthusiasm as well as in the quality of student-instructor relationships.
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