The Teleology of Education and the School Uniform Debate in Thailand อุดมคติของการศึกษาและการถกเถียงเรื่องเครื่องแบบนักเรียนในประเทศไทย

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Wanpat Youngmevittaya


This paper addresses a normative question: Is compulsory school uniform justified? I examine the three arguments existing in the current debate on this issue in Thailand: (1) the equality argument – compulsory school uniform is justified because it creates equality among students; (2) the actual rule argument – if compulsory school uniform is a rule at the moment, then students are supposed to wear school uniforms, otherwise the society would be chaotic; (3) the rights argument – compulsory school uniform is unjustified as it overrides students' basic rights (freedom of dress). This paper agrees with much of the rights argument, but it also sees that this proposal is insufficient, and its justification may be misleading. This paper, therefore, offers a novel argument called the teleology argument – school uniform should be abolished not because it violates students' rights but because it is incompatible with the teleology of education, which is the cultivation of the certain characters (virtues) citizens in democracy need to possess: self-esteem, the respect of the difference, critical mind, self expression, and so on.

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Youngmevittaya, W. (2023). The Teleology of Education and the School Uniform Debate in Thailand: อุดมคติของการศึกษาและการถกเถียงเรื่องเครื่องแบบนักเรียนในประเทศไทย. Journal of the Philosophy and Religion Society of Thailand, 18(2), 182–209. Retrieved from
Research Article