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Teachers' and students' perceptions of meditation education and its contribution to the mental well-being of young people in secondary schools in Khonkaen province, Thailand

Teachers' and students' perceptions of meditation education and its contribution to the mental well-being of young people in secondary schools in Khonkaen province, Thailand
Teachers' and students' perceptions of meditation education and its contribution to the mental well-being of young people in secondary schools in Khonkaen province, Thailand
Like all young people, Thai adolescents may experience mental health problems. The Thai secondary school system provides meditation education as part of the National Education Curriculum and as such may potentially play a pivotal role in promoting adolescent’s mental well-being.

The aim of this study was: to explore (a) the provision of meditation for students in Thai secondary schools; and (b) teachers’ and students’ perceptions of meditation education and its role in promoting mental well-being of adolescents. A qualitative multiple case study design was employed. Purposive sampling was undertaken to select four schools (two urban, two rural) in the Khonkaen province. Informants were teachers and students who participated in the school based meditation courses. In total, 21 interviews with teachers and eight focus group interviews with adolescent students were conducted, and analysed using Framework approach. Cross-case analysis was undertaken to elicit differences and similarities between rural and urban schools, younger and older students and teachers and students.

The results revealed compulsory meditation education was provided during Buddhism classes in both lower and upper school levels. Meditation was also integrated into other subjects to encourage students to practice meditation skills, increase students’ concentration and manage potentially unruly students. Extracurricular activities, not part of the National Education Curriculum, were also provided with the aim of improving students’ morality but provision varied across cases. In general, teachers and students, across all cases, had consistently similar perceptions on the meditation education provided. Meditation education was perceived to have a positive impact on students’ mental well-being, reduced stress, enhanced self-awareness, improved emotional control, enhanced decision making as well as improved interpersonal relationships. Negative aspects from prolonged practice such as physical discomfort or pain and boredom were identified. Recommendations for future research, including exploring the transferability of findings and teacher training needs, are reported.
University of Southampton
Srimuang, Phitthaya
1aa444dd-f4fd-47a4-ad23-0c11f9651449
Srimuang, Phitthaya
1aa444dd-f4fd-47a4-ad23-0c11f9651449
Glasper, Edward
381a920c-2ec2-40d4-a205-13869ff7c920

Srimuang, Phitthaya (2013) Teachers' and students' perceptions of meditation education and its contribution to the mental well-being of young people in secondary schools in Khonkaen province, Thailand. University of Southampton, Faculty of Health Sciences, Doctoral Thesis, 345pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Like all young people, Thai adolescents may experience mental health problems. The Thai secondary school system provides meditation education as part of the National Education Curriculum and as such may potentially play a pivotal role in promoting adolescent’s mental well-being.

The aim of this study was: to explore (a) the provision of meditation for students in Thai secondary schools; and (b) teachers’ and students’ perceptions of meditation education and its role in promoting mental well-being of adolescents. A qualitative multiple case study design was employed. Purposive sampling was undertaken to select four schools (two urban, two rural) in the Khonkaen province. Informants were teachers and students who participated in the school based meditation courses. In total, 21 interviews with teachers and eight focus group interviews with adolescent students were conducted, and analysed using Framework approach. Cross-case analysis was undertaken to elicit differences and similarities between rural and urban schools, younger and older students and teachers and students.

The results revealed compulsory meditation education was provided during Buddhism classes in both lower and upper school levels. Meditation was also integrated into other subjects to encourage students to practice meditation skills, increase students’ concentration and manage potentially unruly students. Extracurricular activities, not part of the National Education Curriculum, were also provided with the aim of improving students’ morality but provision varied across cases. In general, teachers and students, across all cases, had consistently similar perceptions on the meditation education provided. Meditation education was perceived to have a positive impact on students’ mental well-being, reduced stress, enhanced self-awareness, improved emotional control, enhanced decision making as well as improved interpersonal relationships. Negative aspects from prolonged practice such as physical discomfort or pain and boredom were identified. Recommendations for future research, including exploring the transferability of findings and teacher training needs, are reported.

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Published date: July 2013
Organisations: University of Southampton, Faculty of Health Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 359779
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/359779
PURE UUID: 22b9e248-693f-480b-98a3-190703f4ad6e

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Date deposited: 20 Dec 2013 16:36
Last modified: 01 Aug 2017 16:32

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Contributors

Author: Phitthaya Srimuang
Thesis advisor: Edward Glasper

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