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A phenomenological exploration: The voices of Middle Eastern 'A' level students and their teachers in a British curriculum International School in the Middle East.

Shelton, John Francis (2016) A phenomenological exploration: The voices of Middle Eastern 'A' level students and their teachers in a British curriculum International School in the Middle East. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

Frequently it is assumed in developing countries that contemporary “Western” notions of teaching and learning are the role models to which education reform should aspire. It is often assumed that such models of education are the most up to date or “modern”, and as such are models of “best practice”. This thesis questions such assumptions and attempts to argue that “Western” models of education are increasingly subject to political influences and ideologies, distinct from being based on sound educational research. It is argued that such political agendas often lack a sensitivity of understanding toward differences in culture, learning expectations and preferences, compounded by western practitioners in developing countries who being immersed in their own cultural sensitivities, seek to project their ideas onto different cultures around the world, with little in depth understanding of the cultural norm into which they are transposing such ideas. As a consequence of this, it is suggested that there is a tension in the Kuwait context associated with the dissonance between attempts to modernise teaching and learning, and the local cultural expectations and preferences for teaching and learning. The purpose of this study is to investigate this suggested lived experience of tension, specifically associated with the implementation of How Science Works in the A-level Biology curriculum, as an example of a Western curriculum and teaching and learning intervention. The findings of this study suggest in this cultural context that student participants hold an examination performance driven perspective on education, and have a preference for traditional teacher centered information based learning, with little importance attributed to the notion of education for understanding. Student and staff participants consider How Science Works components of the curriculum to be culturally and environmentally biased creating a sense of disadvantage for students in the host culture. There is evidence to suggest that student participants experience a sense of tension through constraints placed on their ability and willingness to engage with aspects of the curriculum by virtue of a perceived conflict with their religious convictions. These four main emergent themes create a sense of tension for students and teachers in the implementation of both the curriculum and contemporary student centered teaching and learning pedagogy.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.696031
Depositing User: Dr John Francis Shelton
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2016 13:42
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:29
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15254

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