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From Policy to Practice: School-Based Assessment of Omani Students’ Science Learning in Basic Education Schools

Al-Shukaili, Ali Salim Mohamed (2019) From Policy to Practice: School-Based Assessment of Omani Students’ Science Learning in Basic Education Schools. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This qualitative study focuses on understanding how science teachers in Basic Education in Oman enact a national initiative in the New Assessment System (NAS), which focuses on Assessment for Learning (AFL) in science education. It also examines the influence of contextual factors on teachers’ actual practices while enacting the NAS policy. Data-gathering methods were observations, interviews and document analysis. Ten Ministry of Education (MOE) policymakers and fifteen practitioners in Grade 5-10 schools participated. The research questions address the policy intentions behind NAS, how science teachers enact the system, the factors influencing their enactment and the extent of alignment between policy intentions and teachers’ practices. While the findings have pointed that although there is a concurrence between the MOE policy intentions that NAS should function as AFL, and practitioners’ perspectives on them, the reality of NAS policy enactment was not entirely consistent with the NAS policy intentions, and the extent of this alignment depends on the contextual factors. This gap can be attributed to the absence of a consultation in the policy development process and the weakness of policy enactment reinforcement, such as the inadequacy of professional development. Moreover, this is due to the absence of a specific accountability framework, and of a particular body that enforces accountability, as well as the absence of self-accountability, a lack of interest in the teacher agency, and the influence of contextual factors on the adaptation of borrowed policy. The most prominent of this study’s contributions to the current literature is that it contributes towards filling a gap in it regarding both AFL policy enactment in science education in the Eastern context, and the consultation stage in policy development in educational studies. The study also extends the current literature with further examples of the influence of contextual factors on the professional development of practitioners. Finally, this study contributes to filling an important gap in the current literature regarding the critical aspects that are associated with the NAS enactment, such as policy borrowing, teacher agency, moderation, and self-accountability for the policy enactment.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Policy, Practice, School-Based Assessment, Science
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Education (Leeds)
Depositing User: MR ALI AL-SHUKAILI
Date Deposited: 06 May 2020 06:22
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 06:22
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/26440

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