Teacher beliefs and education reform in Abu Dhabi: 21st Century Skills?
Education reform, in particular, curriculum reform, of the magnitude being implemented in Abu Dhabi and involving such different cultural contexts and expected paradigm shifts, poses a number of questions with respect to implementation, on-going challenges, and future impact for teachers, students and the community. This paper focuses on the relationship between the results of the Teacher Belief’s Survey and the teachers’ classroom practice. The research reported in this paper took place in Abu Dhabi where the Arab teachers had been entrenched in mostly traditional approaches to teaching. The large-scale education reform, being carried out at the time of writing this paper, required the teachers to shift to a constructivist approach. The study involved a mixed methods approach in which quantitative and qualitative data were collected sequentially. As a first step, the newly-developed Teacher Belief Survey was administered to 198 teachers across the emirate. The second step involved a case-study approach, involving 15 teachers, that was used to further examine teacher beliefs and observed practice. Lesson observations were conducted with each of the case study teachers that were preceded by a semi-structured interview with each teacher and a post lesson observation interview. The results indicated that the teachers were willing to comply with the reform initiatives; however, they continued to hold more traditional beliefs about their role in the classroom and their philosophy of teaching and learning acquisition. Observations corroborated these findings, indicating that the teachers choice of delivery, use of student collaboration and the physical environment, were not what they believed it to be. Interviews and observations showed that culture, fear, a lack of knowledge and understanding by teachers and incongruent interpretations of terminology were strong mitigating factors that were impeding the Arab teachers’ implementation of curriculum reform initiatives.
Keywords: Abu Dhabi, Teacher belief, curriculum reform initatives.
Öğretmen inançları ve Abu Dabi’de Eğitim reformu: 21. Yüzyıl becerileri?
Özet: Abu Dabi’de eğitimde- özellikle programlarla ilgili kapsamlı reform çalışmaları uygulanmaktadır. Farklı kültürel bağlamları ve paradigma kaymalarını içeren reform hareketinin gelecekte, öğretmenler, öğrenciler ve toplum için uygulamalarda bir dizi zorlukları, soruları ve mücadeleleri içerebilecektir. Bu makale Öğretmenlerin inançları ile sınıf uygulamaları arasındaki ilişkilere odaklanmıştır. Bu araştırma, Abu Dabi’deki çoğunlukla öğretimde geleneksel yaklaşımın yerleşmiş olduğu Arap öğretmenlerle gerçekleşmiştir. Büyük ölçekli eğitim reformunda öğretmenlerin yapılandırmacı yaklaşıma geçmelerinin gerekli olduğu belirtilmiştir. Bu çalışma, nitel ve nicel verilerin birlikte kullanıldığı karma yöntemin kullanıldığı bir çalışmadır. Çalışmada ilk basamakta Emirlik genelinde 198 öğretemen üzerinde yürütülen yeni öğretmen inançları anketi uygulanmıştır. İkinci basamakta 15 öğretmen ile durum çalışması yapılmıştır. Bu durum çalışmasında öğretmen inançları ve uygulamaları incelenmiştir. Durum çalışmalarına katılan öğretmenlere yarı yapılandırılmış görüşme formu ile mulakatlar yapılmıştır. Sonuçlar öğretmenlerin reform girişimlerine uymada istekli olduklarını göstermektedir. Buna karşın sınıftaki rollerinde ve öğrenme ve öğretmeye yönelik kendi felsefelerinin daha geleneksel inançlara devam ettikleri görüldü. Öğretmenlerin öğrencilerle işbirliği ve fiziki çevrenin kullanımında inandıklarını gerçekleştiremediklerin gözlenmiştir. Görüşmeler ve gözlemler Arap öğretmenlerinin kültür, korku, öğretmenlerin terminolojiyele uyumsuz bilgi ve anlayış eksikliğinin reform girişimlerindeki gücü azaltıcı faktörler olarak görülmektedir.
Anahtar Kelimeler: Abu Dabi, Öğretmen inançları, Program reform girişimleri
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