Teachers’ conceptions of teaching at a Gulf university: A starting point for revising a teacher development program.

Lois Smith (University of Wollongong in Dubai)

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives

ISSN: 2077-5504

Article publication date: 1 June 2006

Issue publication date: 1 June 2006

261
This content is currently only available as a PDF

Abstract

As universities are increasingly attracting students from a wider range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, one of the challenges faced by educational developers is preparing academics to teach in a cross-cultural environment. In order to do this, teacher development programs often need to be adapted and up-dated. A widely-recognised starting point in this process is the examination of teachers’ conceptions of teaching. This paper presents a small-scale, qualitative study which looks at the conceptions of teaching held by lecturers from different ethnic and educational backgrounds at a multicultural university in the United Arab Emirates. The university in question is a small, off-shore campus of a western university. Building on existing research in this field, a phenomenographic approach is taken in which the participants were interviewed and the resulting transcripts were analysed for emerging categories of conceptions of teaching. Four qualitatively different categories were found, which had some similarities to previously established categories, but which also added some interesting dimensions to the particular context of this study, especially the emphasis placed on the syllabus. The categories are: syllabus transmission; syllabus comprehension; syllabus adaptation; and independent learning. The categories found are hierarchical and represent a general move from a teacher-focused approach to one which is more student-centred. The findings of this study were used as a starting point to revise the teacher development program at the university. Although the study is confined to one university, it is relevant to educational developers in similar off-shore institutions in the Gulf region.

Citation

Smith, L. (2006), "Teachers’ conceptions of teaching at a Gulf university: A starting point for revising a teacher development program.", Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 9-19. https://doi.org/10.18538/lthe.v3.n1.04

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006 Lois Smith

License

This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode


Acknowledgements

Publisher's note: The Publisher would like to inform the reader that the article “Teachers’ conceptions of teaching at a Gulf university: A starting point for revising a teacher development program.” has changed pagination. Previous pagination was pp. 1-11. The updated pagination for the article is now pp. 9-19. The Publisher apologises for any inconvenience caused.

Corresponding author

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives Vol 3 No 1, January 2006

Related articles