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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2014

Aleya James

This paper explores the work of the educational theorist Gert Biesta in a setting outside of the context where it was originally developed. It aims to address how Biesta’s…

Abstract

This paper explores the work of the educational theorist Gert Biesta in a setting outside of the context where it was originally developed. It aims to address how Biesta’s approach can help educators and policy makers question the philosophical underpinnings of education in the UAE and thereby start a conversation that is currently absent in this context. The paper comprises three elements: first, an overview of Biesta’s educational theory is given with a focus on ‘subjectification’ and his self-titled “pedagogy of interruption”. Secondly and in brief, I use Biesta’s framework of educational dimensions to analyse the philosophy underlying education in the United Arab Emirates using published government documents and media sources. Thirdly, I report a small-scale qualitative analysis of a specific educational space, three General Studies Courses in a UAE tertiary institution, to investigate the ‘risky’ possibilities involved in implementing a pedagogy of interruption. I find that despite a dominant policy discourse that discounts subjectification, there are significant opportunities for students to develop a strong sense of self. These opportunities are created by a small but strongly motivated group of teachers and taken up, on the whole enthusiastically, by students. However, my assertions are limited by a number of challenges which warrant further research. This paper hopes to provide a meaningful contribution to the limited discussion regarding the aims and expectations of education in the Middle East, and finds a pertinent philosophical grounding for liberal studies teaching in a tertiary context. As such the paper will be of value both to policy and decision makers in the Middle East and to teachers and trainers who teach in multi-cultural and international contexts.

Details

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2077-5504

Article
Publication date: 4 November 2013

Aleya James and Nicole M. Shammas

This paper aims to explore the link between the theoretical foundations of intercultural intelligence and a practical application examining a course dedicated to developing…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the link between the theoretical foundations of intercultural intelligence and a practical application examining a course dedicated to developing Emirati students' intercultural intelligence.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper outlines the socio-cultural conditions of the United Arab Emirates as a backdrop to the investigation; establishing the pressing need for intercultural intelligence. The paper provides a theoretical framework to situate the course based on King and Baxter Magolda's trajectory of intercultural maturity (2005) and Davies' theory of “interruptive pedagogy” (2006). Guiding principles for the teaching of intercultural intelligence are given.

Findings

Informal feedback through post-course interviews demonstrates a positive self-perceived change in intercultural understanding having taken the course.

Research limitations/implications

The paper concedes that due to socio-cultural constraints the authors are unable to deliver a course with as much practical experience as the authors would like. As a result, students gain more cultural self-awareness and theoretical understandings of intercultural intelligence than practical engagement.

Originality/value

This paper provides a meaningful contribution to the limited body of knowledge on intercultural intelligence training at a tertiary level in the Arabian Gulf and breaks new ground in three ways: first by demonstrating the link between the UAE socio-cultural and political factors on intercultural intelligence training; second by providing a link between intercultural intelligence theory and practice and third by providing practical suggestions as guiding principles and creative ideas for classroom use. The paper will be of value to teachers and trainers teaching in multi-cultural, international contexts and to those providing organizational training in a variety of business contexts.

Content available
508

Abstract

Details

Journal of International Education in Business, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-469X

Content available
Article
Publication date: 29 May 2009

James Pounder and Matthew Clarke

303

Abstract

Details

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-7983

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