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Abstract

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Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2077-5504

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Article
Publication date: 25 January 2019

Kay Gallagher

The purpose of this paper is to investigate why beginning university Emirati students might believe they are unfairly treated by their instructors. By understanding…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate why beginning university Emirati students might believe they are unfairly treated by their instructors. By understanding student perceptions, the learning needs of such students can be better catered for, and learning outcomes enhanced.

Design/methodology/approach

An interpretivist approach was taken to investigate a finding from a standardized survey of student satisfaction which showed that students felt they were treated unfairly by their instructors. Focus group interviews were used to uncover the possible reasons why students believed they received unfair treatment.

Findings

Interpersonal or interactional unfairness is the type of unfair treatment most often cited by the Foundation students who participated in this study, indicative of the importance of interpersonal relations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) higher education teaching and learning environment.

Research limitations/implications

Although the study is situated within one Foundations program in the UAE, the imperative for instructors to build positive interpersonal relationships with beginning students is highlighted, as well as the need for curricular transparency and ongoing moderation of grading practices, and the importance of informing students about these practices.

Practical implications

The imperative of building positive pedagogical relationships with beginning university Arab Gulf students is highlighted, as well as the need for transparent practices such as moderation of grades, and explicitly informing students about fair practices.

Social implications

Drawing on data from faculty instructors, the paper suggests that a deeper, macrosystemic level of educational unfairness may also be at play: that is, the unfairness inherent in the hegemony of English, and the disconnect between the quality of the state school system and the demands of university. Until these educational issues are addressed, perceptions of unfair treatment in Foundations programs in the Gulf are likely to continue.

Originality/value

As higher education continues to undergo expansion and transformation in the UAE, increasing numbers of academic staff from around the world migrate there, and thousands of Gulf students continue to emigrate to study overseas. This paper contributes important insights into Gulf students’ perceptions.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2011

James Pounder and Kay Gallagher

Abstract

Details

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-7983

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Article
Publication date: 8 November 2011

James Pounder and Kay Gallagher

Abstract

Details

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-7983

Content available
Article
Publication date: 23 August 2011

Kay Gallagher and James Pounder

Abstract

Details

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-7983

Content available
Article
Publication date: 14 September 2012

Kay Gallagher and James Pounder

Abstract

Details

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-7983

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2012

Kay Gallagher and James Pounder

Abstract

Details

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-7983

Content available
Article
Publication date: 11 May 2012

James Pounder and Kay Gallagher

Abstract

Details

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-7983

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2011

Kay Gallagher

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the macro‐factors and contextual variables surrounding the recent introduction of compulsory bilingual schooling in Abu Dhabi in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the macro‐factors and contextual variables surrounding the recent introduction of compulsory bilingual schooling in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, in order to generate informed discussion, and in order for stakeholders to understand the sociocultural, linguistic and pedagogical issues involved.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is an analytic one which examines language‐in‐education in Abu Dhabi through a framework of the operational, situational and outcomes factors involved in bilingual education, as identified by Spolsky et al. and Beardsmore. Insights gained from international empirical research into bilingual education are applied to the Abu Dhabi context, and key questions about the specific model of bilingual education selected are posed for future local research to answer.

Findings

The paper concludes that bilingual education is likely to confer linguistic, academic and socioeconomic benefits on future generations of Emirati school leavers. However, the acquisition of biliteracy is likely to be challenging because of the diglossic features of Arabic, as well as the linguistic distance between Arabic and English. Because of the ambiguity of international research findings with regard to the appropriate age to begin second language learning, as well as uncertainty about the merits of simultaneous versus sequential teaching of biliteracy, research must be undertaken in Abu Dhabi schools into the effects of bilingual education under conditions of early Arabic/English immersion.

Originality/value

This paper is timely given the recent announcement of compulsory and universal bilingual state schooling from an early age in Abu Dhabi, and necessary given the dearth of discussion and research on language‐in‐education matters in the Arab world. While the paper is contextualised within the school system of Abu Dhabi, it has resonance for adjacent Gulf States and for the many expatriates from across the Middle East who teach and study in Abu Dhabi's schools.

Details

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-7983

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 March 2011

James Pounder and Matthew Clarke

Abstract

Details

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-7983

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