FIRE : Forum of International Research in Education
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Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2326-3873
Published by Lehigh University [1 journal]
- Empowered but not Equal: Challenging the Traditional Gender Roles as Seen
by University Students in Saudi Arabia
Authors: Fawziah Al-bakr et al.
Abstract: This study examines perspectives of Saudi university students regarding changing gender roles as affected by women’s rights, education, employment, and activity in the public sphere. Results from a questionnaire distributed among 4,455 male and female students indicate students are confident and optimistic about improving gender equity, however resistance from those holding traditional views still exist. Female respondents are more optimistic than male respondents,seeing changes in gender roles as advantageous to their personal and professional lives. Representing a group of allies, a majority of male students regard changing gender roles positively. Men and women reported personal courage to address these challenges, which is an asset moving forward. While approval will never reach consensus,changes may be forthcoming. By surveying the Saudi university population, this study seeks to inform strategy and policy. Gender equity is only possible through increased societal acceptance of women’s freedom in their everyday lives.
PubDate: Thu, 16 Feb 2017 07:31:30 PST
- Teacher Voice in Global Conversations around Education Access, Equity, and
Authors: Charlina Gozali et al.
Abstract: Despite public commitments internationally and nationally to include the voices of all stakeholders, the voices of teachers have continued to be marginalized in the literature and in policy-making related to global educational development. The purpose of the current study is to examine the process of invoking teacher voice using a sample of international teachers participating in a US-based teacher exchange program. Toward this end, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 16 teachers from 14 countries and four continents (all participants in the Teaching Excellence and Achievement [TEA] program). Results demonstrate that teacher voice was more personal rather than systemic, narrative rather than propositional, and utilized colloquial vocabulary rather than technical jargon. Teacher voice is also not always positive, but can be biased, critical, or judgmental. Nonetheless, the interviews also illustrate the critical necessity of including teacher voice in educational planning and decision-making.
PubDate: Thu, 16 Feb 2017 07:31:25 PST
- Measuring Quality Beyond Test Scores: The Impact of Regional Context on
Curriculum Implementation (in Northern Uganda)
Authors: Carol Anne Spreen et al.
Abstract: Although global initiatives have brought attention to the lack of quality in education systems worldwide; the question remains, how do we implement quality education? Teachers, a vital component of the education process, are not usually included in these global conversations; this results in government initiatives missing key obstacles faced by teachers daily. In this article, we used a rights-based approach to examine the Quality Educators Initiative, specifically its curricular component, as it tries to assist teachers in northern Uganda, an area whose schools and communities are vastly under-resourced and dealing with post-conflict effects. Using a mixed-methods approach, we highlight teachers’ experiences with the National Thematic Curriculum and reveal through our findings that regional contextual factors, and teachers’ voices and changing roles due to these factors, must be taken into consideration when rolling out new education policies.
PubDate: Thu, 16 Feb 2017 07:31:21 PST
- Enabling Access to Higher Education in Post-socialist Mongolia: Empirical
Results for Implementation and Implications of Government Policies
Authors: Otgonjargal Okhidoi
Abstract: This quantitative study examines the effectiveness of government financial assistance policies in access to higher education in post-socialist Mongolia as of 2012, using probabilistic, cross-sectional Household Social and Economic Survey data. Using a six-subscale composite socioeconomic status (SES) variable, the study examines the effect of SES on government financial assistance, relationship between the State Budget Organization employee status on the assistance and the SES levels. Cross tabulations and multinomial regression models were applied in the analyses. The study reveals that the design and implementation of the policies were not entirely targeted at the poor and marginalized, and demonstrates a rather flattened-out distribution of the limited resource. It demonstrates how the policies reinforced the status quo and favored those who were not the ones with the most needs.
PubDate: Wed, 01 Feb 2017 07:51:10 PST
- BOOK REVIEW: Thompson, C. (2013). Leadership Re-imagination: A Primer of
Principles and Practices (Kindle DX version). Kingston, Jamaica: The
Caribbean Leadership Re-Imagination Initiative.
Authors: Donna H. Swapp
Abstract: BOOK REVIEW: Thompson, C. (2013). Leadership Re-imagination: A Primer of Principles and Practices (Kindle DX version). Kingston, Jamaica: The Caribbean Leadership Re-Imagination Initiative.
PubDate: Wed, 01 Feb 2017 06:21:02 PST
- Schooling Attainment’s Influence on Internet Adoption: Education’s
Role in the Cross-National Development of the Mass-Media Knowledge Gap
Authors: Bryan A. Mann et al.
Abstract: Research about innovation adoption underplays the role of educational attainment in the individual consumption of technology; consequently, past research underestimates the importance education plays independent of wealth in diffusion, particularly as absolute levels of formal education rise worldwide. Using data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), this study employs clustered logistic regression to show how educational attainment of adults independently relates to household Internet adoption, net of wealth and other social factors. The results nuance and enhance discussions about the Digital Divide and the mass media knowledge gap hypothesis, showing, through a unique, cross-national dataset, that indeed there is an independent association between education and Internet adoption, creating a disadvantage for those with lower educational attainment.
PubDate: Mon, 30 Jan 2017 07:56:17 PST
- Ten-Year Change in the Scientific Literacy of Primary Science Teachers in
China: Reflections on Training Programs and Personnel Policies
Authors: Hongshia Zhang et al.
Abstract: Using two rounds in 2003 and 2013 of large sample longitudinal surveys of science teachers in primary schools from 21 provinces and autonomous regions of China, results suggest that Chinese teachers’ basic scientific literacy was still low with only a slight increase in the procedural knowledge of science. The evidence also suggests little increase in epistemological knowledge of science among teachers, especially concerning with the classic nature of science. Chinese teachers' non-scientific teaching behavior remained unchanged. This phenomenon associated with the relative ineffectiveness of in-service training teachers' received and with the discriminative personnel policy of recruitment and promotion for primary science teachers. The implicit cultural impact of these findings is also discussed.
PubDate: Tue, 24 Jan 2017 05:36:03 PST
- English Language Educational Policy in Saudi Arabia Post 21st Century:
Enacted Curriculum, Identity, and Modernisation: A Critical Discourse
Authors: Tariq Elyas et al.
Abstract: There has been limited research focusing on the place of culture and resulting teaching and learning identities in EFL and how these issues impact on EFL policy, curriculum and enacted curriculum, especially textbooks. Even less research has focussed on these issues in the Gulf context. Some international research has explored the role of culture and geopolitical factors affecting EFL policies in the world. Some other studies (several in the Gulf context) have explored global historical and political developments and how they have affected cultures and hence EFL curricula within those cultures. A few studies have explored the enacted curriculum (specifically in relation to textbooks) in Gulf countries and its relationship to the local culture(s) and discourses. This paper is the first in the KSA context to examine the full range of documents including policy, curriculum and textbooks (as representative of enacted curriculum) and to explore how these documents arise out of cultural identities and in turn may have a range of effects on teacher and learner identities.
PubDate: Tue, 24 Jan 2017 05:35:59 PST
- Provision of Education to the ‘Hard to Reach’ Amidst Discontinuity in
Nomadic Communities in Kenya
Authors: Laban P. Ayiro et al.
Abstract: This study explores why nomadic children in the counties of Turkana and West Pokot are left behind in the primary education process despite free primary education (FPE), and considers the variables that contribute to high dropout rates, low enrollment, poor attendance, and unsatisfactory academic achievement with a view of bringing out possible strategies to mitigate against these factors of discontinuity. Based on a study conducted in two counties in Kenya, results suggest that formal education in Kenya has not effectively served the nomadic communities. Education indicators in these counties revealed that nomadic groups are at the bottom in national statistics pertaining to enrollment rates, school participation, classroom performance, gender balance, student achievement, progression to the next level of education and by extension training.
PubDate: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 06:55:56 PST
- Perceptions of disadvantaged youth on social and economic asymmetry: A
case study in Hong Kong’s New Territories
Authors: Robert W. Spires
Abstract: Many social issues exist for marginalized youth in the New Territories of Hong Kong, despite Hong Kong’s high standard of living. Increasingly, attention is being paid to social mobility of Hong Kong’s younger generations. Youth in the New Territories face academic, economic, social and cultural barriers, in part due to tracking into low-ranked Band 3 schools. In order to better understand these barriers, this study took a phenomenological approach to understanding selected youth’s perceptions and perspectives on these barriers. This qualitative case study, being both exploratory and descriptive, developed thematic findings across interviews, field observations and document analysis in order to understand disadvantaged youth’s personal perceptions and attitudes of youth social mobility. Youth and teacher interview participants also took part, to varying degrees, in the programs provided by Hong Kong-based NGO, Project Share. The study attempts to further our understanding of the lived experiences and perceived social mobility barriers unique to these marginalized youth. Findings illustrate issues that NGOs, practitioners, school officials and policy makers may want to consider when approaching work with disadvantaged youth and attempting to understanding youth issues in Hong Kong from the youth perspective.
PubDate: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 06:31:05 PST
- The Educational Aspirations of Saudi Arabian Youth: Implications for
Creating a New Framework to Explain Saudi Arabian Society
Authors: Woohyang Sim
Abstract: Higher education in Saudi Arabia has garnered immense praise for its rapid expansion and developments in both quantity and quality. In response to this, the tertiary school enrollment in Saudi Arabia is rapidly rising. These achievements can be explained by changes in educational policies. However, studies regarding youth’s awareness are scarce. Thus, this study clarifies the educational aspiration of Saudi Arabia's young generations through an awareness survey. Data collected from 316 respondents was analyzed by using SPSS. The findings of this study indicate strong educational aspirations of young Saudis who are motivated by their meritocratic way of thinking. These results are discussed while examining the application of status attainment and status expression theories in the case of Saudi Arabia.
PubDate: Tue, 06 Dec 2016 02:58:51 PST
- International Higher Education for Whom? Expatriate Students,
Choice-making and International (Im)mobility in the Northern United Arab
Authors: Lee Rensimer
Abstract: This article identifies a research gap on expatriate students attending international branch campuses in their country of residence, and presents evidence that they are insufficiently distinguished from international students in research on student mobility and choice-making. It finds that the priorities and enrollment choices of expatriates are often understood using the same analytical language as for students who migrate for the purpose of education, particularly through the use of rationalist “push-pull” models and agent-centric frameworks that approach choice and mobility as inherent to all international students. The study suggests that the enrollment choices of expatriates studying at fee-charging international institutions are better understood through research discourses typically applied to non-mobile, domestic students, such as access, affordability and opportunity. Using a mixed-methods research design combining questionnaires and interviews, the author examines the pathways and obstacles experienced by expatriate residents studying at international institutions in the Northern Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates. It finds that expatriate student choices are often constrained by structural factors that limit their mobility, including costs and family commitments, and are informed by senses of belonging and familiarity in their adoptive country of residence. Findings are contextualized through a discussion of an international education market which capitalizes on immobility and commercializes access to expressions of global citizenship. It concludes with implications for mobility research and calls for greater nuance in discussions on students attending international institutions of higher education.
PubDate: Tue, 08 Nov 2016 05:56:01 PST
- Private Education in the Absence of a Public Option: The Cases of the
United Arab Emirates and Qatar
Authors: Natasha Y. Ridge et al.
Abstract: In the face of rising demand for private schooling in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar, a lack of affordable schooling options, monopolistic behavior of private education providers, and unpredictable government regulations have created a complex and unequal education sector. This research employs a mixed methods comparative approach to explore the ways in which private education providers navigate the regulatory schooling environments and assess the impact on education stakeholders in the UAE and Qatar. The study finds that there are considerable socioeconomic differences in terms of who has access to schooling and that a growing for-profit education sector may be deepening existing inequities in both countries, leaving poorer expatriate families only able to access low-quality education or in the worst cases, unable to access education at all. The promise of non-profit providers as a viable alternative to ensure access is explored.
PubDate: Mon, 10 Oct 2016 07:56:12 PDT
- Supporting Parents of Preschool Children to Develop Strategies for
Schema-Based Play Activities to Enhance Attachment and Well-being: A
Preliminary Study in the United Arab Emirates
Authors: Kay Sanderson et al.
Abstract: This paper explores the meaning of childhood within the realms of play and attachment. Are parental attitudes and expectations, with the use of technology and prescriptive toys, limiting development in children today? Children’s play in homes in the United Arab Emirates is examined to explore how children in this region play and whether the quality of this play supports the development of the necessary attachment with the parents and careers. The paper provides an overview of a pilot research study entitled ‘Parents as Play Partners’, in order to highlight how simple schema-based play with adult support can positively impact attachment and a child’s learning and development. Although this study was a limited pilot, the insights obtained are powerful and could prove invaluable for governments and providers of early childhood education, as well as parents and practitioners in this field.
PubDate: Mon, 10 Oct 2016 07:56:06 PDT
- BOOK REVIEW: Cain, S. (2012). Quiet: The power of introverts in a world
that can't stop talking. New York, NY: Crown Publishers. 333 pp.,
Authors: Kapil D. Regmi
Abstract: BOOK REVIEW: Cain, S. (2012). Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking. New York, NY: Crown Publishers. 333 pages. ISBN: 9780307352149.
PubDate: Fri, 07 Oct 2016 06:05:58 PDT
- Holistic Sustainability as Key to Emiratization: Links Between Job
Satisfaction in the Private Sector and Young Emirati Adult Unemployment
Authors: Georgia M. Daleure
Abstract: This study examines factors leading to unemployment among young Emirati adults and new entrants to the workforce despite the abundant employment opportunities available in the UAE private sector. The study points out that new entrants to the workforce, including a growing number of college graduates, find few opportunities in the preferred but saturated public sector so they are faced with a three-part employment decision: considering employment in the private sector for a long-term career, entering the private sector temporarily, or remaining unemployed until an opportunity emerges in the public sector. The study sheds light on the obvious question, “Why would Emirati youth prefer to remain unemployed when so many private sector jobs are available?”, by examining and identifying factors for Emirati job satisfaction. More than 1,000 Emirati participants employed in both public and private sectors responded to a quantitative survey rating aspects of job satisfaction. Quantitative data, supported by open ended responses, indicated that culturally friendly work environments and flexibility to manage family responsibilities were the most important factors for job satisfaction and employment decisions most Emiratis and especially for Emirati women. The study concludes that the most important factor for young Emiratis, especially women, is a workplace aligned with the culture in which they operate embodying the concept of holistic sustainability.
PubDate: Fri, 07 Oct 2016 05:46:08 PDT
- Inclusion Not Exclusion: Comparative Educational Perspectives at the Heart
of Sustainable Development in the Gulf States
Authors: Kay Sanderson Dr et al.
Abstract: Welcome to this special edition of FIRE: Forum for International Research in Education. This issue celebrates the rich variety of research brought together at the 6th Annual Gulf Comparative Education Society (GCES) Symposium in April 2015. Hosted by Middlesex University at their Dubai campus, the symposium was an opportunity to share and critically discuss matters related to comparative and educational research in a region where opportunities for such activities can be challenging to access. Speakers from Kuwait to Oman came together, and in the form of the conference found both a voice and a support network. The richness of this meeting of minds has been captured in part though this special edition. Building on the quality of research that FIRE has become recognized for, we hope you will find the content of this issue interesting, thought provoking, and even controversial, as all good research should be. Above all, we hope it inspires even more academics from within this region to come forward and participate in the debate at future GCES conferences.
PubDate: Fri, 07 Oct 2016 05:46:02 PDT
- BOOK REVIEW: Schwartzman, S. (Ed.). (2015). Education in South America.
New York: Bloomsbury. 496 pp. ISBN: 9781472592460.
Authors: Janna Goebel
Abstract: BOOK REVIEW: Schwartzman, S. (Ed.). (2015). Education in South America. New York: Bloomsbury. 496 pp. ISBN: 9781472592460.
PubDate: Mon, 19 Sep 2016 11:32:28 PDT
- BOOK REVIEW: Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2008). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal
Experience (1st ed.). New York, NY: HarperCollins. 336 pp. ISBN
Authors: Diem T.N. Hoang
Abstract: BOOK REVIEW: Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2008). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York, NY: HarperCollins. 336 pp. ISBN 978-0-06-133920-2.
PubDate: Fri, 05 Aug 2016 07:50:58 PDT
- BOOK REVIEW: Ashcroft, K., & Rayner, P. (2011). Higher Education in
Development: Lessons from Sub-Saharan Africa. Charlotte, NC: Information
Age Publishing, Inc., 286 pp., ISBN: 978-1-61735-541-7.
Authors: Elizabeth R. Bruce
Abstract: Book Review: Ashcroft, K., & Rayner, P. (2011). Higher Education in Development: Lessons from Sub-Saharan Africa. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, Inc., 286 pp., ISBN: 978-1-61735-541-7.
PubDate: Fri, 05 Aug 2016 07:50:54 PDT