Academic journal article International Journal of Psychological Studies

Quality Teaching: The Perspectives of the Jordanian Inclusive Primary School Stakeholders and the Ministry of Education

Academic journal article International Journal of Psychological Studies

Quality Teaching: The Perspectives of the Jordanian Inclusive Primary School Stakeholders and the Ministry of Education

Article excerpt

Abstract

The aim of this study was to compare and contrast the Jordanian school stakeholders' perspectives of quality teaching with the Ministry of Education's perception looking particularly at potential differences in interpretation. Interview and documents analysis techniques were used. The sample of the study was seven primary school teachers and their six principals. Each perspective has been presented. Comparison and contrast has been made to highlight the similarities and differences between the two perspectives. The results showed that inclusive primary school stakeholders reported 10 elements could make for quality teaching. These elements can be functioned within 7 categories of contextual factors. Furthermore, the MOE's perceptive has a constructivist approach orientation which contradicted in some elements by the school stakeholders' perspectives.

Keywords: quality teaching, inclusive education, primary school, education reform, Jordanian Ministry of Education

1. Introduction

The education system in Jordan, as in many other countries, has undergone significant change in all aspects, including curriculum and textbooks, length of schooling, and teaching practices to cope with the structural problems of a country facing serious problems filling professions and creating employment (Alshurfat, 2003). The Jordanian Government has observed the exogenous initiatives and shifts forcing policymakers to focus on providing education systems that can meet the needs and demands of globalisation and provide labour markets with a skilled labour force (Alshurfat, 2003; Massaad et al., 1999; Ministry of Education, 2004b, 2006b).

The first serious attempt by the Government of Jordan to meet the country's needs was in 1987 when the late King Hussein launched the National Conference for Education Reform (Ministry of Education, 1988, 2001). The result of the conference was a comprehensive education reform program to be implemented over the following 20 years (Alshurfat, 2003). Its purpose was to improve the quality of educational outcomes (Alshurfat, 2003; Ministry of Education, 1988, 1996). In 2002 the Jordanian national education vision and mission were developed and endorsed (Ministry of Education, 2006b). This was the outcome of a fomm on the future of education in Jordan held in Amman during September 2002, with participants from around the world (Ministry of Education, 2002, 2006b). According to the MOE, three relevant blueprints were established. First is "the general education plan (2003-8) that translates all of the governing vision statements and planning documents into a Ministry-wide five-year plan". Second is: "the Education Reform for Knowledge Economy (ERfKE) program, currently being implemented by the Ministry with support from the World Bank and a consortium of other donor agencies" and, third is "the Jordan Education Initiative (JEI), a public-private partnership under the leadership of the World Economic Fomm, that aims to provide Jordan with a model for developing e-leaming resources and ICT deployment that supports education reform" (Ministry of Education, 2006b, p. 13).

Such a comprehensive but staggered reform movement in the Jordanian education system is desirable since it implies that articulation in general terms precludes development of a comprehensive package. The MOE, however, consistently considered teachers' roles in rhetorical rather than practical terms. For example, MOE (2006b, p. 17) stated that "Those who are most affected by decisions are the best placed to make those decisions". In reality, teachers were neither consulted in regards to educational reform (Alshurfat, 2003) nor did they receive any real guidance on conceptualising or implementing quality teaching. So, despite the Government's move to reform the education system in Jordan, studies conducted to evaluate the results of the reforms have shown that students still demonstrate low skills in relation to critical thinking. …

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