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ERIC Number: ED553906
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 319
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3031-1789-3
ISSN: N/A
Comparative Urban Bangladesh Physics Learning Experiences as Described by Students and Alumni
Ali, Tanzeem Iqbal
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Wyoming
A neo-culture of extra-curricular coaching prior to sitting the terminal exam was once the privileged domain of public education systems in the Eastern world, but this is no longer the case. This multi-phase study based on a grounded theory approach considered a diversity of physics learning experiences of students and alumni from two urban private schools, an extra-curricular coaching center and a private tutor in a developing South-Asian country. There are various types of tutoring available for students in South Asia as listed by their main characteristics (deCastro and deGuzman, 2012). First "lean on" is for low achieving slow learners providing hidden remedial activities by school teachers and are usually unregulated. Second, "pass on" is for students with busy parents, or those lacking assistance with school work. This second type of tutoring provides supplementary activities by school teachers as well as small-scale institutions regulated as a business and an academic entity. Third, "ride on" is for both high and low achieving students whose parents can afford tutorial fees. This type of tutoring provides structured, remedial and enrichment activities by multinational institutions, experts in the field and university students and are regulated as a business and academic entity. The participants ranged in age from 14 years to 28 years. Phase 1 of the study consisted of a pilot study with online participants who were recent alumni who had taken their formal Physics exit exams quite recently. Clinical interviews and moderated focus group discussions identified nine emerging themes: (i) negative feelings about current education system, (ii) mixed views on coaching outside and beyond school, (iii) negative attitudes about being an O and A level student in urban Bangladesh, (iv) truth about article by (Imam, 2010), (v) negative views on society's influence and local culture about education in Bangladesh, (v) mixed views on extra-curricular activities and physical activity during teenage years, (vi) comparative views on learning experiences in schools versus centers and private tutors, (vii) role of novice versus experienced teachers in helping students successfully prepare for exams and (viii) that the expenditure of money for coaching and tutoring does not always result in higher test scores. In phase 2, the participants were selected based on the first phase of the study using a theoretical sampling strategy most closely related to studying the emerging themes. The second phase of the research involved interviewing a theoretical sample of 10 alumni face-to-face to engage in conversation with the participants who were most likely to help confirm or disconfirm the findings from phase 1. Although similar questions were used during the interviews, the researcher avoided asking the participants directly about their meaningful learning experience and tried getting it out by making them describe how lessons were for specific topics, what they learned and understood. The emergent findings are a result of a five-faced prism where each idea reflects off another; namely the five faces and perspectives are: (1) Student Voice (2) Social Learning Theory, (3) Constructivist Learning Environment, (4) Principles of Learning and (5) Brain-based Learning. Study phases 3 and 4 focused on establishing the veracity of the previously identified themes through member checking and further act as an audit trail to validate the work being done over a span of the study at multiple sites. The findings from all the data were analyzed using a theoretical framework of continual interaction and constant comparison among new data with the prior to come to the development or evolving of the unique themes in this study. These findings suggest that a rapidly growing phenomenon of extra-curricular coaching beyond school prior to exams widely exists as early as sixth or eighth grade, sometimes at the cost of cutting back on in-school time. The data further indicate that participants strongly believe that neither coaching nor school learning experiences provide sufficient learning opportunities alone. Moreover, the data suggest students who believe they learned well in both cases are seemingly themselves diligent, while those participants who say only centers helped more had self-reported weaker foundation skills. Moreover, most participants agreed that extra-curricular for-pay coaching centers should not be a necessary addition to school-based education. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Bangladesh