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ERIC Number: EJ1047319
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1478-2103
The Westernization of Arab Pedagogies: Abu Dhabi Attempts to Move towards a Knowledge Economy
Chrystall, Steve
Policy Futures in Education, v12 n8 p1101-1110 2014
As the oil reserves in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are forecast to become depleted over the next 50 to 150 years, the emirate of Abu Dhabi has set a vision to develop a knowledge economy in order to develop alternative sources of revenue in areas such as tourism, alternative energy and innovative business enterprises. Reformation of its education system is a key component of its strategy for economic development. This requires a pedagogic shift from traditional rote learning methods to more student-centered methods that foster cooperative learning and higher-level thinking skills. This article looks at the Abu Dhabi vision for a knowledge economy and raises questions as to what a knowledge economy means according to recent definitions and in relation to the specific needs of Abu Dhabi. Policies and strategies of the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) are then discussed in relation to changes in pedagogy required of the Arab teachers, how well policies and strategies match classroom practice, and some of the barriers to lasting pedagogic change. One strategy has been to replace Arab teachers with western, native English-speaking teachers. This strategy has perhaps not considered whether the successes of the western teachers in their own contexts are directly transferable to this Arab context. This raises several potential concerns, such as the lack of utilization of the existing Arab teachers, the disconnect between the Arab students' language, culture and experiences and the western teachers', and the lack of willingness to implement bilingual teaching and learning strategies as students move from Arabic as the sole mode of instruction to English as the sole mode.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Arab Emirates
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A