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Teaching and Learning in the Arab World

Edited By Christina Gitsaki

In the Arab States, globalization and economic development have had a significant effect on education. Serious concerns have been expressed over the state of education in the Arab world. Even in the oil-rich Gulf States, with over 200 higher education institutions, education is problematic with a notable lack of emphasis on specialized science and innovative learning. The Gulf States are in a race to become ‘knowledge economies’ and, as a result, they are promoting educational reforms such as the application of bilingual education models and curricula adopted from the West. This book provides a collection of studies on the state of education in Arab countries with a special focus on the Arabian Gulf, where currently there is increased activity and investment in education. The book is composed of three major sections. The first section is a collection of nine papers on current practices and challenges in education in the Arab world. The second major section is devoted to the educational reforms that are being implemented in the Arabian Gulf. The third and final section is a collection of papers describing new approaches to teaching and learning in the Arab world.

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Part III: New Approaches to Teaching and Learning inthe Arab World

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Part III: New Approaches to Teaching and Learning in the Arab World RIDA BLAIK HOURANI, IBRAHIMA DIALLO, & ALEYA SAID Chapter 16 Teaching in the Arabian Gulf: Arguments for the Deconstruction of the Current Educational Model Abstract Since the 1970s, the Arab Gulf countries have attracted a large number of expatriates from around the world. The presence of expatriates in the field of education is visible and sensitive because it brings together players with opposing education philosophies and traditions. This chapter analyzes the teaching context in the Gulf countries and argues for the deconstruction of education as advocated and practiced by early Islamic scholars. It calls for the adoption of a constructivist pedagogy in the field of humanities. Introduction The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is an economic regional integration that comprises the Arabian Gulf countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The GCC countries are among the world’s wealthiest nations because they are the world’s largest oil and gas exporters and have the largest oil and gas reserves (Reinert & Rajan, 2009). As a result, these Gulf countries continue to attract massive influx of expatriates from around the world in order to sustain and expand their 336 Rida Blaik Hourani, Ibrahima Diallo, & Aleya Said economies. For example, in the UAE, more than 80% of the population are expatriates, while in Qatar expatriates comprise nearly 60% of the population (Reinert & Rajaan, 2009). Expatriates operate in a wide range of socio-professional sectors. Education is one of the...

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