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01.04.2014 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 1/2014

Learning Environments Research 1/2014

Relationship between perceived and observed student-centred learning environments in Qatari elementary mathematics and science classrooms

Zeitschrift:
Learning Environments Research > Ausgabe 1/2014
Autoren:
Stephanie L. Knight, Dawn Parker, Whitney Zimmerman, Atman Ikhlief

Abstract

Recently, Qatar established educational reform in charter (independent) schools focusing on curriculum standards, student-centred teaching, standards-based assessment, English as the language of instruction, and extensive professional development. A primary area of emphasis was the creation of student-centred mathematics and science classrooms characterised by inquiry and active student participation. The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in the learning environments of Qatari mathematics and science classrooms at two levels: in higher- and lower-performing Qatari schools implementing the recent Education for a New Era reform elements; and in classes of teachers who experienced professional development focused on student-centred teaching strategies and those who did not. Participants included teachers and students in 47 grade 3 and 4 mathematics and science classrooms. Classroom observations were conducted and student learning environment surveys were administered at the beginning and end of the semester. Results indicated low levels of student-centred instruction, despite significant improvement over time. Few differences by level of school performance or professional development participation existed. However, Personalisation emerged as a key learning environment variable related to teachers’ implementation of student-centred instruction.

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