Developing supervision: a study on improvement reflection in pre-service teachers in KSM University

Alrumaih, Bashair (2016) Developing supervision: a study on improvement reflection in pre-service teachers in KSM University. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This intervention study explores the feasibility and possible benefits of using reflective
practice as a suggested model of supervision to improve the teaching of trainees during
their field placement (practicum) in one girls’ educational college in Saudi Arabia (KSA). An
intervention study was thought to be of use because, although the literature indicates “the
strong connection between teachers’ culture and their conceptualisation of pedagogical
practice” (Adam, 2015, p. 204; Almazrawi, 2014), the potential for using reflection to
improve the teaching of Saudi trainees during their practicum cannot be guaranteed by
other research findings around the world. This study also aims to use teachers’ pedagogical
knowledge to help trainees improve their teaching as suggested by prior research.
Accordingly, the main questions regarding the application of reflection with trainees in the
Saudi context are:
1. What are the participants’ views about the current system of supervision?
2. How do trainees, their supervisor and teachers in the school perceive a
reflective practicum course?
3. What advantages and disadvantages might a reflective practicum course
4. What are the primary challenges involved in implementing a reflective
practicum course as a model of supervision?
My research used an action research methodology. Data were gathered from six trainees
in the final year of the school of Arabic literature at KSM University, together with their
college supervisors and two co-operating teachers using interviews, focus groups, reflective
journals, and diaries. Key findings demonstrated that trainees gain some advantages
through the reflective journey in which they engage in their practicum. During this journey,
trainees engage in the ‘instructional rounds’ that include teaching, observation, reflection,
discussion, and interaction. Inside this cycle, the trainees gained opportunities to test their
preconceptions about teaching. The data also indicated the potential of reflective
discussions for building ‘decisional capital’ in trainees as an important skill for teaching.
Findings suggest that another advantage of applying reflection is tangible—it makes the
classroom a place where professional conversations about teaching and learning can occur.
However, the data analysis also shows that many challenges limit the trainees’ benefits
from this course. With regard to the strong relationship between education and culture,
Saudi culture seems less supportive of ideas involving reflection, such as critical thinking
and individual autonomy. Thus, most of the challenges to applying reflection are actually
based on the teachers’ lack of necessary knowledge to implement it effectively. Also,
gender ideologies that can be attributed to traditional and socio-religious values make the
situation worse for women in education in terms of their ability to take responsibility and
develop decision-making skills.
This study has contributed to the field of research by recognising the effectiveness of using
reflection in the trainees’ programme at KSM University in KSA. The main contribution to
knowledge of the current study is that it is the first local study which provides research
findings on trainees’ practicum designed to enhance trainees’ reflection. The study findings
can be used to inform present and future educational policy. In addition, this study uses the
action research method for conducting this research in the Saudi context, making a
contribution through the ability of action research to incorporate change in live action.
Through analysing data, this study has revealed the impact of Saudi culture on the
educational system in general and practically on teacher education.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Jackie Webb
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2017 13:50
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2017 15:13


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