Implementation of the K12 Education Reform in Qatar's Schools

Implementation of the K12 Education Reform in Qatar's Schools


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780833047366
Publisher: RAND Corporation
Publication date: 01/16/2010
Pages: 196
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Gail L. Zellman (Ph.D., Social and Clinical Psychology) is a senior research psychologist, RAND, Santa Monica.

Table of Contents

Preface iii

Figures xi

Tables xiii

Summary xv

Acknowledgments xxvii

Chapter 1 Introduction 1

Past Efforts to Reform Education in Qatar 2

RAND's Analysis of Qatar's K-12 System 3

Design of the Reform 4

Implementation of the Reform 8

Aims and Purpose of the Study 9

Organization of This Monograph 10

Chapter 2 Methods 12

Case Study Data Collection and Analytic Approaches 13

Observations 16

Elicited Information 18

Secondary Data 20

Quantitative Data Characteristics and Analytic Approaches 20

QNEDS Surveys 20

QCEA Data 21

Sample Selection for Ministry and Independent School Case Study 22

Initial Sample Selection 22

Changes to the Study Sample 23

Study Limitations 23

Chapter 3 Recruiting, Retaining, and Developing Staff in Qatar's Independent Schools 27

Recruiting for the Independent Schools 29

Effects of Qatarization on Recruitment 30

Challenges to Retaining Skilled Qatari Teachers in Independent Schools 34

Teaching in an Independent School Is More Demanding Than Teaching in a Ministry School 35

Teachers in Independent Schools Have Longer Working Hours and a Longer Academic Year Than Do Teachers in Ministry Schools 36

Teachers in Independent Schools Feel Less Secure in Their Jobs Than Do Teachers in Ministry Schools 37

Higher Salaries Do Not Always Adequately Compensate for the Increased Workload 39

Professional Development Opportunities Fostered by the Reform 40

Providers of Professional Development 42

Types of Professional Development Activities in Which Teachers Participated 44

Subjects Addressed in Professional Development 46

Does Professional Development Meet the Needs of Independent School Teachers? 48


Chapter 4 Developing Curriculum and Instructional Materials 55

Curriculum Development in the Independent Schools 56

Curriculum Development Was a Challenging Task for Independent School Teachers 57

Curriculum Development Was Less Difficult for Teachers in Independent Schools That Had Formerly Been Scientific Scholls 59

The Education Institute Engaged Experts to Help Teachers Implement the New Curriculum Standards 60

External Support Was Valuable in Helping Independent School Teachers Understand the Curriculum Standards and Select or Design Curriculum Materials 62

Curriculum Development in the Ministry Schools 62

Concerns About Eliminating Required Textbooks in Independent Schools 64

Many Parents Were Concerned That Prescribed Textbooks Were Not Being Used in Independent Schools 67

Institutional Responses to Concerns 68

Teacher Satisfaction with the Overall Learning Environment in Ministry and Independent Schools 69

Conclusions 71

Chapter 5 Evaluating Classroom Practice and Pedagogy 75

Promoting Student-Centered Classroom Instruction 76

Teachers' Strategies for Engaging Students 78

Overall Use of Instructional Activities 78

Level of Cognitive Demand Placed on Students 85

Implementation of the New Curriculum Standards in Arabic, Mathematics, and Science 87

Demands Imposed by Curriculum Development and Implementation Limited Most Schools' Efforts to Integrate Across Subjects 88

Standards Implementation Was Not at the Expected Level in Most Classrooms 88

The Focus on Professional Development in English Was Drawing School Attention and Resources Away from Professional Development in Other Subjects 88

Pedagogy Was More Student Centered in Independent Schools Than in Ministry Classrooms But Was Still Predominantly Teacher Centered 89

Teachers Had Problems Implementing Group Work Activities 89

Materials Were Aligned with the Standards "in Spirit," But Lesson Plans Were Not Associated with the Relevant Standards 90

Information and Communications Technology Resources Were Commonly Used in These Classes But Rarely in New and Interesting Ways 90

Teachers Were in Need of More Subject-Specific Professional Development to Help Them with These Issues 91

Teaching Mathematics and Science in English 92

QNEDS Survey Data 92

Subject-Matter Experts' Assessment of How Well the Independent Schools Were Implementing the Language-of-Instruction Policy 93

Conclusions 95

Chapter 6 Improving Student Performance Through Motivation Strategies and Parent Engagement 97

Teacher Contributions to Improving Student Motivation 98

Student Satisfaction with School Experiences 101

Continuing Problems with Student Motivation 103

Selection Effects 103

Changes in Examination Requirements 104

Reliance on Private Tutors 104

Parent Apathy 105

Parent Involvement 106

Parent-Community Boards of Trustees 106

Types of Parent Involvement in the Schools 107

General Concerns Shared by Independent School Parents 114

Conclusions 116

Chapter 7 Measuring Student Performance 119

The Qatar Comprehensive Educational Assessment 120

Overview of Student Performance on the QCEA 121

A Statistical Model to Examine Relationships Among Student Achievement, School Type, and Other Factors 122

Relationship Among Student Performance, School Type, and Student Characteristics 125

Generation I and 11 Schools Were Associated with Higher Student Achievement Than Were Ministry Schools 126

Generation I Schools Showed Somewhat Larger Positive Effects Than Did Generation II Schools 128

Student and Family Demographics Were Found to Be Strongly Associated with Student Achievement 128

Teacher Education Level and Years of Teaching Experience Were Found to Be Unrelated to Student Achievement 130

Relationship Between Student Performance and Reform Features 130

Conclusions 131

Chapter 8 Summary of Findings and Recommendations 133

Differences Between Independent and Ministry Schools 134

How Effectively Have the New Independent School Components Been Implemented? 136

Changes in Ministry Schools 138

Recommendations to Strengthen the Reform 139

Reform System Functioning 139

Participants in the System 140

Student Assessment System 144

Conclusions 145


A Summary of Classroom Observations 147

B Student Achievement Model 151

References 165

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