Yousef, Ahmad (2013) The Cultural Context of an Educational Reform: Perceived Challenges to the Implementation of Blended Learning at the School of Basic Education in Kuwait. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Higher education institutions and the Ministry of Education (MOE) in Kuwait have been shifting from face-to-face to blended learning (BL) for several years. The only exception is the School of Basic Education (SBEK) where face-to-face and one-way communication is virtually the only method used. The main objective of SBEK is to train teachers. This research aims to explore the possible challenges that face the implementation of BL at SBEK and the solutions needed, from the perspectives of the senior management, teachers and final year students. I also sought to measure and interpret the attitudes of the management, teachers and students at SBEK towards BL using a mixed-methods approach and to explore the extent to which these attitudes are currently perceived as obstacles towards the implementation of blended learning. The sample of this research consists of 344 participants (N = 293 final year students, N = 43 faculty teachers and N = 8 senior management) for the quantitative phase and 43 participants (N = 7 college leaders/senior management, N = 10 teachers/faculty members and N = 26 students) for the qualitative phase.

BL has been considered in the context of the Kuwait higher education system and the MOE as a way of increasing the achievement and the critical thinking necessary for students in Kuwait. The study concludes that the attitudes of most of the participants in this study towards the implementation of BL at SBEK appeared to be positive and optimistic; however, many obstacles were identified. These include an apparent absence of planning and leadership, financial issues, academic issues, cultural issues, English language and technical issues. I have also proposed a road map as a strategy for implementing BL in SBEK based on the research findings.

AHMAD_YOUSEF_FINAL_THESIS_07-02-14_(1234).pdf - Accepted Version

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