Alzayed, Amal (2016) Problem-Based Learning in Islamic Education in The Formal Curriculum: A Case Study of Secondary Girls' Education in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This thesis examines the impact of introducing roblem-Based Learning (PBL) into the Islamic Education (IE) curriculum at Year 11 level (students aged 17) in the Kingdom of Bahrain (KB). The research was motivated by recent recommendations (2011) by the Ministry of Education (MoE) in KB that secondary education should develop students’ independent and critical thinking skills, and by my own professional and academic interest in pedagogy.
This study is pragmatic and it uses a mixed methods approach to enhance the validity and reliability of the findings. In view of the examining nature and the context specificity, the casestudy strategy of a secondary girls’ school in KB was adopted. The core of the research is the implementation of an IE module (Islam organises marital life), designed using PBL methods, into four IE classrooms in a girls’ school in KB. The intervention took place over a period of seven weeks. Qualitative data takes the form of classroom observations before and during the PBL intervention and interviews with students, teachers and curriculum specialists employed by the MoE. Quantitative data was collected via questionnaires distributed to students before and after the PBL intervention and through student self-evaluation forms. This data was used to generate statistical results.
The thesis provides a detailed explanation and critical analysis of PBL, and examines its relationship with constructivist learning theories specifically within the context of curriculum IE in KB. It presents a refined model of PBL that is workable for secondary IE in KB, and which might be transferable to similar contexts. This model is new to the education system in Bahrain and is being trialled to test its effectiveness and hopefully integrate it into the country’s current secondary teaching methods.The outcomes of this study revealed that teachers deliver knowledge through the use of conventional methods which in turn minimized the role of students in the learning process as passive receivers. Therefore, this study suggests PBL as an appropriate teaching approach to be employed in IE in KB, because it has offered advantages to Islamic Education learning by encouraging students to take a more independent proactive role and communicate more freely. Nevertheless, the implementation of PBL had its difficulties, particularly with regards to getting used to a new learning style, but it was noted that teachers provided sufficient support. The thesis also argues that constructivist learning approaches, albeit within certain boundaries, can be beneficially implemented to confessional religious education, such as curriculum IE in KB. The implementation of PBL under the umbrella of constructivism enhances the independent thinking and knowledge creation by Bahraini learners which in turn helps them comprehend religious resources, and boost their faith.
The research discussed in the thesis is an original contribution to knowledge because it is the only research about PBL in IE in Bahrain as this is a completely novel pedagogy in this particular context.

Final_THESIS_SUBMIT_10_March_Trouble.pdf - Accepted Version
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