Embedding graphic organisers in the teaching and learning of family and consumer sciences (home economics) in Kuwait

Ali Alshatti, Safenaz (2012) Embedding graphic organisers in the teaching and learning of family and consumer sciences (home economics) in Kuwait. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

Educational reforms currently being enacted in Kuwaiti Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) in response to contemporary demands for increased student-centred teaching and learning are challenging for FCS teachers due to their limited experience with student-centred learning tools such as Graphic Organisers (GOs). To adopt these reforms, Kuwaiti teachers require a better understanding of and competency in promoting cognitive learning processes that will maximise student-centred learning approaches. This study followed the experiences of four Grade 6 FCS Kuwaiti teachers as they undertook a Professional Development (PD) program specifically designed to advance their understanding of the use of GOs and then as they implemented what they had learned in their Grade 6 FCS classroom.

The PD program developed for this study was informed by Nasseh.s competency PD model as well as Piaget and Ausubel.s cognitive theories. This model enabled an assessment and evaluation of the development of the teachers. competencies as an outcome of the PD program in terms of the adoption of GOs, in particular, and their capacity to use GOs to engage students in personalised, in-depth, learning through critical thinking and understanding. The research revealed that the PD program was influential in reforming the teachers. learning, understanding of and competency in, cognitive and visual theories of learning, so that they facilitated student-centred teaching and learning processes that enabled students to adopt and adapt GOs in constructivist learning. The implementation of five GOs - Flow Chart, Concept Maps, K-W-L Chart, Fishbone Diagram and Venn Diagram - as learning tools in classrooms was investigated to find if changes in pedagogical approach for supporting conceptual learning through cognitive information processing would reduce the cognitive work load of students and produce better learning approaches. The study as evidenced by the participant teachers. responses and classroom observations, showed a marked increase in student interest, participation, critical thought, problem solving skills, as a result of using GOs, compared to using traditional teaching and learning methods.

A theoretical model was developed from the study based on the premise that teachers. knowledge of the subject, pedagogy and student learning precede the implementation of student-centred learning reform, that it plays an important role in the implementation of student-centred learning and that it brings about a change in teaching practice. The model affirmed that observed change in teaching-practice included aspects of teachers. beliefs, as well as confidence and effect on workplace and on student learning, including engagement, understanding, critical thinking and problem solving. The model assumed that change in teaching practice is inseparable from teachers. lifelong PD needs related to knowledge, understanding, skills and competency. These findings produced a set of preliminary guidelines for establishing student-centred constructivist strategies in Kuwaiti education while retaining Kuwait.s cultural uniqueness.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 60259
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Watters, James J. & Kidman, Gillian
Keywords: Cognitive theory, family and consumer sciences, graphic organisers, intermediate school, Kuwait, professional development, student-centred, visual theory
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 27 May 2013 06:37
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2015 23:13

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