Semester

Summer

Date of Graduation

2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Type

MA

College

College of Education and Human Services

Department

Learning Sciences and Human Development

Committee Chair

Reagan Curtis

Committee Co-Chair

Fatima Al-Darmaki

Committee Member

Anne Nardi

Abstract

Recently the educational system in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been experiencing a series of failed initiatives to improve the performance of students in the country. Shortcomings of the K-12 and higher education levels have led to increasing levels of dissatisfaction from the leaders of the country and the general public. A contributing factor to these shortcomings is the lack of culturally sensitive research. A study is considered culturally sensitive (or indigenous) when the research problems, methodology, discussion, and references are emanating from a particular culture. With the dearth of indigenous research literature in the field of education and educational psychology in the UAE, it is not surprising to witness misinformed educational policy making. This study is a literature review that applies an instrument to perform content analysis on articles of a single educational journal. Results indicate low levels of indigenization among published articles in the selected educational journal, implying that existing educational research is not appropriate for the culture of the UAE. This study found no positive trends toward indigenization, meaning the published articles continue to dismiss cultural factors in formulating research problems or interpreting research results. This study is a start of long term project to assess the indigenousness of the entire repertoire of educational and psychological research conducted in the UAE. The long term project begins by assessing a single educational journal, and will assess other journals, dissertations, and other sources of native literature in the future.

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