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Abstract

This cross-case study analysis is based on two case studies in two GCC countries: Qatar and Kuwait. The studies gathered data through a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze existing learning outcomes, teacher efficacy, and the extent to which the instructional strategies align with curriculum expectations in math, science, and reading. The analysis was carried out in two stages. First, we conducted separate within-case analysis on each country using matrices to discern patterns and compare trends. In the second round, we conducted cross-case analysis identifying main themes across both sites, and comparing and contrasting findings across school districts. To conduct the within-country and across-country analysis, we employ three parallel processes: meta-analysis of quantitative data; coding and categorizing strategies, and display strategies. The cross case analysis is motivated by the global efforts to promote the use of quality learning indicators in education and by the Framework for Action for EDUC 2030. We argue that the effective use of educational outcomes is essential to improving the overall quality of learning.

Cross Case Context and Purpose

The cross case analysis is conducted on two GCC Member States, Qatar and Kuwait, two countries with emerging economies and comparable income-levels. The purpose of this analysis is to provide insights on the challenges and constraints that are impeding improvement in the quality of education and system-performance in the GCC countries, as well as inform potential prospects for education post 2015. The specific objectives of the analysis are three-fold: 1) to examine learning outcomes in each country in order to ascertain strengths and weaknesses of the education systems in achieving the Education for All Goals; 2) monitor progress for achieving EFA goals by gathering quantitative and qualitative data; and 3) identify potential measures to develop a post-2015 education approach in the GCC Countries.

Cross Case Research Questions

This cross case analysis targets that following questions: What are the patterns in teaching efficacy across cases/sites? Are there differences in efficacy beliefs between males and females across content areas (math, science, and reading) and grade levels (Grades 4 & 8)? What are the instructional strategies that teachers employ to help students achieve learning outcomes, content and cognitive processes, specifically in grade 4? How is the performance of grade 4 students in Qatar compared to their counterparts in Kuwait in mathematics?

Cross Case Analysis Methodology

Individual case studies were conducted using quantitative and qualitative research techniques. Each case was examined and a case matrix developed to include the major concepts of the research questions. Following the development of individual case reports, a cross-case matrix display was developed for each of four critical issues underlying the related research questions (teacher self-efficacy, instructional design/strategies, and learning outcomes/student achievement.) Sample of schools Data in the cross analysis was collected using two random samples: 22 public schools from Kuwait and 28 independent schools in Qatar (See Table 1 & 2 attached). Individual case studies were based on multipurpose and nationally representative samples of boys and girls schools randomly selected from 6 districts in Kuwait and 7 districts in Qatar. The choice of participating districts was based on data availability, using surveys addressed to: 1) school principals and subject coordinators, 2) math, science and reading teachers, and 3) students in grades 4 & 8. We employed four data collections techniques to collect qualitative and quantitative data: survey questionnaires, observation of selected classrooms, tests, and focus group discussions. Student questionnaires identify student cognitive and affective dispositions towards learning and teacher surveys measured teaching efficacy and beliefs.

Cross Case Analysis Findings/Discussion

We employ two units of analysis: teachers and students. For teachers, we focus on the following themes: teacher self-efficacy and instructional design/strategies. For students, we focus on learning outcomes/student achievement. The two case studies suggested shared similarities and differences across the aforementioned themes.

Theme 1: Learning Outcomes/Student achievement in math (grade 4) There was a significant difference (p = .000 at α < .05) of around 5 points in the group mean score between the females and males' scores across districts. In particular, the females (mean score =  19.26 points) outperformed the males (mean score = 14.21) in all six districts. However, in Qatar, overall, boys (Mean = 36.85, SE = 1.199) in Grade 4 did significantly better than girls (Mean = 31.99, SE = 1.508) on math achievement test with a 5-point group mean score higher than that of the girls.

Theme 2: Teacher Self Efficacy In Kuwait, we found significant differences (p = .04 at α < .05) in teachers' perception regarding their ability to teach their subjects across the different governorates. Furthermore, we noted significant variations across governorates in terms of how teachers perceive the impact of their efforts on student achievement. For example, we found significant differences in degrees of agreement on Q10 (When a low-achieving child progresses it is usually due to extra attention given by the teacher) (p = .015 at α < .05); on Q12 (The teacher is generally responsible for the achievement of students) (p = .045 at α < .05); and on Q13 (Students' achievement is directly related to teacher's effectiveness in teaching) (p = 0.28 at α < .05). The differences were mostly prevalent between the suburban (such as Al-Ahmadi and Jahraa, the two largest governorates in Kuwait) and the urban districts, which comprise four suburban governorates. Moreover, significant differences in level of agreement were reported in the way parents in different governorates perceive the role of the teacher (Q14: If parents comment that their child is showing more interest in mathematics at school, it is probably due to the performance of the child's teacher) (p = .015 at α < .05) (See Fig. 10). For the same reason, the differences seem to arise between urban (Hawalli) and suburban (Jahraa) governorates. We noted significant differences between teachers' responses across girls and boys schools particularly in relation to teaching effectiveness and student learning. Furthermore, across math, science and literacy teaching, we also noted significant differences (p = .010 at α < .05) only in teachers' expectations regarding other teachers' beliefs in their students' learning. On the other hand, in Qatar we found significant differences between female and male teachers' responses on q2 (I will continually find better ways to teach mathematics), q17 (I wonder if I will have the necessary skills to teach Mathematics), q18 (Given a choice, I will not invite the principal to evaluate my mathematics teaching), q20 (When teaching mathematics,

I will usually welcome students' questions). Across districts, we found significant differences among teachers in q2 (I will continually find better ways to teach mathematics) and q12 (The teacher is generally responsible for the achievement of students in mathematics). Across Grade levels, we noticed significant differences between teachers on q9 (The inadequacy of a student's mathematics background can be overcome by good teaching) and q14 (If parents comment that their child is showing more interest in mathematics at school, it is probably due to the performance of the child's teacher.) We also compared teachers' expectations of their students across subjects, school districts, Grade level and gender and found significant differences in teachers' expectation only across Grade level.

Theme 3: Instructional design/strategies In both countries, an examination of the results of the Teaching Method survey indicated that, particularly for math and sciences there is a more focused approach on basic drill and practice techniques. Additionally, there was a moderately low rate of integrating computer applications in teaching mathematics and sciences at the middle level. Implications Qatar and Kuwait case studies yielded different findings with respect to teacher self-efficacy and student achievement (grade 4). However, the commonality that emerged concerned teaching methods, namely the focus on drill and practice in teaching. This has implications to policy and practice. However, teachers cannot carry the responsibility alone. We argue that unless teachers are supported with well-designed curricula and assessment strategies to improve teaching and learning, it would be hard to improve quality in education outcomes and learning thus achieving the post 2015 goals.

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarc.2016.SSHAPP2009
2016-03-21
2019-10-17
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