Westford University College Collection

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Research reports from students at Westford University College, UAE enrolled on Liverpool John Moores University's MA in Education and MA in Edcuational Leadership programmes.

As part of their studies, students conduct original research in their educational setting around an aspect of education or leadership in education. These research reports are adapted from the students' MA dissertations and are then peer-reviewed by Westford and Camtree reviewers.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
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    Challenges faced by teachers in the implementation of Agile pedagogy among Grade 12 students in a Dubai public school and leadership practices that could support Agile teaching
    (2023) Nikleva, Silviya Ivanova
    Background: This study explores the challenges faced by Grade 12 teachers in implementing Agile teaching methodologies in a Bedouin school in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The existing literature highlights the benefits of Agile teaching in promoting lifelong learning, collaboration, and critical thinking skills among students. However, there is limited research on the specific challenges faced by teachers in implementing Agile teaching in the UAE context. Aims: The aim of this study is to identify the challenges faced by Grade 12 teachers in implementing Agile teaching methodologies and to provide recommendations for leaders to support teachers in overcoming these challenges. The study also aims to explore the perceptions of school leaders and teachers regarding the effectiveness of Agile teaching in meeting the demands of the 21st-century education system. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 participants, including school leaders and teachers. The interviews were designed to elicit qualitative responses and explore the participants' perspectives on the knowledge, relevancy, and relatability of Agile teaching, as well as the challenges and recommendations for its implementation. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the interview data and identify common themes and patterns. Findings: The findings of the study reveal several challenges faced by Grade 12 teachers in implementing Agile teaching methodologies. These challenges include limited time, inflexible curricula, lack of leadership support, limited professional training, cultural influences, and the need for clearly outlined objectives and coherence across departments. The study also highlights the importance of professional learning communities (PLCs) and the benefits of self-reflection and peer reflection for teachers, and the need for clearly outlined objectives and coherence across school departments to ensure a cohesive implementation of Agile teaching practices. Implications: The findings of this study have implications for educational leaders and policymakers in the UAE. The study suggests that curriculum adjustments should be made to accommodate Agile teaching methodologies and provide teachers with more flexibility. It also emphasizes the importance of leadership support, regular meetings, and the establishment of professional learning communities to facilitate the implementation of Agile teaching. The study recommends training programs to raise awareness about the benefits of Agile teaching among school leaders, teachers, students, and parents.
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    Empowering early learner teacher teams to develop handwriting skills using a digital writing device
    (Camtree: the Cambridge Teacher Research Exchange, 2023) Gaffney, Claire
    Background and purpose: The focus of this research was in the areas of early learner handwriting skills and teacher empowerment, specifically how digital writing devices impact the development of handwriting skills. Aims: Such a study was important as digitisation of classrooms is prevalent, thus necessitating an investigation to explore if digital writing devices produce the same level of development as traditional methods of pencil on paper amongst early learners aged 3 to 6 years old in Bahrain. Design or methodology: The mixed methods methodology approach adopted in this study included, for the first time in Bahrain, a comparative analysis study of thirty students aged 3 to 6 years, registered at a private institute, over a six-week period, as well as interviews with experts and local teachers. The institute’s teachers and families were also surveyed for their perspectives. Findings: The findings from this research provided unique evidence that early learner students using digital writing devices while learning to write, had significantly poorer outcomes. The main conclusions drawn from this study are that early learner handwriting lessons should be a digital-free zone and young students should not be introduced to digital writing until handwriting skills are competently developed. Conclusions, originality, value and implications: This dissertation recommended using the results of this survey to empower teachers to guide and offer the best option to families for their children. Further recommendations are for educational leaders to increase in-school opportunities to develop graphomotor skills and to include digital writing device familiarisation sessions for young students and parents. Future studies in this area can be carried out by schools and institutes, they should be longitudinal, include greater student numbers and narrow the age parameters in order to validate this research’s findings.