Neoliberal Globalization, Education Policies and Strategies Adopted in Science Curriculum Reform in the United Arab Emirates: A Case Study Based on the Views of Ministry of Education Stakeholders



Abounasr, Hind
(2022) Neoliberal Globalization, Education Policies and Strategies Adopted in Science Curriculum Reform in the United Arab Emirates: A Case Study Based on the Views of Ministry of Education Stakeholders. Doctor of Education thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Abstract

ABSTRACT Globalization is a spatial concept defined as a group of social processes transforming our present social status from our own nationality into a global identity. The impact of neoliberal globalization is discernible in the way that it has projected its own framework to shape education in the Gulf and MENA region, in this case in modernizing curricula and social institutions, especially science curricula. Neoliberalism’s influence from politics to economics has pushed states towards scientific and technological growth and encouraged competition between countries. The resultant modernization has reshaped the great traditions of Arab and Islamic societies and identities due to Western influences, thereby altering the Emirati profile, especially those students graduating from higher education. In addition, higher education in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is shaped by government legislation that aims to fulfill a global agenda. The goal is to place the UAE as a top-ranking country in different domains, especially in education. The national indicators in the UAE’s state policy documents have been translated into total reforms that have shaped the basic education level up to higher education curricula, most notably in relation to science curricula. Hence, the main objective of this thesis is to explore the impact of neoliberal globalization on science curriculum reform in the UAE from the perspective of Science Curriculum Specialists (SCS) and Science Assessment Specialists (SAS) in the UAE’s Ministry of Education (MoE), who have worked directly on the national science curriculum reform. This qualitative exploratory study examines the impact of neoliberal globalization on the socio-cultural context that has shaped the UAE’s policy design based on semi-structured interviews with the above specialists. The SCS and SAS interview responses have allowed insight into their complex views about curriculum reform, while the analysis presents an overall understanding of the participants’ views on globalization’s impact on science curriculum reform. The qualitative data collection based on semi-structured interviews conducted with 17 participants illuminates the processes and challenges that UAE MoE stakeholders experienced in order to generate a unique document. Furthermore, despite all the efforts made to shape the science curriculum national framework, the current study recommends measuring the impact of the same science curriculum based on students’ skills at the higher education level. Furthermore, the study’s findings indicate that neoliberal globalization has shaped the UAE’s shift away from an oil-based country to a knowledge-based economy using education as a medium to reform all education curriculum documents, notably the science curriculum editorial, scope and content decisions, all in order to answer the policy requirements of UAE Vision 2021 and UAE Centennial 2071. Keywords: Globalization; science education reform; education policy; science curriculum; neoliberalism; United Arab Emirates; UAE Ministry of Education

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Education)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Globalization; science education reform; education policy; science curriculum; neoliberalism; United Arab Emirates; UAE Ministry of Education
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Histories, Languages and Cultures
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2023 11:22
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2023 16:51
DOI: 10.17638/03166594
Supervisors:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3166594