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ItemThe UAE High School Students’ Conceptions of the Nature of Science (NOS)(The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2018) Al-Bouti, EmanRecently, science education has become an essential subject for all countries. Providing an appropriate science education affects students’ conceptions of the Nature of Science (NOS). Participants in this study included 100 students from one secondary private American school in Al Ain; both girls and boys from different grades and with different nationalities were involved in the research. This study investigated the students’ conceptions of the NOS. The research study followed a mixed qualitative and quantitative approach. A questionnaire was used to collect data, in both quantitative and qualitative formats. Data was analysed statistically using SPSS. The results of the statistical analysis of the questionnaire revealed the positive conception of students toward the NOS in general and toward scientific theory, scientific knowledge, scientific activities, and scientific inquiry in particular. The study concluded that most of the secondary school students have appropriate conceptions of the NOS in relation to the context of their science learning. ItemSpecial Education Teachers’ Perceptions on Using Technology for Communication Practices(The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2018) Siyam, NurAn important aspect to the effective education of students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is the successful coordination between all stakeholders (parents, educators and therapists). The present study employed qualitative methods to investigate teachers’ perceptions on the current communication practices and how they can be improved using technology. Nine special education teachers participated in semi-structured interviews. Teachers in the study used both traditional and, to a lesser degree, technological means of communication. Technological methods included instant messaging, the school’s information system, and electronic Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) shared on the cloud. The data revealed that some special education teachers were content with the current methods of communication, while others perceived the introduction of new technology useful for the improvement of the communication process. Results can be used to identify the requirements needed before developing and launching new innovations for communication between parties involved with the intervention of SEND students. ItemThe effect of servant leadership on students’ engagement in social studies class: analyzing perception of middle school students in Dubai(The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2018) Zamani, ZahraOne of the most important goals of education for students is to learn. By engaging students in the classroom they can reach this essential aim. By adopting appropriate leadership styles, teachers can increase students’ learning, for example adopting a servant leadership style helps teachers to coach students to enrich their learning experiences. The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the extent to which servant teaching influences students’ engagement in Dubai’s middle schools. Based on a positivist approach, quantitative data was collected from a sample of 383 students from four middle schools in Dubai using SES-4DS and modified version of the seven-factor servant leadership scale Questionnaire. Linear Regression was used for analyzing the results. The finding shows that the use servant leadership style by social studies teachers influence learners engagement on three different aspects: cognitive, behavioral and agency. Findings of this research can be used by teachers to apply servant leadership in their classroom. Application of this leadership style in classroom helps students to engage more and therefore learn better. ItemSubstitution and Ellipsis in the First Year University Students’ English Essay Writing(The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2018) Abdulrahman, NishadWithout doubt, cohesion plays a significant role in writing, and therefore a considerable amount of research has been done on cohesive devices in students’ writing. All these studies have had a common finding that substitution and ellipsis, two grammatical cohesive devices, are the least employed cohesive items in ESL/EFL students’ written work. However, much of this research investigated substitution and ellipsis along with other cohesive devices. As a result, studies done on substitution and ellipsis independently of other cohesive devices are very rare. This stresses the need for further research to delve into these two grammatical cohesive devices. The current study is done to address this need and investigates the use of substitution and ellipsis in the first year university students’ essay writing. The mixed methods study done on five participants from a university in the UAE administers a written test to collect data and performs a textual analysis to identify different types of substitution and ellipsis and their respective functions in students’ essays. A frequency count is also performed to measure the frequency of different kinds of substitution and ellipsis in comparison to personal pronouns used as reference in students’ writing. ItemThe Relationship between Cognitive Development, Teaching Creative Thinking, Assessment, and an Interdisciplinary Approach(The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2018) ElSayary, Dr AreejCognitive development is widely considered to be one of the most important aspects of students’ learning. It relates to the identification of patterns, relationships, and the use of language. It concerns with the affective development, which is related to the emotions and the psychomotor development - the movement and activities that are associated with the mental process. One of the main issues is the challenges teachers face to address these categories in a specific topic. The standardized assessment tests such as Trends in International Math and Science Study TIMSS and the Program for International Student PISA have three main categories: knowledge, application and reasoning. It is interesting, and important to note, that learning has similar categories: knowledge, skills, and understanding. Considerable attention must be paid in aligning the learning domains to the assessment domains in order to raise students’ attainment in the standardized assessments. In order to achieve these results, it is important to understand the kind of knowledge being learned, how memory works, how best to teach for creativity, and how people learn. Interdisciplinary Science, Technology, Engineering and Math STEM is a new reform in education which helps to develop students’ 21st century skills and creative thinking. A new framework is being proposed, to develop students’ skills through teaching them an interdisciplinary STEM curriculum using authentic tasks (problem-based learning) that leads them to higher-order thinking skills. This paper is presenting a critical reflection on cognitive development, teaching creativity, assessment types, and an interdisciplinary STEM approach, and the relationship between them. ItemUsing research to inform practice: the teacher as a practitioner researcher(The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2018) Abukari, Abdulai; Abubaka, Ahmed Bawa Kuyini ItemEditorials: The theory versus practice dilemma - effecting education practice and research in the best possible way(The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2018) Abukari, Abdulai; Gaad, Eman ItemInvestigating the Perception of K-12 Teachers on their Assessment Literacy and Obstacles Hindering the Implementation of Effective Assessments in Dubai private schools(The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2018) Sbai, IkrameAssessing learners’ performance is endemic in learning. Teachers bear the responsibility of assessing their students regularly to confirm that learning has happened. However, many teachers do not use assessment as a tool to improve learning, but only as an evaluation tool to judge students’ achievement. Research shows that assessment should be used to improve the learning experience of learners and the assessment results should be interpreted for this sake. Many teachers are not prepared on how to use assessments effectively in their classrooms. Several previous studies have indicated that teachers have weak assessment skills, either skills for designing and developing assessments or interpreting the results. In the United Arab Emirates UAE there is a big emphasis on the effective teaching and assessment to achieve the 2021 UAE educational vision. This study explores k12 teachers’ perception of their own assessment literacy in the UAE, as well as the obstacles that hinder them from conducting effective assessments for their students. The participants are teachers working in different schools in Dubai, with different years of experience and are distributed between females and males. A mixed design questionnaire was used as a data collection method. The research results indicated that teachers have a high perception about their assessment literacy. Teachers are also using a range of traditional assessment strategies in their classrooms to assess students. However, most of the teachers are using assessment only to evaluate students’ performance instead of improving the learning experience. One of the main obstacles that face teachers with assessment is the large number of students in the classroom and the lack of training. ItemThe Effects and Challenges of Integrating GoAnimate Video Creator with TaskBased Language Teaching (TBLT) in Teaching English to a Grade 11 Omani Class(The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2018) Al Khalili, ShathaThis qualitative research explores the effects and challenges of integrating the GoAnimate web-based tool with task-based language teaching (TBLT) in teaching writing to a grade 11 EFL, Omani classroom. The literature review covers specific topics that form the basis of TBLT, such as constructivism, cooperative learning, group dynamics and the affective filter hypothesis. Moreover, it introduces GoAnimate and brings to light some current multimodality related studies as GoAnimate is part and parcel of it. When it comes to the methodology, convenience sampling is adopted and thus, the sample consists of 6 teachers and 34 students. Additionally, the instrument used to collect data is students’ and teachers’ focus group interviews and the researcher’s self-observational notes. Furthermore, the procedure involves designing a female GoAnimate character called ‘Awash’ and using her to teach a writing lesson while the researcher observes and takes notes. After the lesson, the focus group interviews are conducted. After that, the gathered data is analysed and the research questions are answered. The findings of this research indicate that the integration of GoAnimate in the Omani classroom faces some challenges. Nevertheless, those challenges can be overcome if addressed properly. Additionally, the findings highlight that GoAnimate has a positive effect on students’ motivation and thus, their learning. Based on these findings, some implications for practice and research are put forward. ItemTeachers’ perspectives on social media in schools in the UAE(The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2018) Alkutich, Mohamad EzzatSocial media plays a fundamental role worldwide in changing the way of communication is carried out. Using social media in schools has its pros and cons. This paper aims explores the perspectives of teachers in Abu Dhabi schools regarding the use of social media for instructional purposes in the classroom. The study investigated recent experience of teachers with social media in schools, as well as explore teachers' point of view regarding the importance of social media in teaching and learning. Finding shows that teachers consider social media is a significant tool in their day-to-day school communication, and there was an appreciation for the use of social media in teaching and learning. Moreover, teachers depicted that the implementation of social media in teaching and learning is still an elusive target. ItemTeacher leadership potential: assessment in the light of teachers’ perceptions in UAE(The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2018) Eltanahy, MarwaThere has been a great concern about the leadership roles of teachers and how this effectively contribute to the success of the schools and learners as well. This paper investigates teachers’ perceptions about their potential to be teacher leaders, identifies the main attributes of teacher leadership and explores the main strategies that promote the development of teacher leadership. An online survey study was conducted as a nonexperimental method to answer the research questions with more weight of quantitative than qualitative data. Results show that there is a good potential for teachers to act as leaders who believed that associated abilities of leaders’ ethics and interpersonal skills are the most powerful tools for teacher leadership. This study suggests that policy makers should reduce the demarcation of roles and work on distributing the tasks of teacher leadership among the community of teachers to be included in their job description in order to generate responsible teachers who are able to work and lead more effectively. ItemStudents’ Attitudes towards Collaborative Learning in Language Classroom(The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2018) Hassanein, Amir AtefCollaborative learning has been adopted as a teaching technique in ESL classes in the last three decades. Teachers use CL based on recommendations of researchers and linguists who wrote very positive feedback on it. Students’ attitudes and feedback to collaborative learning, i.e. group work, are highly crucial to determine an aspect of success in the teaching-learning process. This research is an attempt to investigate the attitudes of students towards group work activities they perform in English language lessons. The research used mixed method approach to gain more comprehensive insights from high school students in an American curriculum school in Dubai. The findings generally showed that students have positive attitudes towards collaborative learning activities in the classroom ItemThe impact of using Socrative based formative assessment to enhance student achievement in a nutrition course: A digital forward assessment(The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2019) Hussein, Hinda JirdehThe purpose of this paper is to describe an experimental study that examined the impact of using Socrative as a tool for formative assessment “Feedforward” on EFL tertiary college students’ conceptual understanding of a nutrition course in the United Arab Emirates. The impact is determined by student test achievements. The study used true experimental design on 47 nutrition students and randomly assigned 23 participants into an experimental group and 24 into a control group. Both groups took pre-post-test of three parts unit of macronutrients. After the teaching the units, a pretest was administered, then the experimental group got a Socrative formative based assessment and the control group received the usual traditional paper based review. The study evaluated students’ understanding of the concepts and improvement of posttest after treatment of socrative based formative assessment. The results were analyzed in statistical software (SPSS 23) using independent t-test to determine if there was significant difference in the posttest scores between the two groups. The findings showed a significant improvement in the experimental group’s posttest, which is an impact in the implementation of socrative as formative assessment in enhancing student achievement. ItemEditorials: Using effective assessment to improve teaching and learning(The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2019) Abujaja, Afishata Mohammed; Abukari, Abdulai ItemUndergraduate physiotherapy students’ performance in theoretical and practical examinations: A correlational case study in the UAE(The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2019) Ramakrishnan, Senthilnathan; Abukari, AbdulaiThe study aimed at finding the correlation between the theoretical and the practical examinations marks of first year physiotherapy students and explore the possible contributory factors for any differences in exam performances. Mixed approach was used and correlation was analysed using Microsoft excel 2013 and interviews were employed to explore the factors associated with good or poor performances in the written and objective structured clinical examinations. There were no significant differences in the scores of theory and practical exams for the whole participants as the means of the former (40.05) and later (40.03) were nearly equal and the r value (0.672) indicated moderate positive correlation but individual differences in performances between the written and objective structured clinical examination noticed. Students and lecturers were interviewed and the qualitative data analysis identified factors associated with assessment methods, instructional strategies and learning styles were contributing for good and poor performances in the theoretical and practical examinations. ItemThe impact of Alef Platform on students’ performance at Al Asayel School in Abu Dhabi, UAE(The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2019) Alyammahi, Aisha HassanAs times and people are changing so should processes and systems. One thing that all experts can agree on is that, driven by technological advancements, the global economy is transforming at a rapid pace and there is need for education to keep up with this transformation. Jobs and most importantly people who are hired for those jobs will need to have very different capabilities in the future. Careers will change and will require that employees be creative, innovative and have expertise in interpersonal communication. Professions will no longer need people to “do” but will require employees to “think” and think outside the box. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be an important contributor to this expected revolution. AI is progressively making it possible for machines to do the jobs of humans. AI is the enabler for many elements in this transforming economy hence it is expected to play a significant role in the paradigm shift in education. To answer the call to attempt to transform education, Asayel School in Abu, Dhabi UAE has implemented the Alef Program. Alef’s digital learning platform is powered by start-of-art technologies that are designed to support learning and to provide education in a way that students can learn based on their needs. The aim of this quantitative research study is to investigate whether the Alef platform enhances student performance at the Al Asayel School by measuring students’ motivation, engagement and performance. ItemInvestigating the Impact of Applying Different Strategies of Formative Assessments on Students’ Learning Outcomes in Summative Assessments in a Private School in Sharjah, UAE(The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2019) Radhwan, MinaAmong contemporary methods for improving the learning of students, formative assessments stand out amongst the most essential and powerful. While formative assessment thoughts and practices appear to have a demonstrated record in upgrading students’ ability to take in information, these practices are difficult to completely incorporate into teachers' everyday classroom practices. This study investigated the impact of applying different strategies of formative assessment practices on students’ learning outcomes in summative assessments in one of the private schools in Sharjah, UAE. This study consists of two groups of participants including twelve teachers and seventeen high school students in a private school in Sharjah, UAE. A qualitative method was taken towards gathering teachers’ and students’ perceptions of the formative assessment practices accompanied by open-ended questions through semi-structured interviews. Data analysis revealed that a significant effect is achieved through using a variety of formative assessment practices on students’ learning outcomes in the summative assessments. Most teachers and students are aware of the importance of using these strategies to improve the learning skills for each student. Therefore, formative assessments can be considered as a tool for improving the students’ academic level, adding to the procedure and results of learning. ItemEditorials: Expanding research into niche fields(The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2019-10) David, Solomon ArulrajResearch in education is tremendously expanding with range of niche fields and innovative approaches. With the continuous edge to break through into innovative ways in education practice, education research is vying through uncharted territories. Many new journals along with the established ones are keen on capturing research works in rare focuses. Journal for Researching Education Practice and Theory (JREPT), since its inception, has showcased some of such research works with rare focuses. This issue in particular present few applied research on such infrequent areas. We are witnessing education in an increasingly competitive and technological world, where the focus of research is heavily technology and management oriented. And not many researchers work on research areas that are seldom visited. The four research papers in this issue seem to explore such rare topics in four different areas. The work on giftedness attempts to offer a critical evaluation of the special provisions for gifted students in an elementary school in Dubai. Such analytical examination with evidence based arguments and discussion could lead to possible transition in a positive direction. The study on moral education aims to account the experiences and perceptions of teachers and parents about the impact of the implementation of moral education at schools in Dubai. Parents’ and teachers’ experiences and perceptions on moral education is essential as UAE recently introduced the moral education in schools. The research that explores behavior management strategies used by teachers at primary schools in Thailand recommends professional training to teachers and the implementation of positive behavior support in schools. The paper that explores on the role of values in educational research offers a critique of two research studies, arguing that research can never be value-free. I am sure the readers my find these works interesting and special. JREPT would continue to present studies with such rare specialisation. ItemExploring Behaviour Management Strategies Used By Teachers In Thailand Primary Schools(The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2019-10) Nasiru, Mufutau Afolabi; Kuyini, Ahmed Bawa; Cornish, LinleyThis study aimed t o explore the behaviour management strategies used by teachers in Thailand primary schools and the teachers’ perceptions of the effectiveness of their strategies. A five-part questionnaire, comprising - Participants’ Background Information, Behaviour Management Strategies, and Perceptions of Effectiveness of the strategies was completed by 50 teachers from 10 schools. Descriptive statistics, t-tests, and ANOVA were used to analyse the data. The results showed that most teachers used non-aversive behaviour management strategies. The teachers also rated non-aversive strategies as more effective. The study recommends further professional training for teachers, and implementation of Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) in a school-wide approach. ItemA Critical Evaluation of the Special Provisions for Gifted Students: a case study of a student in an Elementary School in Dubai(The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2019-10) Sharma, Neha HThis paper critically evaluates the special provisions made by an International Baccalaureate school in Dubai for a gifted male student in elementary grade. There is very limited research in the field of gifted education within the United Arab Emirates. No prior study about the programs and services offered to the gifted learners in the private schooling sector has been published till date. Although private schools following various curricula in the emirate of Dubai probably make special provisions to identify and cater to the unique needs of the gifted learners, there is no research-based study evaluating these services. Private schools are guided by UAE federal laws regarding inclusive education and are inspected annually by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority. These annual school inspection reports are available in the public domain which comprehensively evaluate the special educational provisions, but do not specifically focus on the gifted programs and services. Lack of research studies and neglect by the local authorities regarding gifted provisions presented the opportunity, vision and rationale for the current qualitative case study. A holistic approach was deemed appropriate to describe and critically analyse the school policy, systems of identification, gifted programs offered and teacher readiness to provide appropriate support to identified gifted learners. This case study attempts to present a rich panorama of the gifted provisions offered in one private school in the UAE. Based on the literature regarding best practices in the field of gifted education, the provisions have been critically evaluated and some suggestions about possible improvements in services alongside few recommendations for future studies have been included in the current study.