Students’ and Teachers’ Views of Transition from Secondary Education to Western-Medical University in Bahrain
Leksander-Hayes, Aneta Maria
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
wishing to publish from the thesis
This research focuses on the transition of Bahraini students to a Western medical university which has been ‘transplanted’, with its values and context of practice, to the culture of Bahrain. A socio-cultural model of Communities of Practice was adopted as a theoretical framework in this research for it linked in well with the personal context of this study which suggested that students’ transition could be related to the practices in Bahraini schools associated with science and English education, as well as general school pedagogy. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore how different participants perceive the role of school practices, as well as science and English education in transition. In order to explore these different understandings, a case study methodology was adopted and insights into the practices of students’ school and university community were gained through the use of focus group and individual interviews, as well as a descriptive questionnaire. The data from the qualitative investigation was analysed deductively under the three themes of science background knowledge, the English language and school pedagogy, while the questionnaire data was subject to univariate analysis based on mean responses. The key findings indicated high levels of confidence in students’ science base and approaches to study, which enabled the students to take a number of strategic actions in order to move through the educational outcomes of the university programme. In terms of the English language, a compromised foreign language (L2) proficiency caused by inadequate school practices was perceived not to play an important role in the transition process, which suggested a diminished role of L2 in transitions in the context of language change. As far as school pedagogy is concerned, whilst all participants at the secondary level agreed that general memorisation-based pedagogy in secondary schools could play a negative role in the transition, the participants at the university revealed that rote-based approaches to study formed in school could also be strategically used at university. Hence, the findings from this research have specific implications for the model of Communities of Practice and suggest future work within this theory regarding the role of students’ individual agency. These findings also suggest a new understanding of transitions in the context of language and culture change.
PhD in Education