In the context of the given experience, the pressure of the culture clash, or the clash of people belonging to different generations, i.e., to teacher and the students, should be named. To face this pressure, the strategy of charismatic leadership was used.
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Questions, context, and practice: learning processes in Saudi Arabia public schools
The given research has several objectives to achieve:
- Defining the key specifics of the learning process in public schools in Saudi Arabia;
- Specifying the peculiarities of the intercultural relationships in Saudi Arabian public schools;
- Analyzing the role of a teacher in the aforementioned relationships;
- Defining the effects that the current rates of diversity have on Saudi Arabian public schools;
- Defining the skills that a teacher needs to sustain the required environment in Saudi Arabian public schools in the current cultural setting.
Specifics of analytical framework: life informal educational institutions. When deliberate pedagogical actions must be carried out
Aside from the analysis of the practical use of the framework in question, it is necessary to mention its specifics, as well as provide a viable definition for it. According to the explanations offered by Kalantzis and Cope, the framework of life informal educational institution ties in such issues as the specifics of the students with a background that is different from the rest of the class.
With the help of the analytical framework introduced by Kalantzis and Cope, a better understanding of the learning process, as well as the alterations in the latter, became possible in the learning context of public schools in Saudi Arabia; with the help of the framework provided by Kalantzis and Cope, the author of the given case study has succeeded in not only observing the specifics of life in formal Saudi Arabian educational institutions but also in improving some of its aspects, i.e., defining the methods of motivating the students for them to improve their academic performance.
Organization of the essay: from theory to practice and the analysis of its results
The given essay is going to revolve around the practical use of the framework provided by Kalantzis and Cope, i.e., its analysis, theoretical reasoning for its use, practical implementation of the given framework. Therefore, at the beginning of the paper, the definitions for the theoretical framework, the theoretical concepts, and the basic terminology used in the given research, is going to be provided. Later, the educational setting in which the theory was used, will be provided. The analysis of the experience acquired in the given educational setting is going to be carried out. Finally, the conclusions concerning the given experience, including the solution and the recommendations, is going to be provided.
Examination of the Analytical Framework: Specifying the Features of the Tools to Be Used
As it has been stressed above, Kalantzis and Cope’s theoretical framework of life in a formal educational setting will be used for not only analyzing the effects of the given framework on the relationships between the students of different age, as well as the effects that age gap has on the relationships between a teacher and students (Kalantzis & Cope 2012, p. 147), but also defining the role that the given framework plays in the teacher’s personal and, mainly, professional development, as well as the prospects for the teacher’s further development.
Kalantzis and Cope’s intended use of the framework: when age separations come to the fore
When considering Kalantzis and Cope’s definition of the framework in question, one will inevitably notice the fact that the given framework considers the age gap and the problems arising from the difference in the age of students and teachers. However, when it comes to a broader understanding of the issue, one must admit that Kalantzis and Cope take the idea of life informal educational establishments to a broader context (Kalantzis & Cope 2005, p. 40). As a result, the choice of the teaching strategy becomes especially complicated.
Different dimensions of life informal educational institutions and its three analytical stages
Like the rest of the frameworks developed by Kalantzis and Cope, the one concerning life informal educational establishments has several dimensions that need to be properly introduced in the context of the given research. Although Kalantzis and Cope make it clear from the very start that there are eight basic dimensions, through the lens of which educational phenomena should be viewed from, to prove the legitimacy of the framework chosen for the analysis of the teaching experience, it seems enough to consider three of them:
In the age of diversity in schools, the issue of life informal educational establishments is becoming increasingly complicated. The given aspect allows for considering the specifics of teaching in a multi-ethnic class.
Another peculiar aspect of the framework specified above, the pedagogical one helps deal with the issues related solely to studying ad teaching the course material. Also embraced by the framework of life informal educational establishments, it makes a huge chunk of a teacher’s experience.
The process of dealing with the moral dimensions of a teacher’s profession studies a wide range of moral dilemmas. In some sense, the given aspect can be related to the life informal educational establishments, seeing how the very concept of “life” involves facing various dilemmas concerning student-teacher and student-student communication.
Life informal educational institutions and other relevant educational frameworks: a comparison
Besides life informal educational establishments, Kalantzis and Cope have also come up with a range of other frameworks to consider. Each of these frameworks introduces a new and refreshing look at the current educational system and teaching practices, allowing one to reconsider his/her experience as a teacher and perfect his/her skills. The basic frameworks mentioned by Kalantzis and Cope are listed below:
Learning for work
The given framework allows considering the specifics of learning as a process of acquiring professional skills.
A framework that helps define the link between education and citizenship, the given concept ties in the social and political aspects of education.
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Helping a teacher view his/her students as individuals, the given framework has several pints of contact with the one of life informal educational institutions.
Application of the Framework to the Case Study: Putting Theory to Practice
Description of the case: teaching in Saudi Arabian public schools
A typical Saudi Arabian public school was used as the setting for the application of the skills acquired with the help of Kalantzis and Cope’s method implementation. The task concerned providing lectures and leading classes for the students of age 13–15 and 15–17 years old. The subjects that the teacher was supposed to teach the students were World Literature and the History of Saudi Arabia correspondingly. At the beginning of the given case study, the performance of both students and the teacher left much to be desired. For the students, the basic problem was related to their cultural and social background. For the teacher, the key reason for failing concerned the inability to motivate the students.
To solve the problem, the teacher applied the framework known as life informal educational establishments. The above-mentioned framework allowed for analyzing the patterns of the students’ behavior, as well as the mistakes that were made by the teacher in the course of the first few lessons. As the results of the evaluation showed, it was necessary to figure out what could motivate every single student in the class. With the students of 14–15, the teacher’s charismatic leadership solved the problem – the students felt that they wanted to be just as witty and well-educated as their lecturer (Hogg & Vaughan 2008, p. 323). With the 15–17-year-olds, appealing for their further career worked as a booster of their enthusiasm.
The case and the framework dimensions: analysis. Rhetoric and the actual practice
It was assumed that the principle introduced by Kalantzis and Cope could be used not only to enhance the learning process and improve the relationships among students, as well as between the students and a teacher, but also for the improvements in the learning process and the enhancement of the teacher’s professional skills. Offering enough room for the analysis of the efficacy of the teaching strategies adopted, the given framework can be viewed as a mechanism for practicing teaching skills.
With the help of the framework of life in public schools introduced by Kalantzis and Cope, it was proven that the learning process reciprocates and that, by addressing the needs of the students with a different age and the issues emerging from the given differentiation, a teacher could gain valuable experience and take his/her relationships with students to a different level.
The three stages of change along the vertical axis: observation and commentaries
The process of the teacher’s professional transformation in search of the right way to approach the students went by the three basic stages of change along the vertical axis. At the given point, the numerous roles of a teacher are being considered, i.e., the assessor–teacher–judge model (Chambers & McGregory 2006, p. 180) is being applied. The first stage of the process concerning the evaluation of the obstacles faced by the teacher and the students, as it has been stressed above, The assessment turned out to be quite fruitful; the basic factors preventing the students from studying and the teacher from helping the latter learn efficiently have been defined. The next stage did not pass just as smoothly; since the teaching process involved motivating the students for better performance, it was required that not only professionals but also the leadership skills of the teacher should be used. As a result, the teacher learned the skills of charismatic and transformational leadership, i.e., influencing the students with the help of the teacher’s personality and transforming students’ attitude towards the learning process (Hoehl 2008, p. 18).
Discussion and Conclusions: The Lessons Learned and the Aspects to Work on
The given case study gives a lot of food for thoughts. First, it teaches that for the students of different age groups, different approaches for motivation must be adopted. Second, it should also be noted that, without students being motivated, the learning process is doomed to failure. Finally, the case study shows that changing the students’ attitude towards the subject, i.e., getting the students engaged in the academic process, is the key to successful teaching.
Description and analysis of the case study in the light of the framework: the things to learn
Applying the concepts of the framework of life informal educational institutions, one must admit that the given case study has its strengths and flaws. One of the greatest advantages was the realization of the fact that for a teacher, development, and acquisition of new skills is just as important as for the students. Thus, the concept of lifelong learning was introduced into the concept of teaching (Baker 2010, p. 86). Another valuable lesson concerned the necessity to motivate students to teach them to acquire the necessary skills. Finally, the issue of addressing the needs of students based on their age, as well as ethnicity, gender, and other specifics, was recognized.
Value of the framework: a critical approach to the issues of life informal education institutions
According to the case study described and analyzed above, the framework of life informal educational establishments allows for addressing the students’ individual needs arising from their social and cultural backgrounds. As a result, the learning process becomes more efficient. With that in mind, one must admit that, despite the few flaws that it has, the framework provided by Kalantzis and Cope can be used quite successfully in the realm of the Saudi Arabian public schools. While one might argue that the Saudi Arabian schools do not have enough diversity for the issue to be raised, one must stress that it is the lack of diversity that makes the problems concerning age and the associated issues all the more difficult. Therefore, by applying the given framework, one is likely to not only avoid the problems specified but also address them efficiently once they eventually arise.
Baker, E. 2010, The new literacies: multiple perspectives on research and practice, The Guilford Press, New York, NY.
Chambers, E. & McGregory, M. 2006, Teaching and learning English literature, SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA.
Hoehl, S. E. 2008, the relationship between transformational leadership and student educational outcomes as moderated by verbal and nonverbal immediacy, ProQuest, Ann Arbor, MI.
Hogg, M. A. & Vaughan, G. M. 2008, Social psychology, Pearson Education, Harlow, UK.
Kalantzis, M. & Cope, B. 2012, New learning: element of a science in education (2nd ed.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Kalantzis, M. & Cope, B. 2005, Learning by design, Common Ground Publishing, Melbourne, VIC.