Beyond the Veil: A Case Study of Context, Culture, Curriculum, and Constructivism at Dubai Women's College
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This case study of curriculum at Dubai Women's College (DWC) examines perceptions of international educators who designed and implemented curriculum for female Emirati higher-educational students in the UAE, and sheds light on the complex social, cultural, and religious factors affecting educational practice. Participants were faculty and supervisors, mainly foreign nationals, while students at DWC are exclusively Emirati. Theories prominent in this study are: constructivist learning theory, trans formative curriculum theory, and sociological theory. Change and empowerment theory figure prominently in this study. Findings reveal this unique group of educators understand curriculum theory as a "contextualized" construct and argue that theory and practice must be viewed through an international lens of religious, cultural, and social contexts. As well, the study explores how mandated "standards" in education-in the form of the International English Language Testing System (IEL TS) and integrated, constructivist curriculum, as taught in the Higher Diploma Year 1 program-function as dual curricular emphases in this context. The study found that tensions among these dual emphases existed and were mediated through specific strategies, including the use of authentic texts to mirror the IEL TS examination during in-class activities, and the relevance of curricular tasks.