Pedagogy in an urban Syrian refugee school in Turkey: approaches, perspectives, and performances

Sharif, Iman (2020) Pedagogy in an urban Syrian refugee school in Turkey: approaches, perspectives, and performances. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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One of the devastating impacts of the Syrian war is displacing the largest number of refugees in recent time. There are over 3.6 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, almost half of them are children in the preschool or primary school stage. This research primarily intends to provide an in-depth understanding of the quality of refugee education provided to Syrian children at one of the Syrian schools operated by Syrian teachers in Turkey within the scope of temporary protection. Using a qualitative case study methodology, this research examines teachers’ understandings of quality education in the refugee context within their realities and capacities. In addition, the research investigates the extent Syrian teachers’ beliefs and practices compare to the international understandings of appropriate pedagogy in refugee contexts such as the standards set by the International Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) in its Minimum Standards for Education (2010a) which defines good practices internationally and offers guidelines for supporting educational quality in refugee situations.

To achieve the aims of research and address the research questions, this study explores teachers’ pedagogical practices, beliefs and experiences as well as the image the school projects of its practices in the refugee context using four qualitative sources. The study analyses teachers’ perceptions of the differences and similarities in their teaching practices and beliefs in the Syrian context prior to the war to understand the adaptations in instructional techniques teachers believe they made in the refugee context in response to pupils’ needs and developmental levels. Moreover, the study investigates the contextual influences and challenges affecting the educational provision for refugee children to prepare them for returning to a new Syria. Finally, the study discusses teachers and administrative staff’s understandings of and attitudes to adopting learner-centred pedagogy in line with the INEE international standards.

Key research findings suggest that Syrian teachers changed their priorities in the refugee context, adopted a flexible teaching style and used a variety of teaching methods along the continuum to support the learning of refugee pupils. Although the findings indicate that the school’s social media platform focused on showing learner-centred practices, doubts are raised about the suitability of learner-centred education as ‘best practice’ in the refugee context because of many complex contextual influences and implementation challenges.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Pedagogy, learning theories, quality education in refugee settings, learner-centred education in peacetimes and emergencies, LCE, International Network for Education in Emergencies, INEE, education and conflict, teaching and learning in conflict times, Urban Syrian schools, education for Syrian refugees in Turkey, and online qualitative research.
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Schweisfurth, Professor Michele
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Iman Sharif
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-79056
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2020 13:49
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2022 12:32
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.79056

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