Narratives of education and the websites of international schools

van der Sluis, Willem (2021) Narratives of education and the websites of international schools. Ed.D thesis, University of Glasgow.

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BACKGROUND: Websites of international schools contain varied narratives through which international schools tell about the education they offer. The research explored the narratives of education propagated on the websites of international schools in Singapore. The exploration of the narratives involved analysing discourse and semiotics on international schools' websites to see what curriculum ideologies and narratives of education they represent. The scrutiny involved exploring the websites to see whether the narratives of education contained therein explained how the schools adopted the five curriculum ideologies stipulated by Michael Stephen Schiro. Various aspects of discourse and the texts were examined to see what narratives of international education, in addition to the curriculum ideologies, are portrayed. The current study aimed at attaining the following research questions: What narratives are present in the websites of a selection of international schools in Singapore? What educational ideologies are present within international schools' narratives as articulated on their websites, and how do international schools communicate within such narratives about the education they offer? Methodologically, how can websites of this nature be analysed with sensitivity to narratives of education?
METHODS: The research adopted a qualitative design, case study strategy, inductive approach, interpretive epistemology, and ontology. The study population comprised international schools in Singapore, where five schools and their principals were sampled through convenience and purposive technique. Primary data was collected from principals using unstructured interviews and analysed through thematic analysis. Secondary data comprised of semiotics and discourse information were collected from the websites.
FINDINGS: The results disclosed that the sampled websites had not explicitly stipulated the curriculum ideologies adopted in the school. There were rich narratives on how the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum is delivered and how unique and different its delivery was from other schools offering the same curriculum. The learner-centred, human capital, social reconstruction, social efficiency, and scholar-academic curriculum ideologies could be deduced from the rich narratives of curriculum delivery on the website. However, there lacked explicit explanations, narratives, discourses, or semiotics on the website that either stated, explained, or illustrated any curriculum ideology adopted in the schools sampled. The analysis showed that websites are instrumental in delivering educational services in an international school as they contain a variety of narratives of education. Also, the results showed that international schools heavily rely on websites to achieve their communication and marketing agenda.
CONCLUSION: The researcher concluded that discourses and semiotics on the website portrayed a range of narratives on the international education curriculum and its delivery. The investigator also concluded that websites of international schools sampled were missing narratives on the curriculum ideologies adopted. The investigator determined that international school websites focused more on narratives of marketing their international curriculum to potential international learners and securing new admissions. The investigator concluded that international schools' websites are critical avenues for portraying different narratives about the international education services, curriculum and facilities offered in the school.
RECOMMENDATION: The researcher recommends further improvement by incorporating aspects that were not portrayed on the websites. Additionally, further research on the subject, especially on how websites can narrate about the school's curriculum ideologies, is needed.

Item Type: Thesis (Ed.D)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Doherty, Dr. Robert
Date of Award: 2021
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2021-82622
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2022 12:24
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2022 16:57
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.82622

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