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Title: Implementing an early childhood curriculum in a different cultural context : an ethnographic study of Arabic early literacy practices in a Saudi Arabian preschool
Author: Alothman, Hanadi Fahad
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 3027
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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Drawing on socio-cultural perspectives of literacy learning, this study investigates the contribution of early literacy practices in a Western-oriented curriculum, that were designed for a different linguistic and cultural context, to Arabic early literacy development for preschoolers in Saudi Arabia. Specifically, this study investigates the implementation of the Creative Curriculum at an institutional level and explores how the Saudi practitioners perform and interpret its literacy practices. Early literacy development for Saudi preschoolers and its link to their Saudi Arabian Islamic culture and identity is also explored. This is an ethnographic study that takes place in a Saudi Arabian preschool. Data are collected through participant observation, interviews, documents, and children’s mind maps. Study participants are six Saudi preschoolers and their mothers, two teachers, and the preschool director. Data analysis employs the thematic approach and the multi-layering method informed by a number of socio-cultural concepts as an analytical framework. This research provides evidences that children’s early literacy development is a multimodal meaning-making activity and a social practice that is embedded in their socio-cultural context. It also shows the strong link between Saudi preschoolers’ Arabic early literacy development and their Saudi Arabian Islamic culture and identity. Furthermore, the findings reveal that although a number of the adopted literacy practices appear to make a significant contribution in promoting Arabic early literacy, other literacy practices influenced by linguistic, cultural and contextual factors are adapted or transformed. The findings suggest that instead of transplanting educational curricula and early literacy pedagogies, they need to be planted and developed in the relevant context in order to assimilate the linguistic features of the Arabic language and the Saudi Arabian Islamic culture.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral