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Title: Practices from lecturers' and undergraduate students' perspectives in the Faculty of Education at a university in Saudi Arabia
Author: Alnasib, Badiah Nasser M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7231 9045
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2017
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Many studies evidence the importance of metacognition in successful learning. Metacognitive skills improve the academic outcomes of learners. Additionally, metacognitive skills build lifelong learning skills, which are transferable to employment and other contexts. As such, developing metacognition in students is of great value to universities as society as a whole. This study explores the perceptions of lecturers and student teachers in a College of Education at a University in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) regarding the presence and promotion of metacognitive skills at the University in which the study took place. The study spanned three departments in the College, namely Kindergarten, Special Education, and Art Education. The study employs an interpretive research approach and case study methodology to gather this rich understanding of lecturers’ and students’ perceptions. Data were collected from twelve lecturers and twelve undergraduate students through a combination of lecture room observations, semi-structured interviews, and group interviews. The most significant finding emerging from this study is the lack of lecturer participants’ knowledge regarding metacognition generally. My study found that skills such as planning, monitoring, and evaluating skills were sometimes present in their teaching, but were not used to engage students in thinking metacognitively or developing their own metacognitive abilities. I found that metacognition was not present consistently or intentionally in lecture rooms. The findings further exposed some obstacles which could inhibit the promotion of metacognition in higher education in KSA. For example, traditional methods of rote learning were shown to discourage metacognitive thinking. Large student numbers and lecturers’ lack of time could prohibit lecturers from investing in teaching metacognitive skills to their students. Students’ apathy towards anything other than memorising facts to pass examinations and acquire grades could also demotivate them to learn valuable skills like metacognition without comprehensive changes to educational norms. The study identified multiple ways in which metacognition could be promoted in higher education in KSA. For example, diversifying teaching practices to include more active learning methods such as discussion and questioning would be more effective than the current prevalent method of lecturing and learning by memorising. Lecturers could role-model metacognitive skills to their students by incorporating metacognition into their own practice, and thus incorporate it into existing courses. Students could be motivated to develop metacognitive skills by discovering the benefits to them of metacognition on both their academic success and their future careers. The study’s findings supported the importance of including metacognition in higher education and advocating it to students as a valuable skill. Thus, there is a need to establish mechanisms or frameworks for integrating metacognition into higher education in KSA, and communities of practice which support the development of metacognitive skills among lecturers and student teachers who will be the teachers of tomorrow. I therefore offer a model with recommendations for practical uptake to expedite this, and support it with this study's evidence.
Supervisor: Larkin, Shirley Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: metacognition ; metacognitive skills ; metacognition & teaching practices ; university lecturers' perspectives ; student's perspecrtives ; Saudi Arabia ; pre-service teacher education programmes