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Title: An investigation of the English Department curriculum in two universities in Iraqi Kurdistan
Author: Azeez, A. Y.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8510 7236
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2020
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Curriculum reform was one aspect of the reform process in the higher education system that was launched by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region in 2009. The old curriculum was believed to be insufficient to provide the graduates with the necessary skills to compete in the job market. This study is an attempt to undertake a detailed investigation of the decision makers’, teachers and students’ perceptions of the purposes and content of curriculum in the English Language Departments in two universities. This research has adopted a case study methodology. The data was collected from multiple participants in order to represent a diverse range of voices. Data include face-to-face semi-structured interviews with Heads of the Curriculum Development Directorate, Heads of English Language Departments, members of academic committees, teachers and recent graduates from the English Language Departments in each university, as well as focus group discussions with third year students in each institution. The study also used documentary data such as activity reports, meeting minutes, directives and module descriptors analyse the written curriculum as well as how it is experienced by staff and students. The findings showed that the plans and policies of the Ministry have not been implemented properly due to a number of problems that have thwarted the attempt to revise the curriculum in these universities – particularly those arising from the lack of clarity around and a shared understanding of the aims and objectives, the tensions between traditional and progressive conceptions of knowledge, the inability to adopt a learner-centred pedagogy, and the deformative impact of assessment procedures which are out of step with attempts to modernise course content. As a result, even the changes applied to the content have not been implemented effectively or coherently because the curriculum has not been considered holistically. Another finding of the study is that that many teachers and students have been disconnected from all steps of curriculum change as the criteria for teachers’ has emphasized length of service. The study also revealed many pragmatic problems, including issues relating to time, resources, and the alignment of priorities and values between different members of staff, and between staff and students.
Supervisor: Watson, A. ; Jones, S. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available