Realising the vision of technology integration: a case study of K-12 private schools in the United Arab Emirates

Doctorate other than PhD

Mahmoud, Kheder. 2022. Realising the vision of technology integration: a case study of K-12 private schools in the United Arab Emirates. Doctorate other than PhD Doctor of Education. University of Southern Queensland.

Realising the vision of technology integration: a case study of K-12 private schools in the United Arab Emirates

TypeDoctorate other than PhD
AuthorMahmoud, Kheder
1. FirstDr Catherine Arden
2. SecondProf Patrick Danaher
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Education
Number of Pages258
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Heralded by the release of government policies such as Vision 2021, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has joined the worldwide impetus for the integration of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) into K-12 education as a central plank of reforms to its economy and education system. This presents challenges for schools in both public and private sectors in the UAE as they strive to adhere to national government and local education authority guidelines and standards for educational innovation, and as they respond to the challenges of the global Covid19 pandemic. Whilst the UAE Government has invested heavily to support technology integration in public schools, private schools must fund their own technology integration initiatives. In a context of strong growth in the private K-12 sector and reported high teacher turnover rates, private school leadership faces particular challenges related to decision-making about investment in suitable technologies and support systems, including teachers’ professional development.

This research therefore, sought to study the situation in private K-12 schools and, specifically, the challenges that educators in UAE’s private schools face as they integrate technology in response to Vision 2021 by answering these research questions: (i) What is the policy context for technology integration in the UAE private school sector, and what do private sector education policies at system and school levels tell us about the key factors influencing technology integration in schools and curricula? (ii) What are school teachers and administrators’ experiences of and perceptions about the integration of technology in UAE private schools, including reported challenges and enablers? (iii) How do UAE K-12 private school teachers learn to integrate technology into their educational practice?

Various theoretical and conceptual frameworks for technology integration in schools were examined to guide this study; however, Kozma’s (2003a) framework of innovative pedagogical practices that use technology, adapted to suit the study’s geographical and cultural context and to accommodate key findings from current research, was determined to provide the best fit for the elucidation of contributing factors that may influence schools’ and educators’ capacity to implement desired changes in their classrooms. A blended instrumental-intrinsic approach to case study research (Stake, 2003) was adopted, whereby the researcher was equally interested in understanding the specific features and characteristics of the case of technology integration in the private K-12 school sector in the UAE and in illuminating issues related to educators’ perspectives and experiences of integrating technology into their teaching. Sources of qualitative data for the case study included structured interviews with ten educators from nine K-12 private schools across three UAE Emirates, and selected education policies at international, national and school system levels. Correlation of the findings from the policy analysis with the interview findings supported in-depth analysis of the phenomenon under study (Bowen, 2009).

The findings of this study provide contributions to theoretical, methodological, policy and practice knowledge. The study’s conceptual framework makes a contribution to knowledge in the scholarship of technology integration in K-12 education. The findings will inform UAE private sector educators and policymakers alike, providing guidance regarding critical success factors for effective technology integration in private schools. An implementation framework for technology integration in UAE private sector K-12 schools is presented to guide the implementation of technology integration in existing and new private schools planned for the UAE.

Keywordseducational change, ICT, innovation, national education policy, private schools, professional development, teachers, technology, technology integration, UAE
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390201. Education policy
390405. Educational technology and computing
390307. Teacher education and professional development of educators
390102. Curriculum and pedagogy theory and development
390305. Professional education and training
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Education
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Realising the vision of technology integration: a case study of K-12 private schools in the United Arab Emirates
Mahmoud, Kheder, Arden, Catherine and Donovan, Jennifer. 2020. "Realising the vision of technology integration: a case study of K-12 private schools in the United Arab Emirates." Al Mahdi, Osama (ed.) Innovations in educational leadership and continuous teachers’ professional development. India. CSMFL Publications.