Stakeholder’s Attitude towards Withdrawing Social and National Education Textbooks from Jordanian Schools
AbstractThis study explores stakeholders’ reactions to the Jordanian Ministry of Education's decision to withdraw the ‘social and civics education’ textbooks for students in the first three grades (containing children aged 6 to 9) in the academic year 2013-2014. A qualitative survey was undertaken in the year following the textbook withdrawal, of how various stakeholders reacted to this decision. The participants of the study (N = 70) were people affected by the textbook withdrawal, namely headteachers, classroom teachers, supervisors, and social studies teachers along with parents, and young children during the years 2015-2016. The participants were selected by the convenience sampling method from the provinces of Irbid, Jerash, Al-Mafraq, Bani Kenana and Al-Ramtha. The overt reasons for the textbook withdrawal were: (a) to reduce the weight of students’ schoolbags; (b) to focus more on mastering reading, writing, and math skills; (c) to decrease the large number of subjects studied by young students; and (d) to avoid an overlap of topics that were sometimes found repeated in the social/national textbooks and those of other subjects. Those interviewed endorsed these Ministerial decisions, but also expressed several reservations. This article draws upon a longer document, which has formed part of the democratic consultation process which marks a Muslim culture.
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