Education 2

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1. That there were significant gaps in her understanding of method and that she needed to take responsibility for studying the pertinent methods in both her coursework and with her supervisors who are well versed in the methods and can help her. She had chosen a qualitative approach and this is pertinent with the exploratory nature of the work but she needed to show more confidence in understanding and defending her sampling strategy, her data collection and processes of validation in her chosen case study method.

2. The student has chosen one region in Saudi Arabia to study in her project .
The panel was concerned that she had not mapped out or prepared detail on the key features of how gifted education fits within the Special Education system she is seeking to examine in Saudi Arabia or anything about the specific region she has selected. The services provided to gifted students and the training given to teachers of gifted students were not described. It transpired the supervisors were having difficulty ascertaining this too. This in itself should form the basis of her introduction to her sampling strategy and include discussion of the challenges she will face in collecting data. When questioned it was not clear Hamda had realised the importance of including this background information to contextualise the study. This was explained to her verbally and was to be taken up by her supervisors. A clearer definition of ‘giftedness’ in KSA also needs to be provided as it was not clear whether ‘talent’ was included in the assessment of ‘giftedness.’

3. The student’s focus is female teachers and their perceptions and sense making of gifted education for girls in Saudi. It stands to reason she will also be expected to provide a rich description of provisions for girls in her region. Unfortunately, there is still vagueness about the whole of her study exacerbated by the fact that her research questions addressed the latter (system) but did not adequately encompass the former (perceptions). Hamda was not able to clarify this when invited to do so in the discussion regardless of style of trying to evoke this information with her. There are apparently two levels of case in this study i) region 2) the phenomenon of provision and how it is interpreted in practice.

The Aim of the study expressed that the experiences of gifted education for girls would be compared to that of their ‘contemporaries’- but it was not clear if ‘contemporaries’ referred only to gifted boys in KSA. The focus of the comparison needs to be clearly defined. In short the research questions and the connections between questions, sampling and data collection need careful elaboration.


4. From a validation perspective the panel also suggested that more than one interview was needed with each participant to improve validation processes. There also needed to be clearer definition of the case boundaries (notably specific provision for gifted vs non specific provision in one region as perceived through a lens of gender and equity). Because gender equity appeared to be a large focus of the study, more explanation needs to be provided regarding the segregated education system in KSA and the provision of services to gifted boys and gifted girls.

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