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Achieving Valuable Education for All: An Exploration of Curricular Challenges in Reforming Malta’s Secondary Education.

Attard, I., 2022. Achieving Valuable Education for All: An Exploration of Curricular Challenges in Reforming Malta’s Secondary Education. Doctoral Thesis (Doctoral). Faculty of Media and Communication.

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Maltese Secondary Education Certificate (SEC) examinations form the basis of this research study because of ongoing concerns about Malta’s high rates of early school leavers (ESL). There is significant debate within the Maltese learning community regarding how the SEC subjects should be taught, developed, managed, examined and reformed. To this effect, this research seeks to explore why Malta is still amongst highest in Europe with ESL in light of current education policy developments taking place to bring about change in the Maltese Secondary Education. In 2015, the Matriculation and Secondary Education Certificate (MATSEC) Examinations Board called for further studies to explore the nature of poor performance in the SEC examinations. MATSEC’s call for action triggers specific research methods aimed at exploring subjective experiences and developing an understanding of the factors influencing pupils’ poor performance in the SEC examinations. Since experiences are complex and subjective in nature, there is opportunity to view the problem from multiple perspectives using various sources in order to provide the basis of new and reflective understanding of this problem. The objective of this research is to go beyond the scope of the examiners’ statistical reports and National and International surveys to learn about the nature of this problem from policy analysis as well as the views of the pupils and other learning stakeholders (parents/teachers/examiners/policy makers). This study applies a specific methodological framework that examines the problem from various perspectives through qualitative, systematic research. This consisted of three stages: a context and literature review of initiatives and perspectives that shape current policies and practices in the Maltese secondary education; critical discourse analysis of three key policies; and interviews with education stakeholders. The context and literature review revealed how reform in the Maltese secondary education has dealt with on-going clashes of different ideas about principles of value and practice of equality in Maltese education. The policy analysis and interviews revealed how such tensions are still present in the Maltese education system today. The key tension is revealed to be a binary divide between traditional concepts of value in education and the wish for a more open and inclusive education for all. The differences of opinion are characterised by people’s strong ties with the country’s past and how the system is torn between comprehensive and selective models of education. This is the first time that qualitative research has explored underpinning tensions of educational reform in Malta by exploring why education reforms in Malta seems to be agreed upon in principle but not in practice.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:reform; value; inclusivity; engagement; ideology; Maltese education
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:36751
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:16 Mar 2022 15:14
Last Modified:16 Mar 2022 15:14


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