CULTURAL AND SENSORY ANALYSIS OF THE HISTORY OF EARLY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST, CASE STUDY KUWAIT

CULTURALAND SENSORY ANALYSIS OF THE HISTORY OF EARLY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS INTHE MIDDLE EAST, CASE STUDY KUWAIT

AThesis Proposal by

Culturaland sensory analysis of the history of early learning environments inthe Middle East, Case Study Kuwait

Abstract

Theterm &quotefficient learning environment&quot can be described fromseveral viewpoints which clearly identify the considerable impactthat learning environments have on overall learning. Two criticalfactors are considered to be essential in enhancing the learningexperience and outcome educational practices and structure, andlearning or educational environment. The main purpose of any learningenvironment is to enhance and support the physiological ways of humanunderstanding, including, kinetic, auditory and visual [ CITATION Jen13 l 1033 ].The learning environment consists of several factors that manyfactors that determine the physical environment which in turn havedirect or indirect impact on learning, academic achievement, behaviorand productivity[ CITATION Jen13 l 1033 ].The proposed paper analyzes the above views in relation to earlylearning environments in Middle East with a specific focus on Kuwait.The methodology would be based on mixed approaches and socialrelation methods, such as case studies and surveys within the Kuwaitipublic school learning environment.

Childrentend to learn through their senses both outdoors and indoors, in asupportive environment [ CITATION Jea15 l 1033 ].Learning environments, therefore, act as a means for offeringchildren with opportunities to actively explore, work independently,make decisions, solve problems and follow through with their learningexperiences and knowledge acquisition[ CITATION Jea15 l 1033 ].Based on thecultural and historical analysis of the early learning environment inthe Middle East and specifically Kuwaiti learning environment, we candivide the history of the learning environment in Kuwait into fivecrucial stages. The first is the stage of religious education whichwas mainly facilitated in places of worship, mosques and it wasreligious in nature followed by the stage of Kettateeb which theeducation system was restricted to what the child learned fromhis/her parents and Kettateeb [ CITATION Gha13 l 1033 ].In this system, Mutawas or Mullah made a significant influence in thelearning environment and education of children, and the children weretaught the Koran as well as the basics of writing, reading, andmathematics.

Thenest stage was the emergence of private education which started in1911 and lasted till the establishment of the Knowledge Council in1936. Next was the stage of public education which commenced in 1936through 1956 in which the government increased its involvement ineducation [ CITATION Gha13 l 1033 ].The fifth stage was the stage of modern education which began in 1956and is characterized by directives for the enhancement of educationalsystem, updating of the curriculum. It is through this stage that thecountry began working on preparing educational plans for furtherdevelopment and enhancement of its educational system[ CITATION Gha13 l 1033 ].In this paper, more focus is placed on studying the history oflearning environments in Kuwait from a cultural, sensory and socialpoint of view which would help in having a better understanding ofthe country`s learning environment from a historical perspective.

Background

Kuwaitis a relatively small country located in the Persian Gulf. In 2009,its population reached 3.4 million, among which approximately 400,000were students in the education system. At the onset of the twentiethcentury, there was no any formal educational system in the country,with only some few informal educational systems such as Quranicschools, commonly known as Al-Katatib, which were mainly funded bywealthy private citizens in the country to facilitate learning byteaching kids from wealthy families about writing, reading and basicarithmetic. In the first few decades of the 20th Century, merchantsin need of more extensive learning for their clerks opened someprivate schools, notably the Al Mubarakiyya School which was foundedin 1911 to offer training in arithmetic, commerce and letter-writingskills and Al-Ahmedia, which was established in 1921 to offer Englishcourses and later an all-girls school was established to provideeducation in home economics, Arabic and Islamic studies [ CITATION Gha13 l 1033 ].

TheKuwaiti government took control of the country`s education system in1939 and in 1965, the country`s Ministry of Education put in place acompulsory education law which facilitated the provision of freeeducation to all citizens from kindergarten to high school level [ CITATION Gha13 l 1033 ].Early learning environments in the Middle East was thus mainlyaligned with Islamic ways of life and teachings which shaped learningexperience and education in the region. For instance, the Quranictext has patterns and phrases that frequently repeat themselves andrhyme thus allowing for a relatively easy memorization and recallingof the text, oaths, and the exhortations presuppose a listeningaudience [ CITATION Erg08 l 1033 ].

Thesisstatement

Physicallearning environment has a significant impact on overall learningexperience and knowledge acquisition by learners.

Methodology

Theresearch methodology will be based on social relation methodologiesas well as mixed approaches that combine both quantitative andqualitative methods. The design will start with the collection andinterpretation of quantitative data, then followed by collection andanalysis of qualitative data to facilitate further interpretation ofthe quantitative data [ CITATION Cla11 l 1033 ].

References

Clark, VL Plano, and John W Creswell. 2011. &quotDesigning and conducting mixed methods research.&quot

Ergin, Nina. 2008. &quotThe soundscape of sixteenth-century Istanbul mosques: Architecture and Qur`an recital.&quot Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (JSTOR) 204-221.

Ghaith, Omar. 2013. &quotThe impact of blended learning on female student-teachers in Kuwait.&quot (Brunel University School of Sport and Education).

Hindman, Jennifer, Leslie Grant, and James Stronge. 2013. The Supportive Learning Environment: Effective Teaching Practices. Routledge.

Machado, Jeanne M. 2015. Early Childhood Experiences in Language Arts: Early Literacy. Cengage Learning.