Arabic language curriculum has been undergoing reforms across the Arab world to improve Arab students’ acquisition of their mother tongue. Reform initiatives including internationally funded projects have been aimed recently at reforming and modernizing the teaching and learning of the Arabic language. Many Arab countries have adopted a standards-based instruction model. However, there is a lack of vision regarding how this model can be successfully implemented at a national level. This article examines how standards-based curricular mandates have been translated into practice and how teachers perceive implementing the standards-based Arabic curriculum in public schools in Abu Dhabi. The study employs qualitative purposeful sampling and an exploratory methodology to collect experiences of Arabic teachers who implemented the curriculum from 2010 to 2017. The findings of the study uncover the main characteristics, successes, and challenges of the standards-based teaching model as perceived by teachers. The findings also display a consensus for implementing the standards-based Arabic curriculum among teachers. Additionally, the findings show that the educational model requires intense professional development that is rigorous, continuous and collaborative, mentorship and coaching in the classroom, integrated reformative efforts to change ineffective pedagogical practices and capacity building in the UAE.
Arabic curriculum, Educational reform, Standards-based curriculum, Teacher views, United Arab Emirates
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