Doctoral Research Forum - Riadh Ghemmour - Telling Stories of an Invisible Cohort: Exploring Algerian EFL Students’ Experiences, Challenges and Hopes of Learning about Research Methodology and Writing Dissertations at Master’s Level.
|A School of Education research event|
|Date||10 June 2022|
|Time||11:30 to 12:30|
|Provider||School of Education|
|Intended audience||Academic staff and students|
|Registration information||Contact the event organiser for the online meeting link|
Telling Stories of an Invisible Cohort: Exploring Algerian EFL Students’ Experiences, Challenges and Hopes of Learning about Research Methodology and Writing Dissertations at Master’s Level
This thesis sought to gain critical insights into Algerian EFL (English as a Foreign Language) students’ lived experiences, challenges and hopes of learning about research methodology and writing dissertations at master’s level. Within Algerian universities, master’s EFL students are expected to conduct a piece of independent research and write an MA dissertation demonstrating multidisciplinary contents and research skills which they acquire during both their BA and MA programmes. However, according to many scholarly local studies, master’s students studying towards a degree in English Language Education encounter several challenges which hinder their dissertation progress despite previous research learning inputs.
A decolonising methodology grounded in an Indigenous approach was adopted in order to avoid perpetuating ‘otherness’, but rather position participants as research collaborators and educators who can shape the research selection, design, analysis and production of knowledge. In fact, twenty-five students and eleven research methodology lecturers were invited to unpack their lived experiences and critically reflect upon assumptions, attitudes and paradigms shaping research methodology teaching and learning within and beyond classrooms. To reach such aim, participant-observation was used to gain an in-depth insight into the daily learning and teaching experiences of the participants, followed by a series of conversational interviews to explore into more depth the nuanced experiences of the knowledge-holders.
The findings reveal a multi-dimensional picture. They show the multiple challenges which the students encountered over the course of their research learning and dissertation stage. Furthermore, these challenges were critically analysed based on both macro and micro levels revealing issues of teacher-student power dynamics, voice, the social and cultural reproduction within and beyond classrooms and the nature of the overall learning and teaching practices which were grounded in knowledge transmission. To analyse such major themes, Freire’s Critical Pedagogy (CP) and other critical ideas advanced by some key luminaries such as Biesta, Bourdieu, or Giroux were utilised to provide a pluriversal critical analysis of the accounts.
In light of the findings, the study demonstrates implications for lecturers and universities as well as recommendations for future research. The thesis also provides reflexive accounts regarding the tensions and intents of doing a critical and decolonising work.
About the Speaker
Riadh Ghemmour is a doctoral candidate in education and a postgraduate teaching associate at the Graduate School of Education. His areas of interest include: decolonisation, antiracism, critical pedagogy, and social justice in education.