The Significance of Self-Directed Learning in Enhancing the Teaching Skills of Elementary Arabic Language Teachers
(An Experimental Study on a Sample of Primary School Teachers in Damascus))
- DRVISH HASAN DRVISH
. Curriculum and Instruction, Ataturk University- Turkiye
PHD. Mustafa Cagrı ENGİN
. Curriculum and Instruction, Ataturk University- Turkiye
Prof. Dr. Ali Osman Engin
Curriculum and Instruction, Ataturk University- Turkiye
Abstract:This experimental study aims to identify the impact of self-directed learning on the development of teaching skills among elementary Arabic language teachers in Damascus. A random sample of 10 primary school teachers in the city of Damascus was selected to participate in the study in the academic year 2023. Half of the participants received a training program on self-directed learning strategies, while the other half did not. The study employed an observational approach to evaluate the teachers’ performance before and after the training program. The results of the study revealed significant differences between the pre- and post-test scores in the skill of explanation. The study concludes that self-directed learning plays a positive role in developing teaching skills among teachers, and recommends the use of this approach as an effective modern method for training and developing teaching skills
Keywords: self-directed learning, teaching skills, elementary Arabic language teachers, experimental study, Damascus.
The Arabic language is one of the Semitic languages and is considered one of the oldest languages. It is the native language spoken by over 220 million people in twenty-two Arab countries. It is also one of the major languages in the world. In 1971, it was recognized as one of the six official languages of the United Nations, alongside Chinese, Russian, English, French, and Spanish
The Arabic language possesses several unique linguistic features, such as writing from right to left, the dual number for nouns, which does not exist in English, grammatical gender for masculine and feminine, and the root system. It is also characterized by the letter “Ḍād” (ض), which is a challenging sound for non-Arabic speakers to pronounce. Even some Arabs themselves find it difficult to distinguish between “Ḍād” (ض) and “Ẓā” (ظ)
By moving to the Arabic language context, the Arabic language enjoys a prestigious status, not only in Arabic-speaking countries but also in all Islamic communities due to the early Islamic period. Throughout that period, the Arabic language remained the language of prestige, used for all religious, cultural, administrative, and scientific purposes. Many other languages have been influenced by the Arabic language in fields such as science, philosophy, literature, and law. The Arabic language has played a significant cultural role in disseminating knowledge and fostering cultural exchange within the Islamic world and beyond. Even today, the Arabic language maintains its prominent position as a language of religion, culture, and rich scientific heritage (Al-Huri, 2015).
The concept of self-directed learning has gained significant attention in recent years. It is characterized by learners taking responsibility for their own learning process, including setting learning goals, identifying learning needs, and evaluating learning outcomes (Saienko & Lavrysh, 2020). While self-directed learning is not a new idea, it has been increasingly recognized and emphasized over the past decade.
In contrast to traditional education, self-directed learning offers learners greater freedom and autonomy in their educational journey. It allows for personalized learning experiences tailored to individual interests and motivations. By fostering a sense of self-motivation and curiosity, self-directed learning creates an environment conducive to creativity and intellectual stimulation (Saienko & Lavrysh, 2020).
For adult learners, self-directed learning aligns well with their preferences and needs. Adults often prefer taking control of their learning process and making decisions that align with their personal and professional goals. They have developed a sense of self-validation and take responsibility for their actions and choices (Knowles, Holton, & Swanson, 2015). Therefore, interactive and collaborative interactions between teachers and adult learners, along with problem-solving approaches and access to diverse learning resources, enhance the learning experience .
It is essential for educators to recognize that they are no longer the sole source of knowledge. Learners’ educational needs extend beyond what teachers can provide or suggest. With the advent of the internet and digital resources, learners have access to vast amounts of information and knowledge. Hence, educators should focus on equipping learners with lifelong learning skills, enabling them to navigate and thrive in an ever-changing reality (Saienko & Lavrysh, 2020). Cultivating a desire for continuous learning and providing learners with the tools and strategies to become self-directed learners are crucial aspects of academic development.
Teachers in advanced countries are highly valued, particularly in terms of their training and development, which enables them to adapt to any new teaching approach. This is because the level of student performance is directly related to the teacher’s performance. Therefore, teacher training during service becomes a necessity to improve their teaching performance. This is one of the factors that has encouraged the focus on teacher preparation, especially after the emergence of some results from recent studies that have shown weaknesses in the teaching skills possessed by teachers . Despite the ambitious and modern education system, with its new curricula and advanced technological tools, it will not achieve the desired success without a well-prepared and capable teacher. In the United States, the movement to prepare teachers based on teaching skills dominated most teacher training programs after the 1960s, with the aim of preparing skilled teachers capable of performing their teaching duties effectively, using various training methods.
In Syria, the Ministry of Education is struggling to keep up with the educational developments around the world, especially amidst the ongoing wars. Teaching methods shifted in the mid-1990s from a content-based approach to a goals-based approach, and the current approach focuses on teaching competencies. Many Syrian studies and researches have been conducted on this approach, and most of them have shown a shortage in the training of teachers regarding this approach for various reasons.
Based on this, the researcher proposes a training program based on self-directed learning to develop the teaching skills of Arabic language teachers in elementary education. To assess the effectiveness of the program, observation will be conducted to evaluate the teachers’ performance.
This study aims to understand the impact of self-directed learning on the development of teaching skills among Arabic language teachers in primary schools in Damascus. The rapid and successive global changes in the job market resulting from the application of modern technologies have created new high-value jobs, prompting employers to seek professionals willing to continuously develop their skills and knowledge. Therefore, successful future professions rely on vital skills such as lifelong learning, which is primarily achieved through self-directed learning.
In today’s rapidly advancing and changing world, distance learning and self-directed learning are important approaches for learners and universities, as they consider the learners’ needs and changing circumstances, and achieve the expected outcomes of the learning process (Al-Rababah, 2020). Smart devices and remote learning platforms play a significant role in providing self-directed learning effectively.
Considering this context, this study aims to investigate the impact of self-directed learning on the development of teaching skills among Arabic language teachers in primary schools in Damascus. The study will involve assessing teachers’ adoption of self-directed learning as a strategy to enhance their teaching skills and evaluating its impact on improving their efficiency and effectiveness in their educational duties.
The expected results of this study will contribute to enhancing our understanding of the importance of self-directed learning in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of Arabic language teachers in primary schools. The findings may provide strong evidence supporting the development of training and educational programs that promote self-directed learning among teachers, thus improving the quality of education and its impact on student achievement.
It is important to note that there may be several challenges in effectively implementing self-directed learning in the primary education environment, such as limited technological resources and challenges in accessing the internet. However, innovative strategies and solutions can be developed to promote self-directed learning and make the most of the available resources. In conclusion, self-directed learning is an important approach in developing the teaching skills of Arabic language teachers in primary schools in Damascus. By promoting self-directed learning and adopting its strategies, teachers can improve their instructional efficiency and achieve better outcomes in teaching the Arabic language to students.
The problem of education:
Whether education is delivered through traditional methods or self-directed learning, the rapid and unexpected changes of this era have made empowering learners and teachers with self-learning skills essential and crucial. Self-directed learning develops the learner’s and teacher’s personality and independence, enabling them to act autonomously and discover their own abilities and capacity for self-learning (Aljarraf, 2016).
The ongoing Syrian civil war has imposed a transition from relying on the traditional education system based on direct communication to relying on self-directed learning within the schools of the Syrian Ministry of Education. This system grants students and teachers greater freedom in research and self-reliance in acquiring knowledge. This shift from traditional face-to-face education to self-directed learning has raised concerns among some educators about the effectiveness of sustaining the educational process, due to students’ perceived inability to learn autonomously in the absence of direct supervision by teachers (Al-Rababah, 2020)
Syria’s educational curricula have seen successive reforms, like other countries around the world, in order to improve the process of education and learning, especially in the era of knowledge explosion where knowledge evolves and changes over time. Education is no longer just about imparting knowledge, theories, and values, and traditional methods are no longer sufficient to impart the cognitive skills and abilities required for this era.
On this basis, education can only perform its multiple functions efficiently with the competence of those who lead it. Regardless of the scientific and technological advancement in managing the processes of education and learning, and providing economy and speed in them, and however many tools, devices, and programs are introduced in the field of education, the quality of education and efficiency can only be achieved by the qualified teacher who is capable of performing his role successfully and effectively (Badr, 2005).
The significance of teacher training and their pivotal role in the education system cannot be overstated. They are instrumental in achieving educational objectives by imparting knowledge, skills, and values to students. According to Adib (2007), the educational behavior of teachers can be classified into three main categories.
Firstly, teachers act as purveyors of knowledge, necessitating their awareness and understanding of the subject matter they teach, as well as their proficiency in teaching methods to effectively deliver educational situations.
Secondly, teachers serve as role models, requiring them to possess high levels of proficiency and qualification.
Finally, teachers are dynamic agents in shaping the attitudes, interests, and values of students towards better educational performance, which has a positive impact on their academic achievements (Adib, 2007).
The topic of teacher preparation and training in educational literature is a highly significant area of study, particularly in the context of the expanding scope of education and the increasing focus on the quality of teaching and learning. In the face of the wide-ranging changes in educational thought and practices, the literature on teacher preparation has undergone a conceptual and ideological revolution. Emerging within this literature are new fields, trends, and principles that seek to prepare and train teachers during service, linking these endeavors to productive educational work, the formation of leadership, and other related aspects (Al-Ajaz, 2006).
Buthaina Bader emphasizes the urgent need for a radical reorientation of teacher preparation that aims to equip teachers with the necessary knowledge and skills to cope with the new challenges facing them (Bader, 2005). Modern trends in teacher preparation emphasize that teachers should not be limited to possessing knowledge of the subject matter they teach; rather, they must also possess the necessary skills and effectiveness to perform their teaching tasks in different educational situations. As such, the focus has shifted from the teacher who possesses information to the teacher who has the ability to perform various teaching skills (Jurdat, 1983).
The issue of teacher preparation and the acquisition of necessary educational competencies for teaching has garnered significant attention in contemporary educational thought. The global and Arab interest in teachers and their competencies has increased with the study of educational competencies as a dominant educational trend in teacher preparation programs. This trend, known as competency-based education, has become a measure of a teacher’s success and ability to perform their tasks and role as a fundamental element in the educational process (Belassa, 2011).
The movement towards preparing teachers based on competencies is one of the most important and well-defined modern educational features. This movement emerged in the United States of America in the early 1970s as a direct response to traditional methods of teacher preparation, which were based on the assumption that a competent teacher is one who has mastered and effectively uses a number of competencies necessary for the work of teaching (Ben Sassi, 2011).
In this context, Al-Hilah (2002) highlights that the competency-based approach to teacher preparation is one of the modern approaches in the field of teacher preparation and is among the most prominent modern educational trends that have emerged in recent years. This approach has gained widespread popularity in the United States, where many educational institutions have shifted towards competency-based educational programs, particularly in the field of teacher preparation.
Imam et al. (2000): underline the significance of teaching skills as a necessity affirmed by modern educational trends. They argue that the education of teachers in the modern age is based on a focus on teaching skills, as the movement towards competency-based teacher preparation has dominated most teacher preparation programs, aiming to prepare skilled teachers capable of performing their teaching duties effectively.
Several studies have been conducted to assess teaching skills (competencies) among teachers and the training programs aimed at developing them. These studies include:
Raymond’s study (1999): aimed to identify the training needs of teachers from both their own perspective and that of educational supervisors. The study involved a sample of 444 male and female teachers and 36 educational supervisors who completed a questionnaire covering seven areas: lesson planning, communication, teaching methods, classroom management, classroom interaction, improving essential skills, and evaluating student behavior. The findings of the study revealed significant statistical differences between the ratings of teachers and supervisors in four areas, namely: lesson planning, classroom interaction, classroom management, and improving essential skills for teachers.
Likewise, Bramlett’s study (2000): aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a new teacher training program in the state of Arizona, USA, to determine teaching needs. The research utilized a descriptive-analytical method, and the results indicated that the teacher training program should incorporate teaching practice training before entering the teaching profession, application of the program content to students at the university during their studies and at the beginning of their teaching career, and development of the training program to encompass classroom organization and management.
Shenin and Shana’s (2011): study was an exploratory investigation that aimed to gauge teachers’ responses regarding the reality of competency-based teaching. The study found that the majority of teachers within the sample had not received any training in the area of competency-based teaching, and all individuals who had received training reported that it was insufficient. This inadequacy led to many teachers adopting an approach that they did not fully understand, lacking a clear conception of the approach.
Similarly, Al-Arabi’s (2011): study aimed to uncover the extent to which primary school teachers in the state of Mostaganem, Algeria, implement the competency-based teaching approach. The study was guided by the question of whether the teaching behavior of primary school teachers within the classroom aligns with the strategy of competency-based teaching?
The study found that lesson planning and preparation align with the teaching strategy using competency-based approach, but the teaching behavior of the teacher during lesson implementation and evaluation does not align with the competency-based teaching strategy.
The study by Sabah (2013): aimed to determine the role of in-service training in improving the teaching skills of middle school teachers according to competency-based pedagogy, on a sample of teachers in the state of Biskra. The study found that the sample members consider that training has contributed to improving their skills to a moderate degree.
Previous studies, such as those by Chenin and Shna (2011), Al-Arabi (2011), and Sabah (2013), have shown that there are training needs for teachers in many teaching competencies, especially for new teachers. The researcher also observed the educational reality in Syria and concluded that there is a need for training programs and workshops for teachers to develop their analytical, design, and evaluation skills required by the competency-based teaching strategy:
Many of those employed as elementary school teachers did not receive pre-service training at teacher training institutes, and they did not receive sufficient training during service on the competency-based teaching approach, which emphasizes the need for compensatory training programs.
The scarcity of training programs and courses for elementary school teachers means that any developments in elementary education curricula become useless and impractical.
Most of these courses and programs that were implemented were mainly theoretical, with little practical and applied aspects, leading to weak practical training on the required skills.
These courses and programs are often short, which does not allow trainees to obtain a comprehensive idea of the course or program topics, especially if there is ambiguity in the objectives, which reduces the effectiveness of these programs and courses.
These courses and programs are often held at inconvenient times during the academic year, which affects the educational process, on the one hand, and the motivation of the trainees, on the other hand.
Shortcomings in the evaluation methods employed at the end of the programs and courses reduce the effectiveness of feedback for the beneficiaries and the organizers of these courses and programs.
The current state of teacher training in Syria is a result of the challenging circumstances faced by schools in recent years. These circumstances have cast a shadow over both pre-service and in-service training, preventing teachers from receiving sufficient training to effectively apply the competency-based teaching approach. Consequently, many teachers continue to perform the same role they did before, as in previous teaching approaches, which has negatively impacted the implementation of this new approach.
Furthermore, the traditional in-service teacher training approach has become inadequate in terms of cognitive development and teaching skills enhancement, making it unsuitable for current variables and challenges. This inadequacy limits the education system’s ability to align with the knowledge explosion, technological and economic advancement, and the need for future teachers to adapt to evolving knowledge and facts. As such, alternative training methods must be employed to enable teachers to learn or catch up with these knowledge and skills.
In recent years, there have been several studies conducted in both Arab and foreign countries with the aim of developing training programs to enhance the teaching skills of educators. These programs rely on various teaching methods that are designed to raise the level of teaching proficiency among teachers. Anderson and Demioul’s study (1998), for example, sought to identify teachers’ perceptions of the document portfolio, a tool used in teacher preparation programs. The study included a sample of 721 teachers from different areas of the United States of America, and the researchers employed a descriptive analytical method to answer the following research questions: What is the purpose of using the document portfolio in teacher preparation programs, and what is its impact on learners and educational programs?
The results of the study revealed that 69% of the questionnaire responses indicated that the use of the document portfolio develops teachers’ thinking and encourages self-learning. Furthermore, it is deemed as an important tool for the professional growth of teachers both before and during their service. The study also demonstrated that the document portfolio has a positive impact on teaching, as it makes the learner the focus of the educational process, develops reflective teacher thinking, and encourages the use of international standards for professional evaluation.
Similarly, Mahmoud’s study (2006): aimed to investigate the impact of a proposed self-training program during service on the development of creative teaching skills among preparatory stage mathematics teachers and their attitudes towards creative teaching. The study found that the experimental group of teachers outperformed their counterparts in the control group, not only in creative teaching skills as a whole but also in each main skill separately.
Bander Al-Zahrani conducted a study in 2010, which aimed to examine the significance of training courses for art education teachers from their perspective and the extent of their benefit in enhancing their teaching skills. The study also aimed to identify the most significant obstacles that impede the effective utilization of these courses. The study employed a descriptive approach, and a simple random sample of 80 teachers from Makkah and Al-Leith in Saudi Arabia was selected. A questionnaire was administered, consisting of three axes, which focused on the importance of training courses for art education teachers, the extent of teachers’ benefit from these courses in developing their teaching skills, and the identification of the most significant obstacles that hindered their utilization of these courses.
The results of the study revealed that teachers perceive training courses as highly significant in the development of their teaching skills, and they have benefited significantly from these courses in improving their teaching performance. Despite the apparent benefits of these courses, several obstacles hindered their effective utilization, such as the limited availability of training courses, the lack of time to participate in these courses, and the insufficient attention paid to developing teachers’ skills in this field.
The study highlights the importance of providing appropriate training courses for art education teachers that are of high quality and provide sufficient time for teachers to participate in them. Such measures can enhance teachers’ skills in teaching and contribute to improving the quality of education in this field. Therefore, policymakers and educational institutions should prioritize the provision of effective training programs that cater to the needs of art education teachers and overcome the obstacles that hinder their effective utilization:
elopment of their teaching skills and that they benefited significantly from these courses in improving their teaching performance. Specifically, they reported that such courses enhanced their ability to prepare students, present lessons effectively, and provide practical demonstrations in various related skills. Moreover, they reported significant benefits in most skills associated with these abilities, including explaining concepts, interacting with students, formulating and directing questions during teaching, utilizing educational tools, managing laboratory lessons, giving instructions, and concluding lessons.
However, the study identified several obstacles that significantly impeded the participants’ utilization of training courses. The absence of both material and moral incentives, the short duration of courses, the reliance on lecturing as a primary teaching style, and the predominance of theoretical content at the expense of practical application were found to hinder the effective utilization of training courses. Additionally, the study found that the following obstacles had a moderate effect on participants’ utilization of training courses: distance of courses from participants’ residences, a lack of opportunities for exchanging experiences among trainees and trainers, programs that did not cater to the trainees’ needs, a lack of focus on practical application in training, inadequate facilities during courses, minimal use of educational tools during courses, and programs that did not align with practical realities.
Here is a revised version of the provided text with an academic writing style:
In a study conducted by Kanaan (2012), the effectiveness of a proposed program for Islamic education teachers was investigated. The program was designed based on the principle of self-learning, using mini teaching units (learning models), and directed towards enhancing the skills of teachers during their service in the elementary education stage in schools in Damascus province, Saudi Arabia. The study aimed to evaluate the program’s effectiveness in improving teachers’ cognitive, skills, and emotional competencies, and to recommend self-learning as a training method that addresses individual differences among teachers.
The study employed a descriptive approach, utilizing a random sample of Islamic education teachers in the selected region. The research tool used was a questionnaire, consisting of various axes to assess the importance of self-learning, the degree of benefit, and the obstacles that hindered its effective utilization. The results showed that self-learning was highly significant in elevating the level of all three areas of competencies, namely cognitive, skills, and emotional. The study recommends that self-learning be considered as an essential training method for teachers that addresses individual differences among them.
Another study conducted by Al-Mutairi (2014): aimed to develop a proposed professional development program for high school physics teachers in Yemen and assess its effectiveness in enhancing their performance. In this study, a descriptive approach was used to prepare the theoretical framework, examine the training programs in Yemen, and develop the program using self-learning models as well as research tools. A semi-experimental design was employed to verify the proposed program’s effectiveness in improving the professional performance of physics teachers.
The study’s findings revealed that the proposed professional development program successfully enhanced the teachers’ skills and improved their professional performance. The study recommended that such a program be adopted to improve the quality of education and enhance teachers’ performance in schools.
These studies contribute significantly to the field of teacher training and development programs, emphasizing the importance of self-learning as a training method and the effectiveness of developing programs based on self-learning models in improving the professional performance of teachers. The implementation of such programs could lead to a significant improvement in the quality of education and the performance of teachers in schools:
The results of the study indicate that there were statistically significant differences between the mean scores of the experimental group and the control group of teachers in the post-application of the achievement test, favoring the experimental group. This finding suggests that the professional development program positively impacted the participants’ knowledge and skills, leading to a superior performance compared to the control group.
Moreover, the study findings revealed that there were statistically significant differences between the mean scores of the experimental group and the control group of teachers in the post-application of the observation card in all four domains, favoring the experimental group. These findings suggest that the program’s implementation positively affected the teachers’ ability to incorporate the program’s concepts and strategies into their classroom practices.
These results highlight the effectiveness of the proposed professional development program in enhancing teachers’ knowledge and skills, as well as their classroom practices. The findings suggest that such programs can play a crucial role in improving educators’ performance and promoting high-quality education.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between gender and academic performance among high school students in mathematics and science courses. The study aims to examine whether there are gender differences in academic performance, as well as to determine the extent to which other factors, such as age and socioeconomic status, mediate this relationship.
The study utilizes a mixed-methods research design, incorporating both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods. The quantitative data are obtained through administering a standardized test to measure academic performance in mathematics and science courses, while the qualitative data are collected through semi-structured interviews with a sample of students to gain a deeper understanding of their experiences and perceptions related to academic performance and gender.
The results of the study indicate that there are no statistically significant differences in academic performance between male and female students in mathematics and science courses. However, the qualitative data reveal that female students face unique challenges related to gender stereotypes and societal expectations, which can impact their confidence and motivation in these subjects. Additionally, the study findings suggest that age and socioeconomic status may play a role in the relationship between gender and academic performance.
These findings have important implications for educators and policymakers, as they highlight the need to address gender stereotypes and societal expectations that can impact female students’ academic performance in mathematics and science courses. Furthermore, the study emphasizes the importance of considering other factors, such as age and socioeconomic status, when examining the relationship between gender and academic performance. The study’s mixed-methods approach provides a comprehensive understanding of the complex relationship between gender and academic performance, and can inform the development of interventions and policies to support equitable academic outcomes for all students.
Goals of the study
The current study aims to achieve the following objectives:
- To develop two self-learning training programs for primary school Arabic language teachers, aimed at developing their teaching skills and enhancing their teaching performance.
- To investigate the role of self-learning in developing the teaching skills of primary school Arabic language teachers after implementing the proposed training programs and conducting a post-observation evaluation using an observation card.
- To provide recommendations for future research based on the study findings.
Commentary on previous studies
Through reviewing studies that have focused on training programs for developing teaching competencies (skills), the findings of these studies can be summarized in terms of:
- Study topic and objectives: All of these studies addressed the development and effectiveness or impact of training programs in enhancing teaching skills or competencies. These programs varied in their development methods, including self-learning (models, instructional packages), lectures, dialogues, discussions, workshops, brainstorming, model lessons, and micro-teaching.
- Research methodology: Some of these studies began with a descriptive methodology to identify training needs and build tools and programs. All of these studies used an experimental methodology (with either a single-group or two-group design) to determine the effectiveness or impact of the training program that was developed.
- Study population and sample: The study samples varied from secondary, middle, and elementary school teachers, to teacher students, and female teacher candidates.
- Study instruments: The following instruments were used in these studies: competency checklists, observation cards for teaching skills (especially for teachers), and achievement tests (for students).
- Study results: The majority of the studies found that the implementation of training programs using these varied methods was effective, indicating that these training programs can raise the level of both basic and sub-skills of teaching competencies.
The researcher has derived several insights from the previous studies:
The findings suggest that training programs designed to enhance teaching skills through self-directed learning have been successful and represent one of the most adaptable methods. Moreover, these programs offer notable advantages in terms of effort, cost, and time savings.
In addition, the construction of a note card as an observation tool has been identified as the optimal method for recording teaching performance for teaching skills. These results have significant implications for the development of effective training programs and the assessment of teaching performance.
Based on the outcomes of these studies, the researcher proposes the following hypotheses as responses to the research questions in this study:
Certainly, here is a revised version of the text in an academic writing style:
The research hypothesis posits that statistically significant differences exist between the mean scores of pre-performance and post-performance in the skill of explanation, with post-performance scores being higher. To investigate this hypothesis, the research questions aim to determine whether there is a significant difference between the mean scores of pre-performance and post-performance in this skill.
The research questions can be formulated as follows: “Are there any statistically significant differences between the mean scores of pre-performance and post-performance in the skill of explanation?” The findings of this study will provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of interventions aimed at enhancing teaching skills, particularly in the area of explanation. Moreover, the results of this study will contribute to the broader research literature on teaching and learning, with implications for future research and practice in this field.
importance of the study
The current study derives its significance from the importance of the topic it addresses, which is the pre-service and in-service training of teachers. The government places great emphasis on this issue due to its significant impact on the quality of teaching, as well as the possession of pedagogical skills and abilities by teachers, as opposed to simply being information conveyors. This can only be achieved through advanced programs that help teachers acquire teaching skills. The importance of the current study can be summarized as follows:
The study keeps pace with modern trends in teacher training programs.
It provides educational supervisors with a skills observation card, which can be used to evaluate the teacher’s level of performance in teaching skills during the teaching practice.
It provides teachers with a self-learning training program to develop their teaching skills and contribute to improving their teaching performance.
This study directs the attention of specialists and officials responsible for preparing and training teachers towards adopting a skills-based approach in teacher training.
It highlights the effectiveness of using the self-learning approach in training teaching skills, which saves effort, time, and money for educational supervisors.
limitations of the study
This study is limited to Arabic language teachers in the Directorate of Education in Damascus for the academic year 2023-2022.
– The self-learning training program: refers to a collection of theoretical information, activities, teaching experiences, practical procedures, and assessment methods related to teaching skills presented in the form of modules. The program is provided to the teacher to train on their own, where they acquire the necessary skills independently, driven by their own desire within a specified time frame. The teacher progresses according to their own ability and pace, deciding when and where to start and finish and which tools and alternatives to choose, responding to their own interests, needs, and training requirements to achieve the development of their teaching skills, both sub-skills and foundational skills. The researcher has developed this program based on previous studies and pre-application of the observation card (Salah Al-Din, 2011).
– Teaching performance: refers to the level of execution of primary school Arabic language teachers’ teaching skills in the classroom during the teaching process. It is measured using an observation card developed by the researcher, which focuses on the primary teaching skills.
– Teaching skills: refer to the set of teaching behaviors that primary school teachers use during the planning, execution, and evaluation stages of the teaching process. These skills can be evaluated based on the standards of accuracy, speed, and adaptability to teaching situations, using the observation card for teaching skills that the researcher has prepared. (e.g., the skill of explanation) (Al-Tanawi, 2011).
Perrent et al. (2000): argue that self-learning must be accompanied by direct supervision from a supervisor, particularly in work groups, to ensure that students achieve their desired learning outcomes through the application of specific learning steps. In line with this, Khalil Alsa’dat (2005) posits that self-learning enables individuals to rely on themselves, solve their own problems, make independent decisions, and develop a love for learning. Self-learning is contingent on the individual’s self-activity and their desire to obtain information according to their own ability and self-capacity. It is a continuous process that is required by contemporary life conditions. Self-learning is distinguished from traditional methods in that it is suitable for all students and all levels, and learning is based on self-capacity.
Further, Adnan Zaitoun and Abdullah Fawaz, 2012, define self-learning as a method in which the individual creates their own educational situations to acquire knowledge and skills. The focus of attention shifts from the teacher to the learner, as the learner decides when and where to end the learning process, what means to choose, and becomes responsible for their own learning, cultural and cognitive progress, and the results and decisions they make.
Through the aforementioned points, it can be inferred that self-learning is an activity that relies on the learner’s self-initiative in identifying their learning needs, abilities, and determining learning objectives and suitable knowledge sources. The learner chooses a suitable plan based on their own capacity, evaluates the results of their learning process, and selects appropriate learning alternatives, including using technological applications such as programmed books, learning machines, and various technologies.
Self-learning is directed towards the learner:
who acquires knowledge, concepts, experiences, principles, attitudes, values, and skills on their own and interacts directly with different situations, controlling their variables and circumstances, and finding satisfaction in their motivations.
Self-learning is also considered an educational system that allows the learner to choose their own study, free from the constraints of time, place, and obligations imposed by traditional education, and can be done with or without supervision from a trainer. The learner can acquire continuous learning skills and develop a love for learning, determine their own goals and suitable methods to achieve them, and evaluate the results of their learning process.
Furthermore, self-learning involves the learner’s control over different learning situations to acquire experiences according to their own speed, abilities, and by creating educational situations that suit the learner’s abilities and are based on their internal desires, beliefs, and responding to their interests.
Finally, self-learning is a continuous process required by contemporary life conditions, distinguished by its suitability for all students and all levels, and learning is based on the learner’s self-capacity.
characteristics and features of self-learning
Based on the definitions and characteristics of self-learning presented by Ahmed et al. (2003), Al-Shirini and Al-Tanawi (2011), and Al-Jaqandi (2008), the following features and advantages of self-learning can be identified:
Self-learning takes into account individual differences among learners, including their learning abilities, interests, motivations, prior knowledge, and experiences.
The learner is in control of when, where, and how they learn, and what resources and alternatives they choose to use.
The learner is responsible for their own learning process, outcomes, and decisions.
Self-learning is suitable for all students and all levels, and learning occurs according to the learner’s own capacity.
The learner’s needs, desires, abilities, and interests are the basis for determining the nature and content of the curriculum.
Self-learning is based on three approaches:
The learner determines the educational goals they seek to achieve.
Educational activities are designed to achieve these goals in a way that is compatible with the learner’s needs, abilities, and interests.
The pace of presenting the information to be learned and the skills to be mastered is based on the learner’s abilities, desires, and goals.
Self-learning works to align the concepts and skills to be learned with the learner’s needs, abilities, and preferences, allowing them to change based on their desires.
Principles of self-education
Both Al-Zughoul and Shaker (2007) and Suhaila (2004) have outlined the fundamental principles that underpin the concept of self-directed learning. These principles can be summarized as follows:
Firstly, self-directed learning recognizes the individuality of learners and respects their unique differences in terms of their abilities, inclinations, experiences, and prior knowledge. It acknowledges that learners have different learning styles and preferences, and therefore requires the provision of a flexible learning environment that caters to these differences.
Secondly, self-directed learning values the learners’ self-paced learning. It allows learners to progress through the learning and acquisition processes at their own pace, according to their abilities and potential. This approach ensures that learners have the freedom and sufficient time to move step by step through the learning process without undue interference from the teacher.
Thirdly, self-directed learning promotes positive interaction between the learner and the educational situation. It encourages learners to take an active role in the learning process, to engage in positive participation, and to take responsibility for their learning. This requires learners to not be passive recipients of information, but active participants in the planning, execution, determination, and evaluation of learning sources and results.
Fourthly, self-directed learning emphasizes the importance of diversity in learning sources. It recognizes that learners have different preferences and learning styles and therefore encourages the use of diverse learning sources, including books, brochures, magazines, films, and e-learning sources.
Fifthly, self-directed learning highlights the need for immediate feedback and reinforcement for the learner. It recognizes that learners need to know immediately about their learning progress and their level of mastery of educational tasks, whether they have succeeded or failed. It also provides appropriate immediate reinforcement for the achievements they make during the learning process.
Sixthly, self-directed learning promotes learners’ self-motivation during the learning process. It encourages learners to deal positively with different educational situations through the feedback and reinforcement experiences they receive during the learning process. This leads to increasing learners’ desire to continue learning and pursuing continuous education.
Seventhly, self-directed learning encourages the learner’s self-directed approach. It encourages learners to plan and make appropriate decisions about learning situations, as well as to choose learning methods and activities that are compatible with their abilities and capabilities. This fosters learners’ self-reliance and promotes their ability to take responsibility for their learning process.
Finally, self-directed learning requires comprehensive and continuous evaluation. It relies on the learners’ individual efforts, which means that there is continuous and ongoing review of the learning process. Such review includes assessing the progress made in learning, as well as evaluating the different learning methods and sources.
In conclusion, self-directed learning is a learner-centered approach that recognizes the importance of individual differences and encourages learners to take responsibility for their learning process. It promotes positive interaction and learning from learners’ experiences and various learning sources, and increases their motivation to continue learning and pursuing continuous education.
In addition, the researcher’s vision for self-directed learning focuses on enhancing learners’ self-learning skills and independence, such as planning, organizing, and evaluating their learning. It also emphasizes the development of communication and collaboration skills for cooperative learning and participation in learning communities. The researcher promotes the use of technology and widely available resources to enhance self-directed learning experiences and provide opportunities for lifelong learning.
Overall, the researcher’s vision for self-directed learning is flexible and comprehensive, relying on learners’ abilities and providing them with the necessary tools and resources to achieve personal and professional success through continuous learning.
The aim of teaching is to bring about desirable changes in the behavior of students by imparting knowledge, skills, and attitudes. This requires teachers to possess teaching skills. In this chapter, we will discuss the concept of teaching skills, their components, the stages of acquiring them, and then define the following sub-teaching skill: Lesson Explanation.
Concept of teaching skills:
Teaching skills consist of a combination of two terms: “skill” and “teaching”, so what does skill mean? What does teaching mean? Then what does teaching skills mean?
Definition of skill
The term “skill” is defined in the (Al-Waseet, 2004) dictionary as the ability to perform a specific task effectively and efficiently, which is acquired through knowledge, experience, and training. This definition applies to various domains, including science, industry, and others. The field of psychology defines skill as the capacity to execute a complex motor action with ease and precision, as stated by Al-Hafni (1994).
Ahmed Al-Laqani and Ali Al-Jamal define skill as the easy, accurate performance based on understanding what the person learns both physically and mentally, while providing time, effort, and cost savings (Al-Laqani & Al-Jamal, 1996). Meanwhile, Youssef Sa’ada defines it as the ability to perform a task well (Sa’ada, 2001). In summary, skill refers to the ability to perform a task with precision and speed.
Regarding teaching, Abdullah Al-Rashdan and Na’im Ja’neni define it as a process of dialogue, interaction, and exchange between the teacher and the learner to acquire knowledge and build a comprehensive personality (Al-Rashdan & Ja’neni, 1999). Salah Al-Din Arfa defines teaching as a deliberate, planned, and organized process that involves specific procedures carried out by the teacher and students within the school environment aimed at assisting students in learning and achieving comprehensive growth (Arfa, 2011).
In conclusion, skill is the ability to perform a task with precision and speed, acquired through knowledge, experience, and training. Teaching is a process of dialogue, interaction, and exchange between the teacher and the learner to acquire knowledge and build a comprehensive personality, involving specific procedures carried out within the school environment.
Hasan Zaitoun defines teaching skill as the ability to perform a specific task or activity related to lesson planning, implementation, and evaluation. This activity can be analyzed into a set of cognitive, motor, and social behaviors or performances, which can be evaluated based on accuracy, speed, and adaptability to changing teaching situations, using an organized observation method. Furthermore, teaching skill can be improved through training programs (Zaitoun, 2004).
Imam Hamidah and others, citing Mustafa Mohamed Kamil, define teaching skill as an effective teaching behavior pattern that aims to achieve specific goals. This behavior pattern is expressed by the teacher through a coherent set of mental, verbal, motor, sensory, and emotional responses. These responses integrate the elements of accuracy, speed, and adaptability to teaching situations. Additionally, teaching skill is a social skill that emerges from the interaction between the teacher and students. It is a learned skill subject to various skill acquisition rules (Imam et al., 2000).
In summary, the above definitions of teaching skill converge on the notion that it is a teaching behavior pattern that can be analyzed into a set of cognitive, motor, and social performances. These performances can be evaluated based on accuracy, speed, and adaptability to changing teaching situations, using an organized observation method. Additionally, teaching skill is a learned social skill that can be improved through training programs.
Teaching skill components
Badr’s (2005) conceptualization of teaching skill identifies three core components: cognitive, motor, and psychological. The cognitive component encompasses the content of the teaching skill, including its specifications, how it is to be performed, the psychological and educational foundations of the skill, its suitability for students, the goals and content of the subject matter, as well as the appropriate methods to be used in the educational context. The motor component involves the teacher’s style in performing the teaching skill and implementing the appropriate methods during the educational situation, with a view to achieving the subject matter’s goals. The psychological component comprises the teacher’s desire to learn the required teaching skill and their conviction of its significance, which is reflected in their behavior and performance as a teacher in managing the educational setting.
In the performance of the teaching skill during the educational situation, these three components are interwoven comprehensively. The performance of the skill consists of a set of procedures and techniques that are commensurate with the teaching skill, and encompasses aspects of the teacher’s knowledge, skill, and psychology. Improving teaching skill necessitates the integrated development of these three components.
Teaching Skills Acquisition Stages
According to Salah Aldeen Arefa (2004), teaching skills are characterized as complex skills that demand attentive study, full awareness, and serious practice for their acquisition. This process entails three primary stages: the cognitive perception stage, in which the student/teacher is provided with a clear theoretical foundation concerning the skill, its essential components, and the nature of its eventual performance; the training stage, in which the student/teacher self-trains in each component of the primary skill; and the practice stage, in which the student/teacher practices the skill in real teaching situations within authentic classrooms, which is the domain where the student/teacher practices the complete skill after training on its components.
Hence, teaching skills may be defined as the set of teaching behaviors that the teacher engages in during the planning, implementation, and evaluation stages of teaching. These skills can be evaluated based on their accuracy, speed, and adaptability to teaching situations, using a teaching skills observation card.
Hassan Zaytoun defines the skill of explanation as a complex set of verbal and nonverbal behaviors or performances that a teacher must execute with precision, speed, and adaptability to the teaching context. This skill aims to clarify specific educational content (such as facts, concepts, principles, laws, theories, and skills) to students, with the support of supplementary explanatory tools. These behaviors become evident in the teacher’s performance during the lesson (Zaytoun, 2004).
Similarly, Salah Aldeen Arefa characterizes the process of explanation as an attempt to facilitate understanding among students. This process involves all the steps and actions that the teacher undertakes during the lesson to assist students in grasping the content (Emam et al., 2004).
The ability to provide clear and effective explanations is widely regarded as a fundamental and indispensable skill in the realm of teaching. However, there is no universal method of explanation that can be applied to all educational situations. Rather, the efficacy of various methods is contingent upon the specific context in which they are employed. In the following discussion, several effective explanation methods are presented.
Firstly, the method of clarification involves a process of analyzing the constituent components of a phrase or compound word. By breaking down the individual parts and using simple language that is suited to the students’ level of comprehension, the teacher can facilitate the students’ understanding of the overall meaning of the phrase or compound. In this method, questions such as “what does it mean?” or “what is meant by…?” or “why…?” are commonly employed.
Secondly, the method of description involves using language to describe something in detail, with an emphasis on elucidating the constituent components of the object or the steps involved in its formation. This method is often used in response to questions such as “what is it?” or “what does it do?” or “how does it work?” Description can be accomplished through language alone, or through the use of illustrations or diagrams.
Thirdly, the method of comparison involves contrasting two or more objects or ideas, and identifying the similarities and differences between them. This method can be employed to clarify and explain the distinctions and similarities between various concepts, principles, or laws.
Finally, the method of representation relies on presenting ideas or objects in a simplified and easily understood manner. This can involve the use of visual aids such as illustrations, diagrams, animations, or models. Representations can also be utilized to visualize processes or interactions (Zeytun,2004).
In conclusion, effective explanation techniques are essential to the pedagogical process, and the choice of method should be tailored to the specific educational context. The methods of clarification, description, comparison, and representation are all valuable tools for facilitating comprehension and enhancing learning outcomes
According to the aforementioned analogy, the process of explanation involves a series of well-defined steps:
Firstly, the teacher must identify the object that requires clarification, which serves as the focal point for the explanation.
Secondly, the teacher must introduce the analogy that will be used to clarify the object in question, providing a succinct and effective description of the analogy.
Thirdly, the teacher should highlight the key features of the object being compared, which will enable the students to understand the similarities between it and the object of comparison. In order to ensure that the students have a thorough grasp of these features, the teacher should engage them through a series of targeted questions.
Fourthly, the teacher must establish a connection between the object being compared and the object of comparison, elucidating the similarities and differences between them. This step is crucial in enabling the students to fully comprehend the point of clarification. To ensure that the students have not formed any misconceptions, the teacher should pose questions that reveal their understanding.
Finally, the teacher should provide a summary of the point of clarification, consolidating the key takeaways and ensuring that the students have a comprehensive understanding of the topic at hand.
In essence, the analogy underscores the importance of employing clear and concise language, as well as effective questioning techniques, in order to facilitate the students’ understanding of the material. By following these steps, the teacher can enhance the students’ learning experience and ensure that they acquire a deep and lasting understanding of the subject matter.
Good Explanation Qualities
Salah Al-Din Arefa suggests several crucial specifications that must be met in order to ensure the effectiveness and purposefulness of an explanation. These specifications include:
Firstly, the explanation must be engaging and captivating, designed to capture and maintain the students’ interest and attention. This is particularly important in promoting deep learning and facilitating knowledge retention.
Secondly, the explanation must be concise and succinct, avoiding any unnecessary elaboration or digression. This helps to ensure that the students remain focused on the central message of the explanation.
Thirdly, the language and concepts used in the explanation must be clear and simple, so as to be easily comprehensible by the students. This is critical in ensuring that the students are able to follow and internalize the explanation effectively.
Fourthly, the explanation must be designed to stimulate the students’ curiosity and encourage them to ask questions and seek further clarification. This fosters a sense of intellectual curiosity and active engagement, which can lead to deeper learning and enhanced knowledge acquisition.
Fifthly, the explanation should be a collaborative effort between the teacher and the students, with both parties actively participating in the learning process. This approach promotes a sense of shared responsibility for learning and can lead to greater student engagement and motivation.
Finally, the explanation must be organized and logically sequenced, with a clear and coherent progression of ideas that build upon one another in a meaningful and interconnected manner. This helps to ensure that the students are able to follow the explanation effectively and that the key concepts are conveyed clearly and comprehensively (Salah Al-Din, 2011).
Adhering to these specifications can help teachers to deliver explanations that are effective, engaging, and tailored to the needs and abilities of their students. By doing so, teachers can promote deeper learning and enhance the overall educational experience for their students.
Teacher Behaviors in Good Explanation Skill
Hasan Zaitoun outlines the key behaviors of a good teacher in the skill of good explanation, as follows:
– Write the lesson title at the top of the board immediately after preparing it, and read it to the students.
– Write the lesson elements on the right side of the board in the form of bullet points and read them to the students.
– Start explaining the points in order, one after the other.
– When explaining, the teacher should consider the following:
A- Look at the students to make sure they are paying attention and direct the gaze of inattentive students to him by alerting them, and emphasize the importance of the lesson.
B- Point to the point of explanation as it is written on the board and pronounce it at the same time.
C- Provide an introductory paragraph that works to link the students’ previous knowledge (in their cognitive structures) with the new information contained in that point, so that it serves as a bridge that connects the students’ previous and new knowledge at the teaching point.
D- After completing the introductory paragraph, start explaining the point of explanation using teaching aids, explaining the meanings step by step.
E- Write a summary of the point in front of the point of explanation on the board and pronounce this summary at the same time.
F- Ensure that the students understand this point by: looking at the students and reading their facial expressions, urging them to raise their hands if they do not understand, and asking questions that reveal the depth of the students’ understanding of that point.
G- Repeat the point that the students did not understand again, changing his explanation style and using a more simplified language.
H- Give students the opportunity to transfer the summary of the point to the board if necessary.
Effective teaching requires a variety of strategies and behaviors that enable teachers to create a dynamic and engaging learning environment. One of the critical elements of effective teaching is the ability to connect the content of the lesson, as Hasan Zaitoun notes. This involves clarifying the meanings of key vocabulary words and using various techniques, such as imagery, synonyms, antonyms, definitions, and derivations, to reinforce students’ understanding of the material. Moreover, the teacher must ensure that the lesson is delivered sequentially and coherently, with the ability to rephrase sentences or use alternative phrasing to reinforce students’ comprehension.
Another crucial aspect of effective teaching is the ability to capture students’ attention and focus on the point of explanation. Teachers must try to avoid diverting into unrelated discussions and quickly return to the topic, providing students with a summary of the information covered to reinforce the point. Additionally, the teacher must be mindful of the students’ learning characteristics, including age, gender, geographical environment, and cognitive development, when designing the lesson content.
To deliver the lesson effectively, teachers must also demonstrate enthusiasm and passion for the subject, using humor and relatable examples to engage students. The teacher’s delivery should be clear, well-pronounced, and projected effectively to ensure all students can hear and understand the content. Furthermore, the teacher must utilize the blackboard effectively, using appropriate pauses, and changing the tone, intensity, and quality of their voice according to the needs of the teaching situation.
Finally, teachers must provide students with additional learning resources, such as books, articles, and references, to further enrich their learning experience. By employing these strategies, teachers can create a dynamic and effective learning environment that promotes student engagement and understanding (Zaitoun, 2004).
Silence and pauses are effective pedagogical tools that teachers can utilize to facilitate learning. In his research, Hasan Zaitoun identifies several purposes for using silence and pauses during teaching sessions. Firstly, they can be used to break down information into smaller, more digestible units, which may enhance students’ understanding and retention of the material. Secondly, silence and pauses can signal the introduction of new teaching activities, enabling students to mentally prepare themselves for the upcoming task.
Moreover, Zaitoun contends that silence and pauses can be used to emphasize the importance of a specific point, drawing students’ attention to critical information. Additionally, they can provide students with time to contemplate a question or prepare themselves to answer a question, thereby fostering their participation and engagement in the learning process. Furthermore, by listening to student responses during pauses, teachers can assess the level of comprehension among students and adjust their teaching methods accordingly.
Finally, silence and pauses can also be used to indicate disapproval of undesirable behaviors exhibited by students, such as disruptive talking or inattentiveness. Establishing a culture of respect and discipline in the classroom through the appropriate use of silence and pauses can promote an effective learning environment.
In summary, the strategic use of silence and pauses during teaching sessions can enhance the learning experience for students by breaking down information into manageable units, signaling new teaching activities, emphasizing critical points, promoting participation, and assessing comprehension. Additionally, they can reinforce a culture of respect and discipline in the classroom (Zaitoun, 2003).
Good Explanation Rules
Rules for effective explanation are crucial for a teacher to successfully convey information to their students. Salah Al-Din Arfa outlines four key rules that are essential for effective explanation:
The first rule is to move from the known to the unknown. This entails starting with concepts and information that students are familiar with and that are related to the new concept. The teacher should then gradually introduce the concepts that are directly related to the new concept they want to convey.
The second rule is to gradate from simple to complex. To facilitate students’ understanding of the subject, the teacher should present the concepts in order from the easiest to the most difficult and from the simple to the complex.
The third rule is to transition from general to specific. The teacher should initially present the concepts in general terms and then focus on specific details to enable students to fully understand the concept.
The fourth rule is to gradate from experience to theory. The teacher should use real-life examples and practical experiments to clarify and explain the concept before moving towards theoretical and more analytical concepts.
By utilizing these rules, teachers can effectively convey concepts and achieve success in the teaching process. Effective explanation is essential for students’ understanding and retention of information, and adherence to these rules can improve the effectiveness of teaching and learning (Salah, 2011).
The researcher’s vision regarding teaching styles focuses on promoting diversity and flexibility in the teaching process to meet the diverse needs and learning styles of students. The researcher acknowledges that students vary in their learning styles and individual needs, and therefore, a variety of teaching styles should be available to accommodate these variations.
In general, the researcher’s vision revolves around providing a diverse and stimulating learning environment that caters to the different needs of students, encourages active participation, and fosters interaction among students and with the educational materials.
The theoretical aspect was exposed to the identification of the study problem and related variables and then reviewing the various psychological and educational studies and opinions relevant to the topic of the present study, In this chapter you will be exposed to the applied procedures of the study, starting with the curriculum used in the study and choosing the appropriate experimental design for it, Identifying the sample of the study, building the data collection tool and the underlying exploratory and study procedures, Then exposure to the training subject, identifying statistical methods, and finally the summary of the chapter.
The methodology of a research study is selected based on the nature of the problem being investigated. In the present study, the research problem seeks to explore the role of self-directed learning in enhancing teaching skills. As such, the experimental methodology is deemed suitable for this research.
The experimental methodology is considered one of the most robust methodologies for testing causal relationships and establishing convincing explanations of phenomena (Al-Rashid, 2000). This methodology involves studying the effects of a factor on a phenomenon by manipulating it and observing the resulting changes. The researcher employs statistical and laboratory methods to analyze the collected data (Attouf, 1981).
The experimental methodology is also described as a comprehensive methodology that includes description, diagnosis, experimentation, and development. The researcher selects the appropriate experimental design for their research question (Sallamah, 1995).
In light of the research problem and objectives, the experimental methodology is the most appropriate methodology for this study. By using this methodology, the researcher can establish the causal relationship between self-directed learning and teaching skills development, thus providing evidence-based outcomes. The experimental methodology is well-suited for investigating the impact of an intervention, making it an appropriate choice for this research.
Study Community and Research Sample
The research community for this study is comprised of Arabic language teachers in the Damascus governorate. Given the experimental nature of the study methodology, data was collected using two samples: a survey sample and a basic study sample.
The survey sample was selected using random sampling and consisted of 50 Arabic language teachers in the Damascus governorate. This sample was chosen to ensure that the study community was adequately represented and to achieve statistical stability of the results.
The basic study sample, on the other hand, was selected using random sampling from the survey sample and comprised of 10 Arabic language teachers. These teachers were trained using an educational program designed to develop teaching skills through self-directed learning.
By using these two samples, the researchers were able to collect the necessary data to answer the research questions and analyze the data using appropriate statistical methods. The results can be generalized to the study community, thus contributing to the improvement of the quality of education in the region.
Sample Basic Study
The researcher has established specific criteria for selecting individuals in the sample to ensure the validity and reliability of the data collected. These criteria include employment and experience in the teaching profession, stability within the school community, age similarity, and willingness to participate in the study.
Firstly, the individuals must be elementary school teachers who were employed in the academic year 2008. This criterion guarantees that they have undergone the necessary job stabilization procedures, such as those carried out by the district inspector, to confirm their tenure in the position. Additionally, these teachers are likely to have a greater need for training in teaching skills due to their relative inexperience in the profession.
Secondly, the individuals must have been teaching in the same school since the beginning of the academic year. This criterion ensures that they have had adequate time to adapt to the school community, their assigned class, and grade level. It also helps to stabilize the adaptation variable within the school community.
Thirdly, age similarity is ensured by restricting the age range of the individuals to 36-38 years old, meaning they were born between 1984 and 1986.
Lastly, the individuals must express a willingness and readiness to participate in the experimental study to ensure their continued participation until the end of the study.
By adhering to these criteria, the researcher can ensure that the sample is representative of the study population and that the collected data are valid and reliable for analysis.
The researcher has developed two tools to aid in the study’s data collection and analysis. These tools are the Performance Observation Card and the Training Program for Teaching Skills.
The Performance Observation Card is a tool that evaluates the teaching performance of the teacher in terms of their teaching skills. The card is designed to assess the teacher’s behavior during a teaching session and contains ten items. The researcher observes the teacher’s actions during the session and scores the teacher’s performance out of 30. The card is used both before and after the training program to evaluate the teacher’s progress and the effectiveness of the program. The card is a valuable tool for measuring the effectiveness of the training program and the teacher’s ability to apply the skills learned.
The Training Program for Teaching Skills is a self-directed learning approach aimed at enhancing the teaching skills of the teachers. The program consists of various modules covering different aspects of teaching skills, and it is designed to improve the teacher’s effectiveness in their classroom instruction. The program is delivered through a self-directed learning approach, which allows the teacher to take responsibility for their learning. The program is a valuable tool for enhancing the teaching skills of the teachers and improving the quality of education in the region.
In summary, the Performance Observation Card and the Training Program for Teaching Skills are two valuable tools that aid in the data collection and analysis of this study. The Performance Observation Card is used to evaluate the teaching performance of the teacher, while the Training Program for Teaching Skills is designed to enhance the teaching skills of the teachers. Together, these tools contribute to the effectiveness of the study and the quality of education in the region.
A– Definition of Performance Dimensions:
The identification of performance dimensions is a crucial aspect of any research study that aims to evaluate teaching effectiveness. In this study, the researcher consulted several studies and references related to teaching skills and utilized observation cards to monitor the basic and sub-skills of teaching. Additionally, the researcher drew upon personal teaching experience in elementary education, participation in teacher recruitment and confirmation committees, and discussions with some elementary education inspectors to identify the skill of lesson explanation as a key performance dimension for teachers.
B- Paragraph Formulation:
The development of observation cards is an essential part of a research study that aims to assess teaching effectiveness. In this study, the initial version of the observation card was presented to expert reviewers for feedback and suggestions on its formulation. Based on the feedback provided, the necessary modifications were made to the card’s formulation, and it was applied to the pilot sample. After undergoing evaluation by expert reviewers, the observation card was deemed ready for use in the main study.
D- Survey Study of the Observation Card:
The survey study is a critical component of this research study, as it aims to determine the field of study, establish the study sample, and contact its members. Moreover, the study aims to measure the psychometric properties of the observation card, including its reliability and validity. The results of this study will inform the selection of the appropriate statistical techniques to be used in the main study. Additionally, the survey study helps to determine the timeline for the main study, which will contribute to a better understanding and development of the lesson explanation skill among teachers.
Regarding the psychometric properties of the observation card:
After completing the initial construction of the card, the researcher verified its validity and reliability. In order to verify this, the following steps were taken:
- Validity: The researcher used two main types to measure the test, namely:
1.1. Face validity: This refers to the general appearance of the test as a means of measurement, i.e., the degree of suitability of the laboratory test. This is reflected in the clarity of the instructions and the correctness of the basic steps that the laboratory follows in understanding and answering the questions. It also depends on the type of questions and their validity in eliciting appropriate responses from the participants. When every participant understands the test idea clearly, feels its importance, and actively engages in answering it, it is possible to judge the validity of this test from a superficial perspective (Al-Said, 1978).
The test’s face validity or surface validity was derived from the clarity of its items derived from previous observation cards and the theoretical side of the study, in addition to the certificates of those who judged it as a good observation card.
1.2. Expert validity: The researcher used expert validity, which is the importance of the opinion of field experts on the observation card. For this purpose, the researcher presented the card along with an evaluation form to a group of judges through interviews and email. They suggested some modifications that were accepted regarding the linguistic formulation. The necessary modifications were made accordingly.
After collecting the evaluation forms, the researcher rephrased some words based on the judges’ directions and calculated the agreement ratio for each item and paragraph, where all ratios exceeded 60%.
1.3. Statistical validity: Discriminant validity was used by the researcher:
To achieve this, the researcher applied the observation card to a survey and calculated the validity using the method of pairwise comparison. This is based on the discriminant ability between the strong and weak in the test. It is calculated by comparing the means of the highest and lowest ends and then calculating the significance of the differences (Al-Said, 1978).
After applying the observation card to the survey sample, the total scores for the test were ranked in descending order. Then, the scores for the top third and the number of individuals in the top part were recorded, as well as the scores for the bottom third. Statistical analysis was then conducted to obtain the value of “t”. The following table (1) shows the results of the pairwise comparison between the top and bottom parts:
Total Individual Degree
|Number of sample personnel||arithmetic average||standard deviation||Values of T||degree of freedom||significance level||trend|
|Upper class||10||187,25||5.77||24.50||48′||0.01||A function in favor of the upper class|
The table shows that the t-value is 24.50, indicating a significant difference between the top and bottom parts, with a significance level of 0.01 and 48 degrees of freedom. Therefore, it can be concluded that there are statistically significant differences between the results of the top and bottom parts, suggesting that the observation card has discriminant validity. However, further analysis is required to determine the discriminant validity of each item.
Given that the value of t ranged from 2.83 to 17.32 for all items, it can be concluded that all items are characterized by high levels of accuracy. This is further illustrated in the following table. It is important to note that the term “items” refers to elements or samples, and the meaning may vary depending on the context in which this text is used.
Tablo (2) The discriminant validity results for each item are demonstrated through the bilateral comparison.
|the arrangement||Phrase number||The value of (t)|
|1||The teacher explains the lesson with an engaging approach that captures the students’ attention.||10.739|
|2||The teacher summarizes the explanation and avoids unnecessary elaboration that may distract the students’ attention.||11.809|
|3||The teacher uses examples related to the topic being discussed.||9.295|
|4||The teacher compares similar or different information.||6.742|
|5||The teacher moves between the elements of the topic at an appropriate pace.||6.668|
|6||Uses clear language||10.392|
|7||The teacher varies the tone of their voice.||6.725|
|8||The teacher uses their hands appropriately during the explanation.||10.989|
|9||The teacher intentionally incorporates moments of silence into their speech.||7.558|
|10||The teacher varies their teaching methods between lecturing, dialogue, and other techniques.||3.118|
“Statistically significant at the 0.05 level”
Based on the table, the results indicate that all items are valid. The researcher explains this by stating that the vast majority of teachers do not specify appropriate teaching methods such as discussion, discovery, etc. Therefore, it can be concluded that the observation card, in its final form, is valid.
The reliability of internal: consistency is determined by the degree of correlation between item scores.
The table (3) shows the results of the internal consistency reliability of the observation card.
|the arrangement||Phrase number||The value of (r)|
|1||The teacher explains the lesson with an engaging approach that captures the students’ attention.||0.824|
|2||The teacher summarizes the explanation and avoids unnecessary elaboration that may distract the students’ attention.||0.856|
|3||The teacher uses examples related to the topic being discussed.||0.771|
|4||The teacher compares similar or different information.||0.599|
|5||The teacher moves between the elements of the topic at an appropriate pace.||0.619|
|6||Uses clear language||0.748|
|7||The teacher varies the tone of their voice.||0.725|
|8||The teacher uses their hands appropriately during the explanation.||0.786|
|9||The teacher intentionally incorporates moments of silence into their speech.||0.655|
|10||The teacher varies their teaching methods between lecturing, dialogue, and other techniques.||0.157|
Based on the table, the results indicate that all items are valid. The researcher explains this by stating that the vast majority of teachers do not specify appropriate teaching methods such as discussion, discovery, etc. Therefore, it can be concluded that the observation card, in its final form, is valid.
Reliability: The reliability coefficient has been calculated as follows:
Reliability using the split-half method:
Table (4) displays the reliability coefficient using the split-half method.
|Pearson correlation coefficient between the two halves||0.937|
|“Spearman-Brown adjusted correlation coefficient”||0.968|
Based on Table 6, the Spearman-Brown adjusted correlation coefficient is 0.968, indicating a strong reliability coefficient for the observation card.
Alfa Kronbach coefficient
The Alpha Cronbach coefficient was utilized to assess the internal consistency of the observation card in measuring the intended variable. The coefficient value of 0.986, which is high, indicates that the observation card has a high level of internal consistency. This implies that the observation card can consistently and accurately measure the variable of interest.
The training material comprises a series of lessons focused on the teaching skill of explanation. The material was presented in a structured format that included the unit title, pre-assessment questions, and unit objectives. Additionally, the material included a presentation of the knowledge and concepts relevant to the skill, as well as self-directed practical exercises.
Following the pre-trial application of the observation card during the first semester of the academic year 2023, the self-evaluation card for the skill was provided to the relevant teachers. The training material was presented using the self-directed learning approach, which allows teachers to choose their own learning path. To ensure the teachers’ comprehension of the training material, the researchers posed several questions, and the responses received were affirmative, indicating the teachers’ familiarity with the topics covered in the training program. Although some challenges were encountered by the teachers, they were overcome through interaction with their colleagues, as one of the program’s objectives is to stimulate motivation for learning.
Programme’s overall objectives
The purpose of this study is to enhance the skill of explanation among teachers by implementing a self-learning-based training program. The program was developed by utilizing a variety of sources, including studies, research, and books that specifically focused on teaching skills and their measurement. The training program was applied during the second semester of the academic year 2022/2023 for a duration of one month. The validity of the program is based on its content, substance, and presentation to a group of specialized reviewers in the field of teaching.
The single-group design was utilized in this study, wherein a pre-test measure of observation cards was conducted to evaluate the teaching skills of teachers at the beginning of the experiment. The training program was then provided to the teachers, and they were instructed on how to proceed with the program. A post-test measure of observation cards was administered to evaluate the impact of the training program on the teaching skills of teachers.
The participating schools were selected through a random sampling technique. The administrators and teachers involved in the study were contacted to determine the dates of visits, pre-test, and post-test measures of the observation cards. The training program was then provided to the teachers and applied for a duration of one month, followed by the post-test measure of the observation cards.
The theoretical foundations of the program were based on the direction of developing teachers and enhancing their competencies. This was achieved by enhancing teaching skills and improving their performance through the self-learning approach that focused on individualized education.
Results and Discussion:
The findings of the study revealed that the self-learning-based training program had a significant impact on the teaching skills of the participating teachers. The post-test scores of the observation cards were significantly higher than the pre-test scores, indicating an improvement in their teaching skills. The results of this study suggest that the self-learning approach is an effective method for enhancing teaching skills and improving the performance of teachers.
The single-group design used in this study provided valuable information about the impact of the self-learning-based training program on the teaching skills of teachers. The study results can be used to improve the training program and enhance the competencies of teachers. The findings also suggest that the self-learning approach is an effective method for enhancing teaching skills and improving the performance of teachers. Further research is recommended to explore the effectiveness of the self-learning approach in different contexts and settings.
|Testing of the teachers who meet the sample criteria (primary study “sample
|Pre-measurement: Administering the teaching skills observation card on the primary study sample
|The training program focuses on developing teaching skills through self-directed learning.”
|Post-measurement: Administering the teaching skills observation card on the study sample
Figure (1) illustrates the experimental design used in the study.
The student employed a variety of statistical techniques, utilizing both Excel 2007 and SPSS 0.19 for statistical analysis throughout the study. In the survey study aimed at constructing the observation card, several statistical methods were employed. First, a t-test was used to assess the validity of the pairwise comparison between the higher and lower groups in the overall score and at the item level. Additionally, the Pearson correlation coefficient was used to evaluate the internal consistency reliability of the survey. The Spearman-Brown correlation coefficient was used to determine the split-half reliability of the survey, while the Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was utilized to evaluate its homogeneity reliability.
In the primary study aimed at testing the hypotheses, a paired samples t-test was used to compare two related samples. This statistical method is commonly used when comparing the means of two related groups, such as pre-test and post-test scores. By using this method, the student was able to determine whether or not there was a significant difference between the two groups, thus providing valuable insights into the effectiveness of the self-learning-based training program.
Overall, the student’s use of various statistical methods and software during the study demonstrates a detailed and rigorous approach to data analysis. The use of appropriate statistical techniques is crucial in ensuring the validity and reliability of research findings, and the student’s careful consideration and application of these methods is commendable.
This chapter provides a detailed description of the field procedures employed in the study, which followed an experimental single-group design. The pre-application of the observation card was conducted, followed by the implementation of the self-learning-based training program, and the post-application of the observation card. The survey study sample and primary study sample were introduced, both of which were selected randomly. The chapter also delved into the procedures of the survey study and its results before moving on to the development of the training program and the underlying principles. Finally, the statistical methods employed in the study were discussed.
The implementation of the self-learning-based training program was the centerpiece of the study, and the field procedures were designed to ensure the validity and reliability of the results. The pre and post-application of the observation card allowed for the evaluation of the effectiveness of the training program, while the random sampling of the survey and primary study samples ensured the generalizability of the findings.
The use of appropriate statistical methods is essential in ensuring the validity and reliability of research findings, and the statistical techniques employed in this study were carefully chosen to provide accurate and reliable results. The use of t-tests, Pearson correlation coefficients, Spearman-Brown correlation coefficients, and Cronbach’s alpha coefficients enabled the evaluation of the validity, reliability, and homogeneity of the survey instrument. The use of paired samples t-tests provided insights into the effectiveness of the self-learning-based training program.
Overall, the field procedures utilized in the study were designed to provide accurate and reliable results, and the statistical methods employed allowed for the evaluation of the validity and reliability of the findings. The chapter provided a comprehensive overview of the study’s field procedures and the underlying principles that guided them. By providing a detailed account of the study’s methodology, this chapter contributes to the transparency and replicability of the research.
Presentation and discussion of results:
In the previous chapter, we discussed the study methodology and experimental design suitable for the research, as well as the data collection tools, including the observation card and the training program. Additionally, we highlighted their psychometric properties, as well as the survey and basic study procedures, sample specifications, and selection methods. In this chapter, we will present and analyze the results of the basic hypothesis and interpret them based on the proposed study hypotheses.
The fourth hypothesis states that there are statistically significant differences between the mean pre- and post-test scores in the skill of explanation in favor of the post-test performance.
To test this hypothesis, it is necessary to first identify the sample from which the data was collected and then analyze this data using appropriate statistical methods. A comparative test for two samples can be used to determine whether there is a statistically significant difference between the pre- and post-test mean scores in the skill of explanation.
If there is a statistically significant difference between the means, this can be interpreted as the training program having improved the participants’ skill of explanation. This improvement may be due to the effect of the program used and/or other factors such as prior experience in the field, education level, and other skills.
On the other hand, if there is no statistically significant difference between the means, this may be due to the training program being ineffective in improving the participants’ skill of explanation, or the study sample being too small to detect the precise differences between the means.
It should be noted that the results of the survey and basic study should be interpreted with caution and not relied upon entirely in decision-making. They may be influenced by other factors unrelated to the variable being studied and may require additional studies to confirm their results.
Table (5). Illustrates the differences in the skill of explanation between the pre- and post-measurements.”
Total Individual Degree
|Number of sample personnel||arithmetic average||standard deviation||Values of T||degree of freedom||significance level||trend|
|10||18.20||3.77||9.50||14||0.01||A function in favor of the upper class|
The presented results in Table (5) reveal that the mean score for teaching performance in the skill of explanation during the pretest is (18.20), with a standard deviation of (3.50), whereas the mean score for teaching performance in the skill of explanation during the posttest is (27.26), with a standard deviation of (3.77). These figures demonstrate a significant difference between the means of the pretest and posttest assessments with a difference of (9.5) points.
To investigate the significance of the difference between the means of the two assessments, a t-test was conducted. The computed t-value was (9.5) with (14) degrees of freedom and a significance level of (0.01). The comparison of the mean scores indicates that there are statistically significant differences in favor of the posttest assessment.
The results from the t-test support the fourth hypothesis, which posits that there are statistically significant differences between the mean pre- and post-test scores in the skill of explanation in favor of the post-test performance. Thus, it can be concluded that the participants demonstrated a higher level of teaching performance in the skill of explanation during the posttest assessment compared to the pretest assessment.
Furthermore, the considerable difference between the pretest and posttest scores of teaching performance in the skill of explanation suggests that there were variations in the participants’ performance in this skill between the two assessments. This finding underscores the importance of offering training programs to improve the teaching performance of educators.
The higher scores achieved by the participants during the posttest assessment can be attributed to the effectiveness of the training program in enhancing their practice of the skill of explanation. The training program played a crucial role in developing the participants’ teaching skills, and the researcher noticed that the teachers focused on teaching the skills included in the program. Therefore, the success of the training program in promoting self-learning is confirmed.
These results are consistent with the findings of a previous study conducted by Bandar Al-Zahrani (2010), which showed that training courses played a significant role in developing the skill of explanation among teachers and enhancing most of the associated skills.
Indeed, the study results align with the current situation in Syria and emphasize the importance of self-learning in these challenging circumstances. Due to the destruction of infrastructure in Syria, including schools, electricity, and the internet, self-learning becomes a necessary requirement. The research highlights the significance of the skill of explanation in education, particularly in the context of self-learning, due to overcrowded classrooms and a shortage of teachers.
Furthermore, the results underscore the importance of training teachers in effective explanation skills. This can be achieved through workshops and training courses focused on self-learning skills and other relevant competencies. The research also demonstrates the significant role that self-learning plays in developing the skill of explanation, which is crucial given the difficult reality in Syria.
In such challenging conditions, self-learning becomes a powerful tool for individuals to acquire knowledge and develop their skills independently. Self-learning can help students and teachers overcome difficulties and resource limitations in education. By enhancing their self-learning skills, teachers can improve their performance in the skill of explanation and deliver a better learning experience despite the difficult circumstances.
The results indicate that the participation of teachers in Syria in training courses for requalification in modern learning methods yields positive outcomes. Considering the economic and political differences between Syria and neighboring countries, Syrian teachers particularly need self-learning skills.
Self-learning is the ability to acquire knowledge and develop skills independently, and it is a crucial skill for teachers in Syria and any other educational context. Given the challenging economic and political situation in Syria, the importance of self-learning skills lies in empowering teachers to enhance their abilities and improve their skills independently.
Yes, based on the clear difference between the results of the initial and second assessments, it is evident that there is an urgent need for an educational program to help teachers in Syria improve their performance in the teaching process, including skills such as explanation and others. Especially since Syria suffers from a shortage of teachers due to the emigration of many of them, while simultaneously facing a significant number of students in classrooms.
In summary, a comprehensive and suitable educational program for teachers in Syria is necessary to enhance their teaching skills, particularly self-learning skills. By providing appropriate support and training, teachers can address various challenges and contribute to improving the quality of education in Syria.
proposals and recommendations
After conducting a thorough analysis of the study results, the researcher drew several conclusions.
Firstly, the study hypothesis, which posited that there are statistically significant differences between pre-performance and post-performance of teaching skills (specifically explanatory skills), was accepted. The results indicate that there is a positive impact of the training program on the development of teaching performance for explanatory skills.
Secondly, the findings of the study suggest that self-learning plays a positive role in the development of teaching skills. Based on these results, the researcher recommends several actions. These include adopting self-learning as a method of teacher training and qualification due to its effectiveness, as well as its potential to save time, effort, and costs. Furthermore, the researcher encourages a shift away from traditional forms of teacher training such as theoretical lectures, towards interactive styles that involve trainee teachers actively participating and receiving continuous evaluation.
The researcher also recommends the use of an observation card, which was prepared specifically for evaluating teaching performance of teaching skills, as a tool for assessing teachers at different levels and specializations. Additionally, the use of mini-teaching units (educational modules) based on educational competencies in preparing and qualifying teachers is recommended to develop teaching skills.
Moreover, the researcher suggests using the main and subsidiary skills adopted in the study in designing and implementing training programs for preparing and qualifying teachers during service. The training program and observation card can also be used by other researchers for new studies. It is recommended that the principle of learning until mastery, in addition to self-learning, be adopted in training programs. This can be achieved by providing the trainee teacher with a unit that includes only one skill until they have mastered it, and then presenting the next unit that includes the next skill until they have mastered all of them, based on their training needs.
Furthermore, the researcher suggests that future studies should include a training unit on time management skills in the classroom. It is also recommended that training programs for teachers be based on teaching skills, to clarify their nature, importance, how to practice them, and how to train on them.
Finally, the researcher recommends that the Ministry of National Education should benefit from the training program in preparing new teachers before and during service. Workshops and dialogues should also be held to exchange experiences among teachers about the training program, addressing each unit in a separate workshop.
In conclusion, the researcher’s recommendations align with the results of the study and reflect the importance of continuously developing teaching skills and improving the quality of education. The training program and observation card can be used in new studies and developing other training programs. The results and recommendations can also be used to improve education policies and teacher training in the future.
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أهمية التعلم الموجه ذاتياً في تعزيز مهارات التدريس لدى معلمي اللغة العربية في المرحلة الابتدائية
د.درويش حسن درويش. جامعة أتاتورك-تركيا
طالب دكتوراه مصطفى جاغري إينكين. جامعة أتاتورك. تركيا
أ.د علي عثمان إينكين. جامعة أتاتورك. تركيا
ملخص: تهدف هذه الدراسة التجريبية إلى تحديد تأثير التعلم الذاتي على تنمية مهارات التدريس لدى معلمي اللغة العربية في المرحلة الابتدائية في دمشق. تم اختيار عينة عشوائية تتكون من 10 معلمين في المدارس الابتدائية في مدينة دمشق للمشاركة في الدراسة في العام الدراسي 2023/2022. حيث حصلت نصف المشاركين على برنامج تدريبي حول استراتيجيات التعلم الذاتي، في حين لم يحصل النصف الآخر على أي تدريب. استخدمت الدراسة نهج الملاحظة لتقييم أداء المعلمين قبل وبعد البرنامج التدريبي. كشفت نتائج الدراسة عن وجود فروق ملحوظة بين درجات الاختبار قبل وبعد البرنامج التدريبي في مهارة الشرح. تستنتج الدراسة أن التعلم الذاتي يلعب دورًا إيجابيًا في تنمية مهارات التدريس لدى المعلمين، وتوصي باستخدام هذا النهج كطريقة حديثة وفعالة لتدريب وتنمية مهارات التدريس.
الكلمات المفتاحية: التعلم الموجه ذاتياً، مهارات التدريس، معلمي اللغة العربية الابتدائية، دراسة تجريبية.
مقال منشور ضمن عدد 22 سبتمبر 2023 المجلة الدولية للدراسات التربوية والنفسية
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