Transporting Problem Based Learning to the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries (GCC): Using Cultural Scripts to Analyze Cultural Complexities

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Michael H. Romanowski
Ibrahim M. Karkouti


The globalization of education has increased large-scale education reforms worldwide. Over the past 15 years, Gulf Cooperation Council Countries (GCC) have invested significant resources in reforming their education systems. This has led to extensive borrowing of pedagogical approaches to initiate and implement educational change. This article evokes several cultural learning scripts to identify the challenges that arise when pedagogical approaches are adopted and implemented. Specifically, problem-based learning (PBL) is examined against the backdrop of these cultural scripts to examine the cultural complexities of PBL in a GCC context. Discussion is provided that addresses several fundamental concerns that should be considered in order to reduce the cultural challenges and improve the implementation of PBL in GCC contexts. trends towards collaborative tools, while also describing opportunities and challenges with digital literacy. Finally, teachers described strategic approaches to assessment in light of the ill-structured problems posed by PBL. Implications for practice and theory are discussed.

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