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Cultural pluralism increases difficulties in learning experiences yet advances identity formation for Muslim Arab female students at higher education institutions in Israel

Cultural pluralism increases difficulties in learning experiences yet advances identity formation... Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to examine how learning experiences are shaped for Arab Muslim women students by the different educational approaches (teaching style, relations with lecturers and types of knowledge) and extent of cultural pluralism in three different higher education (HE) campuses in Israel. Design/methodology/approach– To clarify these issues the authors conducted narrative interviews with 12 Arab Muslim women students in the Hebrew University and in two academic colleges. Significant differences were found in the women's experiences between the university and the two academic colleges. Findings– Arab women had difficulty integrating in the university in contrast to a supportive more familiar environment in the colleges. The different environments also had different implications for the women's identity formation. The findings indicate that since Arab women students have specific needs stemming from their different socio-cultural background, they should be assisted in their integration in academic courses with preparatory instruction and guidance. Originality/value– Implications for minority students in different HE campuses are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education Emerald Publishing

Cultural pluralism increases difficulties in learning experiences yet advances identity formation for Muslim Arab female students at higher education institutions in Israel

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2050-7003
DOI
10.1108/JARHE-03-2014-0039
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to examine how learning experiences are shaped for Arab Muslim women students by the different educational approaches (teaching style, relations with lecturers and types of knowledge) and extent of cultural pluralism in three different higher education (HE) campuses in Israel. Design/methodology/approach– To clarify these issues the authors conducted narrative interviews with 12 Arab Muslim women students in the Hebrew University and in two academic colleges. Significant differences were found in the women's experiences between the university and the two academic colleges. Findings– Arab women had difficulty integrating in the university in contrast to a supportive more familiar environment in the colleges. The different environments also had different implications for the women's identity formation. The findings indicate that since Arab women students have specific needs stemming from their different socio-cultural background, they should be assisted in their integration in academic courses with preparatory instruction and guidance. Originality/value– Implications for minority students in different HE campuses are discussed.

Journal

Journal of Applied Research in Higher EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 2, 2014

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