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Issues in Educational Research, 2021, Vol 31(2), 327-347.
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Debate learning strategy in female postgraduate school: A Saudi case study

Amani Khalaf Alghamdi Hamdan and Ali Tared Aldossari
Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Saudi Arabia

Ongoing global crises, including climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, have made Saudi Arabia recognise the importance of moving away from its oil-dependent economy. This inaugural, exploratory study focused on female postgraduate students who, in addition to striving for intellectual growth and development, are shouldering a social obligation to strengthen their country's economy per Saudi's most recent national development plan, Vision 2030. Qualitative data were collected in Spring 2020 at an Eastern Province university by engaging 20 Saudi female students (convenience sampling) in debates and extracting relevant, structured reflections from their journals. A content analysis revealed they enjoyed and learned from the debate experience with comments revolving around what constitutes the essence of a debate, special skill sets required, learner benefits, learner challenges, and lessons learned as novice debaters. Findings add to the nascent body of knowledge about utilising debate as a constructive learning experience for female students in a Middle Eastern university. Saudi university curriculum planners and instructors are invited to design learning interventions that teach women critical thinking, sound reasoning, and argumentation with the debate strategy a positive first step.
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Authors: Amani Khalaf Alghamdi Hamdan PhD (corresponding author) is an award-winning scholar and Professor of Curriculum and Pedagogy in the College of Education, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Amani is widely-published and well-known in the field of education in Saudi Arabia and abroad. Her research interests include education and curricula in Saudi Arabia, analytical and critical thinking and their infusion in the teaching, online education and cultural manifestation, higher education, narrative research, and critical multicultural education.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8500-0266
Email: akhalghamdi@iau.edu.sa, amani.k.hamdan@gmail.com

Ali Tared Aldossari PhD is an associate professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Saudi Arabia. Ali has published widely in many local and international educational journals, in addition to teaching postgraduate students in curricula and teaching methods and discussing their theses. He is currently the Dean of Student Affairs, and he has made many educational and social contributions.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6329-2387
Email: ataldossari@iau.edu.sa

Please cite as: Alghamdi Hamdan, A. K. & Aldossari, A. T. (2021). Debate learning strategy in female postgraduate school: A Saudi case study. Issues in Educational Research, 31(2), 327-347. http://www.iier.org.au/iier31/alghamdi-hamdan.pdf

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