A Qualitative Investigation of an Educational Reform Initiative in Pakistan

Title: A Qualitative Investigation of an Educational Reform Initiative in Pakistan
Authors: Shaukat, Rumaisa
Date: 2013
Abstract: The main purpose of this study was to explore, analyze and reflect on the meaning, nature, causes and associated dynamics of change in higher education within a Pakistani cultural context. Resistance was a major component of understanding this change. I focused on multiple factors that induced individual/group tendencies to resist or avoid making changes and to devalue change generally. This study employed a multiple case study approach. Semi-structured interviews with designated stakeholders of the planned change initiative were the primary data-collection method. Document analysis, members check and observations were used to triangulate the interview data. The data were analyzed on an ongoing basis. The findings revealed the complex dimensions of participants’ compliance and/or resistance with respect to change at the beginning of the twenty-first century when the Pakistani higher education system was shifting dramatically from a local to global perspective. Despite serious issues and weaknesses, change was gradual over time and the most strongly contested reforms were those that did not align with existing practices. In sum, the findings support the notion that change is complicated, and that the reasons for this complexity stem from factors that are structural, emotional, political and personal. The results of this study will be of interest to administrators and educators as they prepare for future challenges within the Pakistani context. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed, and directions for future research are identified.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/23695
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