A Critical Discourse Analysis of a Libyan Secondary Educational Policy

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Zayed, Samia
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Mount Saint Vincent University
The education system in Libya faces significant challenges in various aspects, but at the core are outdated notions of curriculum, teaching, and learning. While it is important to have qualified teachers, who use a variety of teaching and learning approaches, qualified teachers alone cannot do much if the curriculum is prescriptive and restrictive. The study explores how the educational discourse in Libya conceptualizes curriculum, teaching, and learning and demonstrates the impact of the socio-political context on the country’s perception of the meaning and purpose of education. Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) is used to focus on and analyze a key educational policy (Sequences of Lesson Plans and Recommended Textbooks), through the lens of my own educational experience in Libya. The results indicate that Libyan educational policy considers teaching and learning to be centered on teachers. This approach requires that students absorb the material (curriculum), with very little room for critical thinking or questioning of the curriculum content in this outmoded approach to teaching and learning. In addition, the socio-political context of Libya also significantly impacts curriculum, teaching and learning. The analysis of the selected educational policy, and the findings drawn from it indicate that, for the most part, Libyan society and its cultural values dictate the nation’s educational policies. It is hoped that this study will initiate the process of critical reflection regarding the dominant conceptions of curriculum, teaching, and learning in Libyan education system and, in turn, will help to improve the educational discourse in Libya.
Teaching, learning, curriculum, CDA, educational policy, Libya