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Bowdoin College

Publication Date

Winter 2019

Program Name

Jordan: Refugees, Health, and Humanitarian Action


The research investigates the question: How do teachers believe the Jordanian education system should change in order to best meet the needs of all students given the recent influx of Syrian refugees? The researcher interviewed seven teachers in Amman and Madaba, Jordan to gather qualitative data on their perspectives on the current Jordanian education system. Educators interviewed represented a vary of different school populations, grade levels, environments, resources and subject areas. Teachers interviewed and material culture demonstrated that the current education system is in need of multifaceted reform. The primary issue raised by many interviewees is enhanced discrimination and inequitable distribution of resources as a result of the double shift system. They point to the segregation of Syrian and Jordanian students as a critical component of continued tension between the groups. However, the Jordanian school system is currently over capacity and the double shift system in an ingenious response to effectively use limited resources to provide an education to all students within Jordan. The researcher suggests moving to an integrated double shift system. This proposal suggests large-scale systematic reform and that could only happen over a long period of time. At present, this reorganization would be too overwhelming to students, families, teachers and the larger system. Therefore, the researcher also recommends incremental change in the form of an overlapping double shift system. The overlapping system would entail keeping Jordanian and Syrian students separate for the majority of the school day and integrated in the middle of the day, in classes where needs are generally similar, particularly for classes that encourage social cohesion. The overlapping double shift system is a stepping stone to eventually fully integrating the Jordanian school system.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Education Policy | Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration | Migration Studies | Near and Middle Eastern Studies | Politics and Social Change | Social and Cultural Anthropology


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