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This chapter outlines the overview of the study. It starts with the background and followed by the statement of the problem, which addresses the need to conduct the study. Next, the purpose, rationale, the theoretical model, the nature, the significance, the assumptions as well as the limitations, and the conceptual and operational definitions are discussed. The final part of this chapter outlines the organization of the whole thesis.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Terrorism and the rise of radical Islamism is a global problem. "Most Muslims are not fundamentalists, and most fundamentalists are not terrorists, but most present-terrorists are Muslims and proudly identify themselves as such." (Lewis, 2003: 137). Islamic terrorism (also known as Islamist terrorism or Jihadist terrorism) is religious terrorism by those whose motivations are rooted in their interpretations of Islam (Benkin, 2005). The pervasive influence of the de-Islamization process and the emerging of the 'extreme Islamist or radical Islam' have seriously challenged Muslim individuals and communities around the world. Among these challenges are the deviant behaviors among the youth especially their misperception of Islamic teaching.
The authentic meaning of Islamic teachings have been abused and misused in many ways. One of the most well-known is the misconceptions of jihad. Literally, jihad means to strive, to exert oneself, or to struggle for the sake of Allah (Peters, 2008). However, jihad in the broad sense of exertion does not necessarily refer to war or fighting, since action in Allah's path may be attained by nonviolent as well as violent means (Majid, 2008). According to Yusuf Ibish, the greater jihad is an internal struggle against one's desires, while the lesser jihad is an external struggle such as fighting when Muslims are attacked (Noorani, 2002). However, it seems that jihad is well known as fighting and it has been portrayed as such by the Western media where the holy war is a primary source of world terrorism (Jamilah, 1990).
In Thailand, Islamic schools and teachers were claimed as the sources of misinterpreted Islamic teachings which caused the unrest situation in southern Thailand since 2004. The study of Kittiwibul (2006) claimed that the cause of the current violence in southern Thailand as perceived by the 'highly educated locals' was due to the improper modeling of the religious teachers and the observed violence by the Muslim youths of the Islamic extremists activities. If this claim is true, this issue should be reflected among Thai Muslim communities especially on how to educate the Muslim youths with authentic Islamic teaching.
This study attempts to study the performances of Muslim teachers in the public primary schools, where the secularized education model is implemented, in infusing the simple Islamic teachings to their students in the classrooms and what the potential factors contributing to their performance are. This is an initial step in studying the possible roles of public education in solving the current problems in southern Thailand.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
Deviant behavior among Muslim youths is a very reputed problem in Muslim society. In a study conducted by Jittiyaphan (2007), deviant behaviors were found to be common among Muslim youths in the Yala province of Thailand. In Malaysia, this problem is also very eminent. The study of Hasan and Che Noraini (2005) revealed that Muslim parents in Malaysia are aware and worried about the social ills in the society especially among their children. That is why the People's Religious Schools (SAR) in Malaysia is continually increasing in number because parents are concerned about their children's Islamic knowledge which the national school curriculum cannot adequately address. Thus, the importance of educating our children with proper Islamic values and ethical behaviors has become a necessity.
Muslim scholars considered moral characters as a central element in the identity of the individuals that ensure continuity and consistency in behavior (Ssekamanya Siraje, 2007). This is demonstrated in a study conducted by Hazizan, Mohamad Aslam, Selamah, and Ruzita (2003) on religiosity and social problems among secondary school teenagers in Malaysia. The results of their study showed that the more religious the person is, the less he or she becomes involved in social problems. It is therefore essential that Muslim parents must insure that their children's learning is under the tutelage of teachers who are morally and ethically grounded (Shaikh Abdul Mabud, 2000). Additionally, Islamic teachers have a crucial role in promoting to their Muslim learners the proper understanding of Islamic ethics and morality. In doing so, we need to remind ourselves that our children will only become morally-upright individuals if their hearts and minds are enlightened and if they have opportunities where they can actually observe and apply the Islamic values.
Effective Islamic teaching and learning must integrate knowledge, beliefs, and values. These integrated aspects have the far-reaching potential of enhancing the power of Islamic studies, teaching and learning. Most importantly, effective Islamic teaching and learning must be value-based (Ahmad Bazli, 2004; Al-Attas, 1978,1979; Aziz, 2003; Bari, 1993, 2000; Dilnawaz, 1987; Hasan, 2002; Hasan and Che Noraini, 2005; Ibrahim, 1999; M. Kamal, 1987; Mohamad Sahari, Abdul Aziz, Mohd Tahrim, Ismail, Ahmad Marzuki, Zainurin, Tunku Badariah and Haniza (1999); Mohamed Aris, 2004; Mohammad Hannah, 2007; Rafiu, 2004; Rosnani, 1998; Rosnani, 2004; Saeedah, 2006; Shaikh Abdul Mabud, 2000; Sidik, 2000, Syed Ali, 1984,1987). By focusing on values and considering the ethical dimensions of the issue, Islamic education becomes a powerful vehicle for character and moral development and thereby achieves its authentic purpose. Therefore, effective Muslim teachers must develop better awareness and understanding of their own values and how these values influence their behaviors as role-models, and what the students will ultimately learn from these experiences about themselves, others and Islam.
Inculcating Islamic manner or adab is one of the Islamic educational goals. Adab contains a comprehensive code of ethical behavior covering almost every aspect of social behavior, as part of the complete way of life, which is Islam (MarwÄn, 2000). Many prominent scholars remind us that the defeat of adab will consequently bring about the 'Muslim dilemma' that creates confusion and inaccuracy in knowledge and finally contributes to the rise of unqualified leaders in the Muslim communities (Al-Attas, 1978, 1979). Therefore, adab as well as the Islamic principles, values, and norms must be emphasized and used in guiding the process of education including the curriculum, co-curricular activities, methods of teaching, teacher-student relationship as well as between the school and the society (Ali Adam, 1997).
In the Islamic education process, teachers play important roles in educating the Muslim youths to behave ethically. Shaykh Abdullah (2004) emphasized the importance of teachers as the living examples and the murshid (guide) to young students. Likewise, he believed that "a teacher is a cultural agent who exercises positive, healthy and constructive social control while using the school as an instrument of Islamically-oriented social change" (Shaykh Abdullah (2004:64). Similarly, Ibn Miskawayh (Nadia, 1994), in his book tahdhib al-akhlaq (Refinement of Character) considered a teacher to be a guide who must impart desirable knowledge, moral values, customs, and behaviors to the youth and prepare them to be acceptable members of the Muslim ummah or community. Thus, Muslim teachers are considered as important agents for the internalization of adab among the students. However, it is a huge challenge for Muslim teachers to realize these roles especially when they are teaching in secular schools (Mohd Daud and Musa, 2000; Rosnani, 2004; Sidek, 2000; Ssekamanya Siraje, 2007; Syed Ali, 1987; Watson, 2000). Hence, the perception of how Muslim teachers are motivated towards a positive work behavior within the school structure will not only have an impact on their performance outcomes but will also have an impact as to what extent the school encourages an internal and external positive factors that influence one's ethical behavior for the benefit of the organization. The statement of the problems above leads to the purpose of the study as outlined below.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This research aims to understand the effects of two factors namely, the teacher attributes (individual factor) and the perceived support (environmental factor) on the outcome of "infusing Islamic manners (adab)" in the classroom. The linkages of the factors are as follows:
1. Teacher Attribute Factors:
1.1 Teachers' sense of efficacy on infusing Islamic manners (adab)
1.2 The teachers' value of infusing Islamic manners (adab)
1.3 The teachers' Islamic work ethics
1.4 The teachers' organizational commitment
2. Perceived Support Factors:
2.1 The school and principal support in infusing Islamic manners (adab)
2.2 The curriculum support in infusing Islamic manners (adab)
2.3 The peer support on infusing Islamic manners (adab)
2.4 The community support on infusing Islamic manners (adab)
3. Teachers' Performance in Infusing Islamic Manners (adab) Factors:
3.1 Teachers' inculcation in infusing Islamic manners (adab)
3.2 Teachers' reflection and internalization in infusing Islamic manners (adab).
RATIONALE OF THE STUDY
In a secular education system, Muslim teachers are facing considerable difficulties in infusing Islamic values to the students. It had been found that the pace of spirituality among children and adolescents in Western countries is intensifying in the classrooms (Brown, 2003; Fraser and Grootenboer, 2004; Kay and Wilkins, 1998; McCreery, 2004; McKinney, 2004; Nesbitt and Arweck, 2003; Schweitzer and Boschki, 2004). Additional findings highlighted the teachers to be the main agents in encouraging spirituality among the students. However, teachers are still having problems due to inadequate training (Revell, 2005). Fraser and Grootenboer (2004) suggested that while teachers cannot plan and predict precisely the impact of spirituality in the classrooms, they can cultivate a climate that enhances children's spirituality.
The main purpose of the research is to determine if there are empirical relationships between the internal and external factors towards infusing Islamic manners (adab) in the classrooms as perceived by the teachers. The results of this study will provide empirical data on the factors influencing the perception of infusing Islamic manners in the classroom among Muslim elementary school teachers in southern Thailand. The results will also assist in the understanding of teachers who are infusing Islamic manners in the classrooms and whether they have qualities of an effective Islamic teacher or murrabbi. Additionally, the findings are important in understanding and determining the success or failure of the factors influencing the implementation of Islamic manners as perceived by the teachers. Such information can help to improve the strategies in accomplishing the goals of Islamic education in a Muslim minority country such as Thailand (Ibrahem, Niloh, Ahmad, Kader, Suttisak, Sukree, Kasetchai, Muhammaddawud, Pratsanee, Tayudin and Tuweakoleeyoh, 2006).
Finally, this study will assist educators, administrators, and professional development coordinators to adequately prepare, train, and support teachers so that they will become effective Islamic teachers.
The theory that this research explored was based on several existing theories. The first theory comes from the Social Cognitive Theory and Self-Efficacy. Social cognitive theory provides a framework of relationships between an individual, the environment, and human behavior. The theory identifies human behavior as an interaction of personal factors (e.g., demographic factors, cognitive factors, and other personal factors), environment (such as social pressures and particular situational characteristics) and behavior (Bandura, 1977). Generally, an individual chooses to be influenced by the environment.
The motivation theory such as the expectancy value theory (Vroom, 1964) is related to teacher motivation. This theory posits that individuals are motivated by the extrinsic and intrinsic motivation to engage in a particular behavior particularly when they value the outcome of the task and also when they accept as true that performing the task will produce the desired results. Extrinsic motivation is a motivation where performing a specific activity is for some external motive(s), such as increased job performance, pay raise, or promotion. On the other hand, intrinsic motivation is a motivation in which one performs an activity simply because of the activity itself, such as the individual's gratification of the activity.
The cultural self-representation theory (Erez and Earley, 1993) which is derived from the metacognitive framework forms the link between the contextual factors and the individual behavior in organizations. Individuals will behave according to four factors:
Cultural Values and Norms which dominates the external and the internal work environment;
Managerial Practices and Motivational Technique which operates within a particular work environment;
the Self, modified by culture, as an interpreter of managerial practices and motivational techniques in light of cultural values and norms and in relation to self-generated needs; and
Employees' Work Motivation and Work Behavior. The self mediates the effect of various managerial practices and motivation techniques on work behavior.
In the same way, the cultural self-representation theory is associated with what Kreitner and Kinicki (1992) pointed out on ethical behaviors in the work place. They suggested that religion and belief or cultural influences have a prospective enclosure to an individual's ethical codes in the work place which, subsequently lead to ethical behaviors. In other words, self concept of individuals correlates with the culture and their work practices, and it affects their work behaviors accordingly.
Bommer, Gratto, Gravader, and Tuttle (1987) proposed a model to explain the general ethical behavior. Their model consists of several variables which influenced the decision process in determining ethical or unethical behaviors. These factors include: individual attributes, personal environment, professional environment, work environment, government/legal environment, and social environment.
McShance and Von Glinow (2008) introduced the MARS model. This model explains the employee engagement which refers to how employees identify with and are emotionally committed to their work, are cognitively focused on that work, and posses the ability and resources to do the work. This model comprises four elements - motivation, ability, role perceptions, and situational factors - which identify the four direct predictors of all voluntary behavior and performance.
In organizational behavior view, Buchanan and Huczynski (2004) proposed a field of the organizational behavior terrain to explain the human behavior in an organizational setting. Their model theorizes that generally individual behavior in organizational settings can be explicated by three sets of factors: Context factors (political, economic, social, technological, legal, and ecological); Input factors (individual, group, structural, process and management); and Outcome factors (organizational effectiveness and quality of work life).
In the school context, Haygood, Baker, Hogg and Bullock (2004) proposed the teacher behavior model (Figure 1.1), which can explain the teacher's behavior in school. Their model elaborates that teachers' behaviors are influenced by two main factors namely school and personal characteristics. Both factors affect the overall climate of the school and consequently influence teacher behavior: School Characteristics (school location, school population, size of program/class, administration, community, and legislative agenda); Personal Characteristics ( such as demographics of the teacher, educational experience, teacher education program, family and life stages, value system).
Figure 1.1 The Teacher Behavior Model
Source: Adopted from Haygood et al. (2004)
The working environment and teachers' personal two variables are confirmed in Klusman, Kunter, Trautwein, Lüdtke, and Baumert (2008) teacher's instructional performance model which affects teacher's instructional performance. Additionally, their model was added with the transactional perspective from health psychology with the extended process-product model and the expertise approach from research on learning and instruction. From their model, features of the working environment and teachers' personal characteristics are conceived to be antecedents of teachers' occupational well-being, teachers' instructional performance in the classroom, and student outcomes. Student achievement and motivational development are thus hypothesized to be affected by their experiences in the classroom, which are shaped by teachers' instructional performance.
The study proposed an infusing Islamic manners (adab) in the classroom model (Figure 1.2) which classifies influencing factors into two dimensions namely internal influences or personal factors (teacher attributes) and external influences or environmental factors (perceived supports). The outcome of such a process is teachers' performance in infusing Islamic manners in the classroom
. The entire model was not examined but instead it focused on the relationship between selected teacher characteristics (i.e., profiles of self-regulatory behavior) and two aspects of success (i.e., teachers' occupational well-being and instructional quality). In the following sections, the conceptualizations of occupational well-being and instructional performance as criteria for successful teachers were described as well as the patterns of self-regulations that are considered crucial for obtaining these outcomes.
The theoretical framework is therefore intended to describe the influencing factors related to both teachers and school context. The study hypothesizes the series of relationships between personal factors, environmental factors, and teachers' ethical behavior. This study also expects that those teachers who have different degree on internal and external factors would demonstrate different ethical behaviors. Particularly, an individual with a high level of perception of self and work support would tend to behave ethically. While teachers with a lower level of perception of the self related to ethical issues and with less social and work situational support from their school and community would be more inclined towards their performance in infusing Islamic manners (adab) in the secular classrooms (iMIS).
Performance in Infusing Islamic Manners (adab)
in the Classroom
Figure 1.2 General Theoretical Framework of the Study
The five specific research questions that this study addressed are:
Research Questions 1: Are teachers' attributes explained by the 4-factor model (Self-efficacy, Values, Islamic Work Ethic and Organizational Commitment)?
Research Questions 2: Are teachers' perceived support explained by the 4-factor model (School and Principal Support, Curriculum Support, Peer Support, and Community Support)?
Research Questions 3: Are teachers' performance in infusing Islamic manners (adab) explained by the 2-factor model (Teachers' Inculcation and Teachers' Reflection and Internalization)?
Research Questions 4: To what extent does the 4-factor model of teachers' attributes (Self-efficacy, Values, Islamic Work Ethic and Organizational Commitment) influence the performance of teachers in infusing Islamic manners (adab) in the classroom?
Research Questions 5: To what extent does the 4-factor model of teachers' perceived support (School and Principal Support, Curriculum Support, Peer Support, and Community Support) influence the performance of teachers in infusing Islamic manners (adab) in the classroom?
Building upon multi-theoretical paradigms, the study proposes infusing Islamic manners (adab) in the classroom model, which classifies influencing factors into two dimensions: internal influences or personal factors (teacher attributes) and external influences or environmental factors (perceived supports). The outcome of such a process is the teachers' performance in infusing Islamic manners (adab) in the classroom
INNO. Figure 1.3 shows the hypothesized model of the study and Table 1.1 summarizes the research purposes, research questions and hypotheses of the study.
Figure 1.3 The hypothesized Model of the Study
The Summary of Research Purposes, Research Questions
and Hypotheses of the Study
Hypotheses of the Study
1. To investigate the nature of teachers' attributes, teachers' perceived support, and teachers' performance in infusing Islamic manners (adab) construct.
Q1: Are teachers' attributes explained by the 4-factor model (Self-efficacy, Values, Islamic Work Ethic and Organizational Commitment)?
Q2: Are teachers' perceived support explained by the 4-factor model (School and Principal Support, Curriculum Support, Peer Support, and Community Support)?
Q3: Are teachers' performance in infusing Islamic manners (adab) explained by the 2-factor model (Teachers' Inculcation and Teachers' Reflection and Internalization)?
HQ1: teachers' attributes is explained by the 4-factor model (Self-efficacy, Values, Islamic Work Ethic and Organizational Commitment).
HQ2: teachers' perceived support is explained by the 4-factor model (School and Principal Support, Curriculum Support, Peer Support, and Community Support).
HQ3: teachers' performance in infusing Islamic manners (adab) is explained by the 2-factor model (Teachers' Inculcation and Teachers' Reflection and Internalization).
2. To determine the variables influencing the differences in infusing Islamic manners (adab) and the relationship between those variables
Q4: To what extent does the 4-factor model of teachers' attributes influence the performance of teachers in infusing Islamic manners (adab) in the classroom?
H4: Teacher attributes' variables (TA) are positively and significantly related with their performance in iMIS (TP).
H4.1: The teachers' sense of efficacy in infusing Islamic manners (adab) (EF) is positively and significantly related with their performance in iMIS (TP).
H4.2: The teachers' values of infusing Islamic manners (adab) (VA) are positively and significantly related with their performance in iMIS (TP).
H4.3: The teachers' Islamic work ethics (ET) is positively and significantly related with their performance in iMIS (TP).
H4.4: The teachers' organizational commitment (CO) is positively and significantly related with their performance in iMIS (TP).
Q5: To what extent does the 4-factor model of teachers' perceived support influence the performance of teachers in infusing Islamic manners (adab) in the classroom?
H5: Teacher perceived supports variables (PES) are positively and significantly related with their performance in iMIS (TP).
H5.1: The School and Principal support (SS) is positively and significantly related with teachers' performance in iMIS (TP).
H5.2: The Curriculum support (CU) is positively and significantly related with teachers' performance in iMIS (TP).
H5.3: The Peer support (PS) is positively and significantly related with teachers' performance in iMIS (TP).
H5.4: The Community support (CS) is positively and significantly related with teachers' performance in iMIS (TP).
NATURE OF THE STUDY
This research adopted a quantitative approach as described by Creswell (2003) by emphasizing the utilization of quantitative surveys to determine if the relationships existed between the variables, personal and work situation, and performance in infusing Islamic manners (adab) in the classrooms as perceived by the Muslim teachers in southern Thailand. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is used to determine to what extent the model of hypothesized relationships is supported, and how well a hypothesized conceptual model fits the associated data.
Research methods of the study consist of two steps; firstly, a hypothesized model was developed by reviewing related literatures. The model was assessed by educational experts. Secondly, the developed learning process reform model was validated using the SEM to analyze the data collected from the Muslim teachers of the public primary schools in Southern Thailand including both the Muslim-majority provinces (Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani, and Satun) and also the Muslim-minority provinces (Songkhla, and Phatthalung).
ASSUMPTIONS AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The following are the essential assumptions for this research:
All participants or respondents who take part in the survey have responded the survey items honestly and completely.
The return rate of the surveys matched the return rate of the survey for this study.
The limitations for this present study are as follows:
The research is conducted among the teachers in the six provinces in Southern Thailand both in the Muslim-majority provinces (Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani, and Satun) and the Muslim-minority provinces (Songkhla and Phatthalung). Therefore, the findings of the study may not be generalizable to the teachers in other areas.
This research is conducted in a public primary school setting which emphasized a Western educational model. Therefore the findings may not be generalizable to schools in other types of educational settings.
This research is conducted specifically with Muslim teachers, and therefore the findings may not be applicable to non-Muslim teachers.
This research is investigated mainly to determine the direct effect of the teacher attribute factors and the teachers' perceived support on their performance in iMIS.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
TEACHER ATTRIBUTES: The teacher attributes are the teachers' characteristics in infusing Islamic manners (adab) in the classroom. Operationally, the teacher attributes were measured by the 4 factors namely: Self-efficacy, Values, Islamic Work Ethic and Organizational Commitment.
PERCIEVED SUPPORTS: Perceived support refers to a perception of availability for support towards infusing Islamic manners (adab) in the classroom. In this study, perceived support was measured by the 4 factors namely: school and principal support, curriculum support, peer support and community support.
TEACHERS' PERFORMANCE IN INFUSING ISLAMIC MANNERS: Is defined as the teacher's skill in infusing Islamic manners in the classroom. Operationally, it was measured by 2 factors namely: Teachers' Inculcation and Teachers' Reflection and Internalization.
ORGANIZATION OF THE THESIS
Chapter One presents the background of the study, the statement of the problem, purpose of the study, a research model, significance and limitations of the study, definition of terms, and organization of chapters. Chapter Two includes a review of the literature relating to every research variables. Chapter Three describes the design and research methodology. Chapter Four contains an analysis of the data and a discussion of the findings with regard to each respective research questions and hypothesis. Chapter Five outlines the conclusion, implications, suggestions for further research, and recommendations for policy makers, principal and teachers.