SAUDI ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SCIENCE TEACHERS’ BELIEFS: TEACHING SCIENCE IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM
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This study explored Saudi elementary school science teachers’ beliefs about the process of teaching and learning science. This involved the exploration of their views about the new Saudi science curriculum, which emphasizes critical thinking and problem solving. Comprehensive interviews were held in 8 schools with 4 male and 6 female—2 of whom were from private schools—science teachers. The interviews were analyzed to identify and assess common themes among their beliefs as well as associations between their beliefs and self-reported classroom practices. The findings revealed perceptual differences between teaching the old and the new science curricula and also that these science teachers were challenged by available class time, the student–teacher ratio, and the lack of laboratory space, equipment, and administrative support. It appears that the more interactive and group-oriented activities that formed the instructional foundation of the new curriculum have increased enjoyment for teaching science and led students to better comprehension of scientific concepts.
KEY WORDSelementary school science Saudi education Saudi teachers science teachers’ beliefs
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