Challenges and constraints encountered by Saudi pre-service science teachers: a critical perspective

Amani K. Hamdan

Abstract


Recently, various policies have been implemented in Saudi Arabia to reform science teaching at K-12 levels in order to focus on critical thinking, inquiry-based learning, and problem solving. Research is needed to explore the adequacy of teacher preparation programs to determine whether these programs sufficiently prepare Saudi science teachers to teach according to these new reforms. This study explores the challenges that Saudi pre-service science teachers face in these higher education programs. Results indicated that graduates of the programs studied were satisfied with their experiences; however, various concerns were expressed by some pre-service teachers regarding the theory-practice gap between their university coursework and field experiences, and the supervision structures and functions in place for the professional experiences component. Modifications to the teacher preparation programs are suggested in order to address these concerns and to successfully enact reforms in science education in Saudi Arabia.

Keywords


field experiences; work experience; pre-service science teachers; Saudi Arabia; teacher education; teachers’ perceptions

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18538/lthe.v12.n1.174