Author: Alsalim, Lyla
During the past decade, the Saudi Arabian education system has undergone major changes. Government agencies involved in education have introduced new policies, standards, programs, and curricula. The recent changes in the education system motivated me to conduct this study. The focus of this research is to describe and understand high school mathematics teachers’ current practices in Saudi Arabia. This research includes four cases of teachers currently teaching high school mathematics in Saudi Arabia. Using the Patterns of Participation concept (PoP) as the main framework, I identified some of the significant practices, or figured worlds, from the teachers’ sense of their practices. Some of the figured worlds that emerged are mathematics, the textbook, reform, responsibility for students’ achievement, and relationship with others. Mathematics, as it has always been, remains an influential figured world for mathematics teachers. Reform and the textbook are becoming as influential because of the current changes in the education system in Saudi Arabia. While some participant teachers are developing a new understanding of what mathematics is and what it means to teach it, they also indicated that they are mostly still using traditional teaching strategies rather than reform teaching strategies. In addition, I conducted a cross-case analysis to connect the findings from each case in order to gain some understanding of how high school mathematics teachers in Saudi Arabia respond to the shared or common circumstances they are facing in the current reform movement. I identified and described six common themes from the cross-case analysis. These themes are useful for showing the range of mathematics high school teachers’ practices in Saudi Arabia and the ways in which their practices differ. Participant teachers responded differently to the shared or common circumstances they face in the current reform movement. I found more differences than similarities in the current teaching practices of the participant teachers.
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Thesis advisor: Liljedahl, Peter
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