Using Activity Theory to Explore the Perspectives of Participants on an Initial Teacher Education Programme for Science Teachers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Binjumah, Sami Mohammed
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
To publish some parts of the thesis
This research discusses the issue of education reform in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) through an exploration of the perspectives of a range of participants involved in the preparation programme for science teachers which is run through an existing relationship between the University of Taibah and public schools in Medina city in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The research examines the perspectives of participants in the university and the school (university supervisors, university coordinators, headteachers, collaborating teachers and science student teachers). It discusses teacher preparation issues in the multiple contexts reported in the literature. Teacher preparation in other contexts has revealed models which could be useful in the Saudi context. Activity Theory (AT) was used as the theoretical framework to achieve this study’s objective of exploring the academic systems of the university/school and the relationship between them in science teacher preparation, focussing on the contradictions that create conflicts for student teachers learning to teach the modern science curriculum. Activity Theory was a useful tool in organizing this research as it permitted the exploration of the relationships between systems, analysing the rich data collected on the relationship between university and school. Activity Theory acted as a link between the need for a more expansive unit of analysis in initial teacher education (ITE) studies and appropriate and effective research methods. This research is situated within the interpretative paradigm. It usescase study with mixed methods as an appropriate methodology, using multiple methods of data collection, namely semi-structured interviews as the main tool, questionnaires and documentary evidence. This research revealed the utilitarian nature of the relationship between the university and the school, which did not reach the level of a cooperative partnership, and which contained many contradictions that created conflicts for science teachers when learning the teaching skills required of modern science curricula.
PhD in Education
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