The need for change: transforming passive classrooms into active classrooms a Saudi Arabian cultural exploration

Year: 2016

Author: Najmi, Ali, Kidman, Gillian, Casinader, Niranjan

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The need for change: transforming passive classrooms into active classrooms a Saudi Arabian cultural exploration. There is a dearth of studies investigating the impact of ICT on Saudi Arabian classrooms. This study is unique, in that it explores the introduction of ICT into Saudi Arabian classrooms to determine its impact on the prevailing teaching culture as in Saudi Arabia the dominant teaching approach is teacher-centred approach. Saudi Arabia has invested heavily in educational reform. For example, national projects for educational reform and ICT integration was developed. In addition, newly improved science curricula that promote student-centred teaching approach and ICT integration were also introduced. Nevertheless, despite these efforts, Saudi teachers seem to be struggling with adopting student-centred teaching approach and they also appear to be reluctant to integrate ICT into their classrooms. Some Saudi studies indicated that Saudi teachers were not able to cope with these directives as a result of the lack of effective professional development (PD) programs (Mansour & Alhodithy, 2007; Mansour, El-Deghaidy, Alshamrani & Aldahmash, 2014). This study seeks to examine eight Saudi Male teachers teaching practices and use of ICT in intermediate (grades 7, 8 & 9) and secondary schools (grades 10, 11 & 12) prior to and following a PD program which was based on technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) framework. Data sources in this study included classroom observations and interviews with teachers, school’s principals and supervisors. It was found, through classroom observations and interviews, that by selective use of ICT in science classes, teachers became more student-centred in terms of their selected pedagogies and ICT used. This is significant because culturally, Saudi Arabian classrooms are predominantly teacher-centred.