In Saudi Arabia, a large-scale science education reform requires teachers to shift from traditional teaching methods to spending more time developing their subject knowledge, shifting from shallow coverage of facts and procedures, to more in-depth focus on concepts and ‘hands-on’ engagement.
Teachers’ professional development programs in the country are undertaken as short training sessions that centered on theoretical pedagogical knowledge and ignore practical, skills, and the content knowledge.
The overarching goal to assess the impact of CPD opportunities in the country to better suit the professional needs of Saudi science teachers and support them in implementing the reformed instructional practices.
Materials and methods:
Data were collected from 609 male and female Saudi science teachers by means of closed and open ended questionnaire and later interviews with 9 teachers.
Findings indicated that several Saudi science teachers have benefited from participating in the CPD programs but have also faced several challenges. Further analysis of the data resulted into five major themes.
The data of this study suggests that in order for CPD programs to effectively impact teachers’ classroom practices, they have to be personally meaningful to teachers, covers both content and pedagogy, and encourage teachers to create professinal learning communities,