Science education reform in Qatar has had limited success. In the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS), Qatari 4th and 8th grade students have shown progress in science achievement, but they remain significantly below the international average. Also, in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), Qatari students have shown progress in science achievement, but they are again below the international average.
Material and methods:
data were analyzed from the international tests of TIMMS (2007 and 2011) and PISA (2006, 2009, and 2012). In addition, data were collected from a total of 92 science coordinators and teachers in 24 Qatar schools by means of the School Science Teaching Inventory Questionnaire (SSTIQ), which has been found to be reliable and valid in related studies (Author et al., 2013a,b).
The questionnaire results, in conjunction with interviews, indicated that science coordinators and teachers believed that a set of factors was responsible, and that low student motivation was the factor that was most responsible. Low student motivation was due, in part, to textbooks being overemphasized, and inquiry-based and problem-based methods being underemphasized. Based on these findings, recommendations for improving students’ science achievement were provided.
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