e-book Science Education in the Arab Gulf States: Visions, Sociocultural Contexts and Challenges

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In particular, the chapter envisions a way forward to present the best science training model that develops teacher competencies, and prepares students effectively for the 21st century. The chapter provides examples of effective science teacher professional development using blended research methods, employing an analytical literature review along with the use of questionnaires and interview techniques. It concludes with a science teacher professional development model that is based on the educational and socio-cultural contexts of the UAE and that allows for teacher growth, and consequently, positively impacts student learning.

The chapter explains the different features of each authoritative and dialogic type. It also discusses ways to encourage the teachers to make the class more open to a dialogic discussion among students and teacher. In Chapter 5 entitled Science education reform and related cultural issues in Bahrain: A historical move, Khalil Al-Khalili presents an overview of the ongoing science education reform in Bahrain.

Document analysis, interviews and textbook review were used.


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The chapter shows that curriculum development and reform in general and that of science in particular were of focal interest to curriculum specialists in Bahrain, coping with the worldwide trend, especially that of the Western world. In Chapter 6 entitled Conceptual framework for re-shaping science education in Saudi Arabia, Khalid Al-Hammad has designed a conceptual framework based on the teaching sequence to address the issue of science education from constructivist and socio-cultural perspectives. The designed teaching sequence was applied to Saudi secondary students and addressed different issues related to traditional and contemporary teaching methods.

Al-Hammad argues that the local Saudi social and culture affected students understanding of scientific concepts which contradict with the scientific perspective. This chapter makes a recommendation for designing new pedagogical strategies that center on a communicative approach. It also recommends that the local social and cultural issues are taken into account in curriculum development.

They argue that ICT infrastructure considerations in GCC educational systems should be about more than providing technology for students and teachers to use, but extend to the importance of providing infrastructure for building capacity as well.

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In addition they argue that targeted and strategic use of ICT-based instruction has a significant impact on student learning outcomes. The chapter discusses the connection between the scientific mind and Islam. The primary focus of this chapter is the imposition of science curricula in Saudi Arabia and science teacher preparation programmes, and how they correspond to social and technological paradigms while incorporating ethical and moral qualities.

The socio-cultural issues that may have an impact on the reforms of science education in Bahrain are tackled by Aneta Hayes in Chapter 9, entitled Adopting Western models of learning to teaching science as a means of offering a better start at university? The impact of socio-cultural factors: A case of Bahrain. Hayes doubts whether adopting Western programmes can solve problems with science education in the Gulf Cooperation Council GCC countries and proposes that matching reform with the broader societal view might be a better way forward.


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She draws on the findings from a qualitative case study in Bahrain where secondary science teachers, first year university students and relevant university faculty staff were interviewed in focus groups and semi-structured interviews. Hayes argues that societal culture has a great impact on the functioning of schools and the complexity of factors that influence the way schools teach science. In addition, she argues that the research emphasises that socio-cultural factors are difficult to change and that introducing new reforms should be based on considerations of these factors.

Science education in the sultanate of Oman — Sultan Qaboos University: OMAN House of Expertise

The socio-cultural factors that impact the science education in Oman are critically analysed and discussed by Al-Balushi and Ambusaidi in Chapter10, entitled Science education research in the Sultanate of Oman: the representation and diversification of socio-cultural factors and contexts. The authors conducted a survey study with 16 science education researchers.

It shows that some research areas in Oman have not had much attention from researchers, such as religious beliefs, non-arabic spoken languages, age levels, school locations and mixed gender school settings. In this chapter the authors suggest some recommendations to enhance the representation and diversification of socio-cultural factors within science education research in Oman, and in the Gulf Cooperation Council GCC states.

This chapter focused on the teachers views regarding the extent to which the new science curriculum relates to the Kuwaiti social cultural context and the Islamic religion. Al-Shammari argues that the curriculum content is not much related to Kuwaiti society and culture or the Islamic religion and this has negatively influenced students understanding and attitude towards learning science.

The chapter makes recommendations regarding teacher professional development and the development of the science curriculum. GCC Education Sector report.

Alpen capital. Aydarova, O. Education in the Gulf Monarchies: Retrospect and prospect. International Review of Education, 45 2 , Barber, M. Improving education in the Gulf. The world of science education: Arab States. The economics of industrial innovation 3rd ed.


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  6. Sulaiman Al-Balushi?
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    Science Education in the Arab Gulf States

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    The elusiveness of teacher quality: A comparative analysis of teacher certification and student achievement in Gulf Cooperation Council GCC countries. This chapter is intended to provide guidance that stems from best practice, as highlighted in the relevant literature and analysis of the state of science education in the country. The chapter consists of three main sections: the first section reviews what has been published over the past decade, which provides a base of knowledge about the characteristics of effective professional development.

    The second section depicts the status of professional development in Saudi Arabia, and highlights where we have yet to improve. It draws on the available data and efforts surrounding professional development.

    Identity, State and Society in the Arab Gulf - The GCC Countries: Politics and Economics conf.

    The third section attempts to identify the various challenges ahead regarding professional development. Based on these three sections, we propose recommendations for the advancement of science teacher professional development in Saudi Arabia. This includes allocated governmental funding for the new science and mathematics curriculum, as well as King Abdullah s project for public school education Tatweer Project. Science education in Saudi Arabia is receiving more attention than it has ever received before.

    The government contracted a national company partnered with an international company to provide new instructional materials supported by professional development programs for both science supervisors and teachers. These efforts, essential as they are, need to be accompanied by a more effective and systematic approach to supporting, developing, and mobilising science teachers who will teach in and lead schools.

    The reform initiatives in science education are causing a shift from conventional teaching styles to more progressive, inquiryoriented methods. This means that teachers need to be supported regarding how to approach such novel teaching. Al-Shamrani Eds. All rights reserved. Al-Shamrani Professional development is one significant mechanism for maintaining a high standard in science teaching.

    The most important reason for professional development as identified by the American Association for the Advancement of Science AAAS, is to help teachers to recognize the special expertise related to their work. Second, Professional Development is essential for teachers to master the knowledge and skills needed as pre-service education is neither long enough nor intense enough. The third reason is to help teachers grow and develop and, finally, to improve teaching quality.

    In a centralized education system as in Saudi Arabia, educational authorities are responsible for setting policies and making decisions on the kinds of professional development that will be supported and implemented. In this chapter we intend to provide guidance which stems from best practice, as highlighted in the relevant literature and analysis of the status of science education in the country. The following pages include three main sections. The first section provides a review of the existing research on effective characteristics of professional development.

    The second section depicts the state of professional development in Saudi Arabia, through snapshots of how professional development is being designed. The chapter ends with a third section in which we propose future directions for advancing science teachers professional development in Saudi Arabia. Not least, this chapter is a major first step toward developing a comprehensive set of policies and practices that help to better organize professional development. Our ongoing research, informed by the wider literature on professional development, attempts to develop a framework of professional development that can enrich the practices of science teacher development.

    Our concern as researchers is to develop a greater understanding of what makes professional development effective. Currently, The country is running a new science education reform, In a new Mathematics and Science Curriculum was launched; an adapted series of science textbooks produced by American publishing company McGraw-Hill was translated and modified to be adopted for all school levels. The new science curriculum emphasizes current teaching and learning trends and promises to adopt a learner-centred approach with inquiry-based instruction Obeikan, for Research and Development, But this will only happen if teachers classroom practices reflect high standards.

    Education reforms will not succeed without teachers who are immersed in the subject they teach and well equipped to implement appropriate teaching practices. Professional development of teachers plays a key role in the new curriculum implementation and is widely believed to be required in order to support. Reforming science education requires much more intensive professional learning than has been available until now.