Date of Graduation

1999

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

This study was conducted to develop a conceptual framework for the design of science curricula in Saudi middle schools. The methodological procedures of this study also included the assessment of the proposed conceptual framework with science education experts in Saudi Arabia. The development phase consisted of three steps. The first step included the review of related literature. The scope of the literature review included a theoretical background about the various cultural forces which shaped the patterns of education in Saudi Arabia. It also provided an overview of the major emphases in recent reform efforts in science education in the United States as documented by AAAS and NSTA. In the second step, a conceptual framework for the design of science curricula in Saudi middle schools was presented. The development of this conceptual framework took into account the inadequacies of science education in Saudi Arabia and the major emphases of recent reforms in science education (Project 2061, SS&C) and was guided by a set of constructivist assumptions. In the final step, the researcher applied the proposed conceptual framework for the design of coordinated thematic science (CATS) modules using the theme of energy for grades 7–9. The assessment phase was accomplished by investigating the opinions of science education experts in Saudi Arabia (n = 304) for the determination of suitability and actual use of the conceptual framework for the future design of science curricula in Saudi middle schools. The subjects were asked to respond to 92 theoretical principles which could be used for science curriculum design and 43 obstacles which might oppose applying these principles. The data were analyzed utilizing descriptive statistics to investigate the opinions of subjects as well as one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) to measure the degree of agreement and disagreement among them. Overall, the findings were strongly supportive of the proposed conceptual framework. It was considered suitable by Saudi science education experts. None of the principles were rejected by the vast majority of the subjects. They also agreed that most of the 92 principles were not actually used in science curriculum design for Saudi middle schools.

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