Female Secondary Students’ and Their Teachers’ Perceptions of Science Learning Environments Within the Context of Science Education Reform in Saudi Arabia


This mixed methods study explored how Saudi Arabia’s science education reform is functioning in 2 public girls’ secondary schools located in Dammam, 1 of the main cities in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia recently launched a new initiative to promote science education innovation by providing science curriculum change, professional development for science teachers, and progress towards a new educational system. This study examined Saudi secondary girls’ perceptions regarding science learning environments and the metacognitive science learning orientation within the context of science education reform in Saudi Arabia (N  =  202). Further, 3 science teacher participants were interviewed in order to ascertain their perceptions of their current science teaching environments and their science teaching. Particular emphasis was placed on examining differences between the Course System, which is a new system designed to facilitate science experiments and constructivist teaching and learning, and the regular system in terms of students’ perceptions about science learning environments and their metacognitive science learning orientation. Results and findings indicate that teachers supported the constructivist pedagogy, and science education reform efforts may gradually change Saudi science education environments and improve Saudi girls’ science metacognitive learning orientation.

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This study was supported by the research fund from Chosun University, 2017.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sun Young Kim.

Appendix. Teacher interview questions

Appendix. Teacher interview questions

  1. 1.

    What do you think of students’ involvement in your science class?

  2. 2.

    What do you think of students’ investigation in your science class?

  3. 3.

    What do you think of students’ cooperation in your science class?

  4. 4.

    What do you think of equity in your science class?

  5. 5.

    What do you think of differentiation in your science class?

  6. 6.

    What do you think of personal relevance in your science class?

  7. 7.

    What do you think of students’ responsibility for their learning?

  8. 8.

    Could you describe your science class? How do you usually teach (teaching methods)? In your class, what do you think about how students learn?

  9. 9.

    How do you evaluate the Course System?

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Kim, S.Y., Hamdan Alghamdi, A.K. Female Secondary Students’ and Their Teachers’ Perceptions of Science Learning Environments Within the Context of Science Education Reform in Saudi Arabia. Int J of Sci and Math Educ 17, 1475–1496 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-018-09946-z

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  • Female secondary students
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Science education reform
  • Science learning environment
  • Metacognitive orientation