Date of Award

12-1-2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

McIntyre, John

Abstract

The purpose of this explanatory sequential mixed-methods study is to identify and describe the readiness of female Saudi mathematics teachers in the areas of subject matter knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge to integrate STEM disciplines. The study also examines mathematics teachers’ attitudes and obstacles in implementing STEM education. The sample consisted of 98 female mathematics teachers for the quantitative phase and 6 for the qualitative phase in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The findings revealed that Saudi female middle school mathematics teachers appeared to have extensive pedagogical knowledge and an average level of subject matter knowledge but they needed systematic support, such as training courses or professional development programs, to be able to implement integrated STEM education in their classes. Most of the participants also showed a positive attitude toward integrated STEM education and its implementation. The qualitative findings confirmed and explained the quantitative findings. Additionally, participants believed that teachers’ knowledge, preparation, motivation, and professional development in integrated STEM education as well as school setting were the most important obstacles that challenged the implementation of integrated STEM education. Based on the results, I recommend an integrated STEM education degree to prepare future STEM teachers and start an awareness campaign to educate people about STEM literacy and its importance for the country’s future.

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