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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractInquiry is a learning stance that affords students with a variety of engagements to learn about a concept. It is a collaborative process where students think together, work together and talk together to develop their understanding of the issue they face. Inquiry supports teachers in creating highly recommended learning environments for students. Educators know the importance of the relationship between teachers and students and the influence on students' learning development and achievement in school. These goals can be reached through understanding classroom environments and informing teachers about an inquiry approach in teaching. This understanding will also improve teacher’s knowledge and help him/her professionally interact with students. This research explored the experiences and perspectives of eleven Saudi female educators on their learning experiences as students and as teachers in two different settings, Saudi Arabia and the U.S., and two different teaching strategies, a traditional teaching approach and a learning centered approach. I used a qualitative approach to design this study to ask my participants about their learning and teaching experiences before and after studying abroad. In-depth interviews allowed me to access their perspectives and how they created meaning out of experience. I used in-depth interviews, using focus group interviews for the third question only with the participants in Tucson because I wanted to explore an inquiry related to a group of people linked by their background culture. Throughout this study, the data was gathered and analyzed to answer three general questions: 1. What are the teaching and learning experiences of Saudi teachers? 2. How do the experiences of Saudi teachers impact their thinking about teaching practices and the curriculum in their classrooms? 3. What are the perspectives of Saudi women who either are teaching or have teaching experience on the type of learning experiences needed for Saudi Arabian pre-service and in-service teachers? The findings revealed that the participants in this study supported developing and working toward achieving reforms in education in Saudi Arabia. The participants' previous experience impacted them in thinking about their own teaching in their classrooms. All of the participants supported development of the education of teachers in Saudi Arabia. The participants' responses to this question revealed the need for ongoing professional development and redesigning teacher preparation programs around key principles of engagement and inquiry.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading & Culture