History teaching methods and students' attainments and attitudes in the first year of secondary schooling in Saudi Arabia
The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the position of history teaching in Saudi Arabia,
where history teachers focus mainly on the didactic method. A further purpose is to explore students'
attitudes to learning and the teaching process, their thinking skills, problem solving and independent
learning. A large survey was conducted to explore students' attainments, attitudes toward history and
their ability to think critically. The survey study consisted of 351 student from the first year of the
secondary schools. Further, an experimental study was undertaken to investigate the effect of the
inquiry method and the traditional method on students' achievements in history and their critical
thinking ability and attitudes towards history in the first year of the secondary schools in Saudi Arabia.
The experimental study consisted of two groups: the experimental group included 31 students and the
control group included 62 students of one secondary school.
The thesis consists of six chapters.
Chapter 1 outlines the research issues.
Chapter 2 reviews the literature in order to outline the implications of the inquiry and
traditional methods and their effectiveness in studying history and in improving motivation and the
Chapter 3 describes some features of the educational system of Saudi Arabia in order to
provide a broad context within which the research may be evaluated.
Chapter 4 describes the procedures for data collection. These consisted of two main parts: (1)
sampling and (2) choice of methods.
Chapter 5 outlines the findings of the data analysis. The data are described and analysed using
frequencies, percentages and the Friedman and Mann-Whitney tests. These findings are then
commented upon and interpreted.
Chapter 6 includes a general discussion,c ritiques of the strengthsa nd weaknesseso f the study
and some recommendations and suggestions for further studies in the future.
The main findings of this study were that students have strong positive attitudes toward history
and history teachers. They viewed history as an important subject. They enjoyed using different
learning styles and using different resources. Further, students in the experimental group achieved
higher scores than students in the control group in some of the test items.