An investigative study of the present professional preparation for teachers in primary schools in Saudi Arabia, with especial reference to Islamic and Arabic subjects
The central aim of this thesis was to examine the experience of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the preparation and training of prospective Arabic and Islamic primary teachers at the Teachers' Colleges with special attention to professional preparation, as perceived by Arabic and Islamic student teachers, teaching staff and officials in the Ministry of Education, and also the Deans and Vice- Deans of Teachers' Colleges. The study incorporates a full review of literature concerning the pre-service teacher training programme in general and in Arabic and Islamic subjects in particular. A profile of Saudi Arabia and its modern educational system is presented, while the core concepts of Islamic education and related issues are also discussed, and the situation of Arabic and Islamic subjects in Saudi schools is described. The key contribution of the thesis is an evaluation of the Arabic and Islamic teacher training programme in the Teachers' colleges, drawing on the available documents and regulations, and on the questionnaire survey of 127 Arabic and Islamic student teachers and 346 teaching staff from Arabic, Islamic and Education departments in Teachers' colleges. Their perspectives are complemented by information and opinions obtained through interviews with college Deans and Vice-Deans, and relevant ministerial officials. The survey returns and interviews revealed a number of problems. Respondents indicated dissatisfaction with several aspects of the teacher training programmes, particularly those associated with teaching practice. Imbalance and lacunae in the curriculum, inadequate facilities, poor preparation for the practicum, and deficiencies in the supervision and evaluation of teaching practice were among the problems highlighted. Appropriate remedies are recommenced to improve the status and quality of teacher training and future research priorities are also identified.