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Title: An evaluation of the questions in the mathematics textbooks of Saudi Arabian secondary schools
Author: Alzahrani, Mohammed Rzgallah R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5361 433X
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2014
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This study aims to evaluate the questions in mathematics textbooks of the secondary stage, natural science section in Saudi Arabia to discover the extent to which they measure mathematical thinking skills, conform to criteria of good formulation and layout, and reinforce a positive attitude towards mathematics on the students' part, according to school teachers and inspectors. Based on a review of the literature, but moving beyond its outcomes, an analysis of what may be understood by mathematical thinking was developed. This underpinned the data analysis. A questionnaire survey was administered to 1308 mathematics teachers and 158 inspectors from all regions of Saudi Arabia and interviews conducted with 14 teachers and 5 inspectors in order to determine their views on the questions in the selected mathematics textbooks and the extent to which they promote mathematical thinking skills. The questionnaire data were analysed quantitatively and the interview data were analysed qualitatively. In addition, content analysis of the textbooks was carried out. In the opinion of the research participants, the questions in these mathematics textbooks did not promote mathematical thinking in the students, nor did they encourage students to have a positive attitude towards mathematics. The main aim of the textbooks appeared to be the practice of recalled skills, with little scope to apply any ideas in mathematics or to encourage thinking or questioning. This study's weakness lies in the fact that the outcomes relied on an analysis of what people thought. It is difficult to describe mathematical thinking; responses therefore may reflect a range of perspectives on the concept. Moreover, no certain way of measuring mathematical thinking has yet been developed. The study's strengths lie in that it goes beyond previous studies in terms of sample size, hence enhancing its reliability, and develops a taxonomy for mathematical thinking skills that can be developed through mathematics textbook questions. This taxonomy is considered to be an addition to the other taxonomies and measures addressing mathematical thinking skills.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available