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Saudi secondary school science teachers' perceptions of the use of ICT tools to support teaching and learning

Source: OAI

ABSTRACT This research was conducted to investigate the Saudi science teachers' perception of the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools to enhance teaching and learning and undertake a small and groundwork examination of these teachers current use of ICT. It draws on the interpretive paradigm (Cohen Manion, 1994), where the focus is on how people interpret and make sense of their world. From this interpretive perspective the beliefs of Saudi secondary school science teachers, in relation to the benefits of ICT, their current use of ICT and their perceived needs for improvement in the use of ICT in the classroom were investigated. Saudi secondary schools science teachers from both girls' and boys' schools in three different types of schools have been involved in this study. There were 28 government schools (9 girls' and 19 boys' schools), four small schools in rented premises (2 girls' and 2 boys' schools) and four Aramco schools (1 girls' and 3 boys' schools). These schools were in different districts: Aldammam city, Alkhobar city, Aldahran city, Alqateaf city and Sufwa city. The teachers were asked to voluntarily participate in the study and 131 teachers out of 200 (86 male and 45 female, 65 %) completed the questionnaire. Analysis of the data, together with the relevant literature builds a picture of the use of ICT in science education. Providing ICT hardware and software resources to a school is not enough to ensure significant developments in use of ICT for teaching and learning in Saudi science classrooms. Access to working ICT continues to be an issue for these teachers. Although teachers identified many benefits to teachers and students from using ICT and had made individual efforts to develop their use of ICT for admin planning and lesson preparation, they also identified barriers. These barriers focused on a lack of appropriate professional development and technical support. The findings have implications for future development in the area of ICT. It is expected that the results of the research will guide future research and development in the country and outline the importance of the use of information and communication technology in education for teachers, students, parents and decision-makers. It will contribute information towards decision-making and planning in future projects.

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