PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT NEEDS OF MATHEMATICS TEACHERS IN SAUDI ARABIA
This study aimed at determining the professional development needs of mathematics teachers in Saudi Arabia. The sample of the study contained 643 teachers and 39 supervisors of four districts of education across Saudi Arabia; those who replied to the survey. The survey addressed two domains of professional development: content knowledge in mathematics, and pedagogical content knowledge. The validity and reliability of the survey were systematically established through relevant test procedures
The study found that, in the domain of content knowledge for professional development, the most frequently occurring topics – that is areas of knowledge deficit -- were as follows: Topological concepts and their applications, Spherical Geometry and its applications; Mathematical Problems Solving; Mathematical logic, reasoning, and proof; and, Limits and Continuity and their applications. In the domain of pedagogical content knowledge/ methodology participants defined areas of deficit across thirteen topics. Included in these were: Mathematical teaching for students of special needs, Mathematical teaching for gifted students, Lab use in teaching mathematics, and, Encouraging creative thinking skills in students, teaching mathematics through field trips (informal teaching).
Two-way ANOVA analysis indicate that there were differences in favor of supervisors when compared to mathematics teachers in their responses to the surveys in determining the degree of teacher need for professional development content knowledge of mathematics and in the pedagogical or methodological skills for teaching mathematics, While there were no significant differences in determining the degree of need for professional development for mathematics teachers related to their teaching grade level (elementary, intermediate, secondary, and other) or to the interaction between jobs (teaching, supervisory) and grade level in both domains. However, there were significant differences among participants in determining the degree of mathematics teachers’ needs for professional development in favor of supervisors when compared to mathematics teachers in the pedagogical content knowledge domain alone.