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Journal of Educational Sciences > Volume 7, No. 2, 1995

High School Science Teaching Methods and Practices in Saudi Arabia and the USA / Saleh S. M. Al-Hedaithy

The purpose of this study was to determine the teaching methods. strategies, and techniques that are being practiced by high school science teachers (H.S.S.T.) in Saudi Arabia and in the U.S.A. 
To achieve this purpose, a questionnaire of 22 items (methods) was developed. After assuring its validity and reliability, it was administered to 79 U.S.A. H.S.S.T. (in its English version), and to 103 Saudi Arabian H.S.S.T. (in its Arabic version).
The results revealed that: 1) There are significant differences (at the 0.01 level) between the U.S.A. H.S.S.T. and the Saudi H.S.S.T. in their use of the methods investigated. 2) The predominant methods of teaching were discussion and lecturing in both countries. Televised science instruction and role playing were never used among the two groups in their teaching. 3) There were seven more methods used in the U.S. schools on a daily and/or weekly basis. They are: student homework, inquiry and discovery, problem solving, laboratory and hands-on methods, demonstrations, tests and quizzes, and individual assignments. 4) Four methods were found to be practiced in Saudi Arabian schools on a monthly basis. They are: problem solving. demonstration, tests and quizzes, and inquiry/discovery techniques. However, there were two methods practiced in the U.S. schools on a monthly basis. They are: student reports and projects, and practical lab tests and quizzes. 5) From the 22 science teaching methods investigated, 16 teaching methods were not practiced except ocassionally, in the Saudi high schools, while 11 teaching methods were not practiced in the U.S. high schools. Finally, the study provided some recommendations to improve science teaching practices.

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