Stakeholder perceptions of child-centred education in Saudi public sector preschools : using practice architecture to examine progress towards Saudi Vision 2030

Rajab, Adaylah AbdulHamid

Education
March 2019

Thesis or dissertation


Rights
© 2019 Adaylah AbdulHamid Rajab. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.
Abstract

Prior to Saudi Arabia’s latest development plan Vision 2030, the implementation of Western child-centred approaches to education has proven difficult. Firstly, there is no history of theory and practice associated with child-centredness in Saudi Arabian society and culture. Secondly, the country’s Wahhabi Islamic tradition has made modernization difficult, with education emerging as an area of particular tension. Yet education is recognized as playing a key role in improving long-term prosperity and facilitating Saudi Arabia’s transition towards a knowledge-economy based on 21st century skills: ‘creativity, imagination and critical thinking’ (Al-Issa, 2009: 39-40). As the global trend is towards rights-based education, the question of whether Western theories and practices of education have relevance in non-Western contexts is of considerable importance in Saudi Arabia.

This study aims to show how Vision 2030 is providing the principle mechanism for bringing Western perceptions and understandings of ‘child-centred education’ and a traditional Wahhabi interpretation of Islam into closer alignment. To this end, the main research question is as follows: How does using Practice Architecture to explore Child-Centred Education in public sector preschools in Saudi Arabia develop understanding of progress towards Vision 2030?

To answer this question, this research explores what child-centred educational policy, theory and practice means in the context of three public preschools in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. The interview data and policy stipulations revealed that the intertwining of religion and traditional Arab ethnic norms and values in the Saudi Self-Learning Curriculum for Kindergarten has produced an adapted version of child-centredness.

As Prince Mohammed bin Salman has acknowledged, children are ‘our nation’s pride and architects of the future’ (Al-Saud, 2017: 7). The findings reveal that by presenting a more tolerant and moderate approach to Islamic beliefs and practices, Vision 2030 is providing a mechanism for achieving equality and social justice by bringing these two models of education into closer alignment.

Publisher
School of Education and Social Sciences, The University of Hull
Supervisor
Wright, Nigel
Sponsor (Organisation)
Saudi Arabia
Qualification level
Doctoral
Qualification name
PhD
Language
English
Extent
2 MB
Identifier
hull:17434
QR Code