Pearson chosen to develop skills of over 100,000 teachers in Saudi Arabia
Pearson has been selected to deliver a flagship project to provide Saudi Arabian teachers with professional development training aimed at improving learning outcomes in the Kingdom.
The Math and Science Teacher Development Programme is a groundbreaking initiative of the Tatweer Company for Educational Services (T4EDU), which is responsible for implementing King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz’s Project for Development of Public Education.
The project forms part of Saudi Arabia’s broader education reforms, which aim to raise the standard of teaching across Saudi’s education system and increase the country’s standing in international educational comparison tables.
Pearson is working with Tatweer to roll out professional development programmes for the Kingdom’s mathematics and science teachers, with the aim of enhancing student achievement in these disciplines. The programme, which can take up to two years to complete, will provide participants with an advanced level of content knowledge and pedagogy in maths and science. The programme will promote instructional excellence and innovation through courses based on internationally recognised, research-based principles of professional learning. The programme incorporates online, face-to-face and self-study training, giving participants maximum flexibility and personalisation in their learning.
Amanda Collins, Professional Development Director at Pearson in the Middle East, says at the centre of this programme is a train-the-trainer initiative, which will see 500 Saudi-based educators undergo an intensive programme to form an active community of maths and science educators who can deliver the programmes throughout the country in the future:
“Pearson will train a core team of staff from the Ministry of Education who will be be accredited to deliver the Math and Science Teacher Development Programme to primary and secondary maths and science teachers throughout Saudi Arabia. This capacity-building focus of Pearson’s agreement with Tatweer will ensure this new math and science pedagogy is firmly embedded in schools across the Kingdom, and help develop an ongoing culture of professional development and learning amongst Saudi teachers – something that will inevitably benefit local learners."
The Kingdom’s government has made student achievement in the fields of English language, science, technology, engineering and maths a priority in its recent education initiatives, given the importance of these subjects to the future economic development of the country. It is hoped that the introduction of the Math and Science Development Programme will aid in the implementation of the new Saudi Math and Science Curriculum and increase student interest and engagement in these areas. Encouraging student success in these fields will also help to alleviate some of the demand the region is experiencing for school and university graduates with strong maths and science skills.
Pearson’s Senior Vice President for Professional Development, Sherry Preiss, says international research consistently shows the importance of teacher education to improving student outcomes across all subject areas:
“The Math and Science Teacher Development Programme recognises the research-based evidence that the biggest single impact on student achievement is teacher quality. Therefore, in order to improve the level of math and science success amongst Saudi school students, there is a strong need to build both teachers’ subject area knowledge and subject-specific pedagogy skills. These programmes will do that by developing teachers’ abilities to implement practical, interactive, teaching strategies for leading students in inquiry-based learning."
The programme is intended to empower the Kingdom’s educators by combining Saudi cultural values with international best practice. Designed with the experience of Saudi educators in mind, local content and pedagogy experts will help ensure all resources meet the needs of Saudi teachers.
Pearson’s Country Manager for Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Asiri, says that creating culturally specific programmes was a priority for both Pearson and Tatweer:
“Pearson has worked with millions of learners and educators in more than 85 countries around the world. If there is one thing this international experience has shown us, it is that learning is at its most successful when it is tailored and relevant to those undertaking it. That is why with these programmes we have been sure to adapt the language, content, examples and case studies used throughout the course so they are contextualised for the Saudi learner. Great care has been taken to ensure the entire programme is in keeping with local values."