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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Reforming Saudi Early Childhood Education: Saudi Educators' Perspectives on the Reggio Emilia Approach
by Alsedrani, Ghadah, Ph.D., University of Rochester, 2018, 295; 10815771
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this dissertation study is to describe, explain, and analyze teachers’, supervisors’, and educational administrators’ perspectives, or self-reported opinions, regarding their current practices and policies of Early Childhood Education (ECE) in Saudi Arabia (SA), and the challenges and the benefits of adopting the Reggio Emilia approach (REA) into early childhood institutions in SA. ECE faces many challenges in SA, such as: the traditional role of the teachers, a standard curriculum that is planned in advance, lack of collaboration with families, centralized education management, and the image of the child as passive learner (Metwaly, 2007). With these in mind, I argued that implementing the REA in Saudi kindergartens in a way that suits the social, culture, and religious context may help overcome some of the challenges that are confronting ECE in SA today.

Three theoretical frameworks guided this study: social constructivist theory, the community of collaboration perspective, and the theoretical foundation of ECE in SA. The social constructivist theory and community of collaboration perspective offered a comprehensive understanding of the RE philosophy and its core principles by explaining how children learn and the critical importance of community collaboration. In addition, examining the theoretical foundations of ECE in SA guided my understanding of current Saudi ECE practices and policies.

This study used in-depth interviews to explore and analyze ECE teachers’, supervisors’, and educational provincial administrators’ perspectives in Riyadh about the potential benefits and challenges of implementing the REA into the Saudi ECE context. Audiotapes and transcriptions from individual interviews with participants were used as data sources, along with documents and analytic memos. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative analysis approach; this can provide opportunities to explore the participants’ opinions about the likelihood of implementing the REA, what it would take to adopt it if possible, and how it could be modified to fit the social, cultural, and religious context in SA.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ares, Nancy
Commitee: Alabdulkarim, Sarah, Hursh, David
School: University of Rochester
Department: Education and Human Development
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 80/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Education, Early childhood education
Keywords: Early childhood education, Early childhood education reforms, Reggio Emilia Approach, Saudi kindergarten
Publication Number: 10815771
ISBN: 978-0-438-38062-2
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