Building leadership for change in STEM through professional learning with Kingdom of Saudi Arabian teachers

Sarika Kewalramani, Megan Adams, Rebecca Cooper

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


    This study aligns with the recent global need to find effective ways to build teacher capacity for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) integration into the curriculum and related teaching practices. The study reports on a program that sponsored teachers (N=50) from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to participate in a year-long professional learning program in Australia. This paper's focus is to investigate the barriers and enablers of the KSA teachers’ transnational professional learning, specifically school immersion as the context and STEM as the curriculum area. Drawing on McChesney and Aldridge’s (2019b) conceptual model, we report on findings related to the transformation of teachers’ evolving STEM integration into the curriculum, STEM teaching ideas, knowledge and leadership skills during and after the immersion program. Employing a multiple case study approach, data includes individual semi-structured interviews with KSA teachers (N=5) and artefact analysis of the teachers’ Capstone projects. Analysis showed that although novice in their own STEM pedagogical knowledge, the teachers were motivated and co-learnt together with their peers and school mentors during their immersion in Australian schools. The teachers identified concerns around language barriers such as; meaning making and adapting and transferring the STEM knowledge skills into their KSA classroom contexts. Implications in relation to the design of transnational and cross-cultural immersion programs are also discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2020
    EventAustralasian Science Education Research Association Conference 2020 - University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia
    Duration: 23 Jun 202026 Jun 2020


    ConferenceAustralasian Science Education Research Association Conference 2020
    Abbreviated titleASERA 2020
    Internet address


    • STEM professional learning
    • school immersion program
    • teacher leadership capacity
    • teacher STEM pedagogical knowledge

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