Adapting Transformative Educational Research for Exploring Mathematics Education in/for Saudi Arabia
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Islamic societies were part of the Islamic Golden Age from the mid 8th century to the mid 13th century when they adhered closely to the principles and ethics of Islam. However, after colonialism when Islamic societies became somewhat uncritical followers of Western civilization, they lost their intellectual leadership position in the world. If Islamic societies want to regain a high standing in the modern world, it is clear that they need to take the path of modern science and technology but, importantly, a science that is ‘beholden’ to Islamic principles and views. In this paper we shall demonstrate that a transformation of the postgraduate education system of Saudi Arabia can enhance Islamic values in the education system of Saudi Arabia and that the inclusion of critical auto/ethnographic research can make a major contribution to this process. Critical auto/ethnography is a methodology produced by combining three major research paradigms: interpretivism, criticalism and postmodernism. This powerful methodology enables researchers to engage deeply in educational issues with/in their own culture (Taylor, Taylor, & Luitel, in press/2012).Drawing on doctoral research conducted by the first author, a mathematics teacher educator from a Saudi Arabian university, we shall illustrate this innovative approach to educational research as a tool for Saudi mathematics researchers that enhances and elaborates them to transform their professional practice within their own culture. “Critical auto/ethnography enabled me [first author] to be immersed deeply and reflectively in excavating key moments of my academic and personal life, coming to understand them closely and critically and representing them in ways that resonate with the experiences of others providing an avenue for doing something meaningful for myself as a teacher educator and for the professional world surrounding me”.
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