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dc.contributor.authorAlansari, Widad Musleh
dc.contributor.supervisorDr. Christine Howitt

This study investigated the influence of using concept mapping as a teaching and learning tool on Saudi Pre-Service teachers' knowledge of teaching social studies. It also investigated Saudi Pre-Service teachers' perceptions of their learning environment, attitudes towards social studies and confidence towards teaching social studies, while undertaking a Social Studies Teaching Methods course.The Social Studies Teaching Methods course was delivered in the Education Faculty at Umm AI-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia. The 12-week course aimed at providing Pre-Service teachers with increased knowledge of teaching social studies.An action research methodology was adopted for the study, with constructivism and concept mapping providing the theoretical framework. The sample consisted of 30 Pre-Service teachers emolled in a Social Studies Teaching Methods course during semester 2,2007. Multiple methods of data collection and analysis were incorporated into this study. These methods included individual and group concept maps, a modified Arabic version of the Constructivist Learning Environment Survey (CLES), a modified Arabic version of the Test of Social Studies-Related Attitudes (TOSSRA), a modified Arabic version of the Social Studies Teacher Efficacy Belief Instrument (SSTEBI-B), three detailed case studies obtained using semi-structured interviews and journals, class reflection, and researcher self-reflection. All three instruments were modified, translated, validated and then used to measure Pre-Service teachers' perceptions before and after using concept maps within the Social Studies Teaching Methods course.From pre- to post-concept maps, Pre-Service teachers identified significantly more concepts, significantly increased the complexity of their concept maps, and were able to integrate and synthesise the course content in relevant and valid ways. The postconcept maps were found to be more extensive and complex than the pre-concept maps. All Pre-Service teachers moved from more general pre-concept maps to postconcept maps that incorporated more information, with more hierarchical organisation and more narrative detail. In general, the Pre-Service teachers had developed both a greater knowledge of teaching social studies in terms of curriculum, process, and skills, and developed greater mappmg skills as a consequence of using concept maps as an instructional tool in the Social Studies Teaching Methods course.Using concept maps as part of the teaching and learning process, the Pre-Service teachers perceived that their learning environment had become more personally relevant, they had a greater critical voice, there was more shared control and greater student negotiation. They also acknowledged the evolving nature of social studies. At the same time, the Pre-Service teachers had developed better attitudes towards social studies, enjoyment of social studies lessons, and career interest in social studies. The Pre-Service teachers had developed strong personal beliefs in their own efficacy as social studies teachers and had high expectation of the outcomes of social studies teaching at the end of the Social Studies Teaching Methods course.The three case studies further highlighted the use of concept maps as an effective teaching and learning strategy. More importantly, the case studies identified the interaction between the Pre-Service teachers as an important source of idea generation and knowledge construction within collaborative learning situations. The case studies highlighted the benefits of working in small groups, and emphasised expression of ideas, listening to others, and helping each other. The case study PreService teachers expressed critical voice and negotiation with one another.The Pre-Service teachers in the three case studies were enthusiastic about using concept maps as a teaching strategy in their practicum. However, they all faced substantial barriers in doing so primarily due to their lack of experience with concept maps. However, as they became more familiar with using concept maps over the period of the course, their confidence and their ability to use them increased. The time students needed to construct concept maps within the classroom and the large number of students in the classroom were identified as other limitations. These case study Pre-Service teachers believed that their secondary school students had developed positive attitudes towards working with concept maps and enjoyed and became more involved in their learning process.Against the background of Saudi traditional teaching and learning strategies, the use of concept maps has developed a learning environment where opportunities for engaging in collaborative construction of knowledge and negotiation of meaning were enhanced. The emphasis placed on open dialogue, incorporating justification, explanation and elaboration, assisted the Pre-Service teachers to better understand their own ideas and subsequently build a greater knowledge of teaching social studies.The findings reported in this thesis provide a detailed insight into a range of facets concerning the delivery of a Social Studies Teaching Methods course with Saudi PreService teachers as perceived by the Pre-Service teachers and the researcher. This study makes a distinctive contribution to the understanding of how Pre-Service teachers' knowledge and perceptions change after using concept maps in their Social Studies Teaching Methods course. This study has implications for social studies teacher educators in the development and instruction of teacher education programs, particularly within a Saudi context.

dc.publisherCurtin University
dc.subjectconcept mapping
dc.subjectteaching and learning tool
dc.subjectknowledge construction
dc.subjectidea generation
dc.subjectsocial studies teaching methods
dc.subjectlearning strategies
dc.subjectteacher education programs
dc.subjectSaudi Pre-Service teachers
dc.titleUse of concept maps to improve Saudi pre-service teachers' knowledge and perception of teaching social studies
curtin.departmentScience and Mathematics Education Centre
curtin.accessStatusOpen access

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