Education Policy in Saudi Arabia and its Relation to Secondary School Teachers’ ICT Use, Perceptions, and Views of the Future of ICT in Education
In recent years and as a result of the increasing pace of advances in technology and especially developments in the use of ICT in schools, teachers are now expected to make routine use of ICT in their teaching. This research sought to obtain deeper insight into Saudi secondary school teachers' ICT usage and its relation with ICT educational policy, teachers perceptions and attitudes towards the use of ICT in the teaching and learning process, and their envisions of possible and preferable usage of ICT in education in the future. The study utilised a sociocultural approach: data was collected via interviews and self completed questionnaires. A total of 14 interviews were conducted with teachers, ICT coordinators and head teachers, and 266 teachers drawn from ten secondary schools in Riyadh City completed the questionnaire. The findings indicate there is widespread use of ICT in secondary schools and most teachers have positive views towards ICT. Teachers pointed to a number of motivators summarised in this formula: internal incentives + school encouragement = competent ICT use in education. Three main factors were found to be hindering teachers' ICT use: time constraints, lack of training, and financial issues. Teachers ICT use is guided by policies: the research found that teachers ICT use is more influenced by schools policy than Ministry of Education policy which they are either unaware of or do not fully understand because of difficulties in implementing it. Finally, teachers anticipated future changes in their role to a facilitator and advisor. Teachers hoped for comprehensive improvement of education, radical curriculum change, and continuous teacher training.