Primary Teachers' Attitudes and Knowledge Regarding Gifted Pupils and Their Education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

  • Khalid Almakhalid

Student thesis: Phd


For many years, concern has been expressed about the quality of gifted education offered around the world. In response to these concerns, many countries, including Saudi Arabia, have introduced gifted education programmes in primary, intermediate and secondary schools. Current international research suggests that the attitude and knowledge of teachers regarding gifted pupils and their education is a key factor that determines the success of such programmes. However, little is known about the success of the Saudi government initiative as there is a dearth of studies that focus on teacher attitudes and knowledge of gifted pupils and their education. The aim of this study is to investigate the attitudes and knowledge, training needs and attitudes towards in-service gifted training programmes of regular teachers (RTs) and gifted programme teachers (GPTs) towards gifted pupils and their education in primary schools in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The researcher has used mixed methods for collecting data obtained from questionnaires distributed to, and semi-structured interviews with, a sample of 233 GPTs and 700 RTs for the questionnaire and 20 GPTs and 20 RTs for the semi-structured interview, both based on a multi-stage sampling technique.The overall findings indicated that both groups of primary teachers held overall 'slightly' positive attitudes towards gifted pupils and their education, with higher positive attitudes among GPTs than RTs. However, there were significant differences between RTs and GPTs in overall knowledge and training needs regarding the gifted and gifted education, with higher knowledge in all topics for GPTs and high training needs for RTs in most gifted knowledge topics. In addition, there were significant differences between RTs and GPTs in their attitudes regarding in-service gifted training programmes, with an 'ambivalent' attitude level from GPTs and a 'very negative' attitude level from RTs. There were significant positive relationships between teacher attitudes and teacher knowledge regarding the gifted and gifted education. The analysis of semi-structured interview data provided evidence of the validity of the questionnaire results and illustrated the reasons behind positive or negative teacher attitudes and high or low teacher knowledge.Based on the findings, the researcher makes several recommendations and offers possible directions for future research.
Date of Award3 Jan 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorPeter Farrell (Supervisor) & Neil Humphrey (Supervisor)

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