Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Science Education

First Advisor

Dr. William W. Cobern

Second Advisor

Dr. Amy Bentz

Third Advisor

Dr. Brandy A. Pleasants


Formative, assessment, Saudi Arabia, science teachers, teaching, education


Formative assessment is a key pedagogical tool that allows teachers to make instructional assessments in real time for the improvement of student learning. It gives students the opportunity to provide evidence of their learning thus giving teachers assurances that their hard work is not in vain. Formative assessment is commonly practiced in Western schools, while most Saudi science classroom teachers rely on end-of-unit summative assessment. A review of the literature reveals that very little research has been done related to Saudi teachers’ use of formative assessment in science classrooms. The goal of this dissertation was to address this absence of research by investigating Saudi Arabian science teachers’ thoughts about using formative assessment, and thus to better assess the readiness of Saudi science teachers to adopt formative assessment practices. The research methodology involved onsite interviews using a convenience sample of Saudi high school science teachers. Vignettes of classroom teachers using formative assessment methods were shown to the teachers, and they were asked as to whether they had or would use these methods in their own classrooms. Results showed that only three of eleven teachers had applied these methods in their classrooms. The conclusion was that much more needs to be done to prepare teachers to use formative assessment methodology.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access