Understanding Creative Pedagogy of Saudi High School STEM Teachers: Three Case Studies of Mawhiba and Public Science Classes

Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Science Education

First Advisor

Brandy A Pleasants, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Betty Adams, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Marcia K Fetters, Ph.D.


Creative learning, creative pedagogy, creative teaching, gifted education, k-12 education, teaching for creativity


he Saudi government recently emphasized creative thinking in the education context to change the country’s economy from an oil-based economy to a mindset-based economy (Vision 2030, n.d.). On the other hand, the recent version of the challenges in Saudi K-12 education indicates that significant obstacles impede the promotion of creative thinking. Conventional teaching methods focus on rote memorization and have limited concentration on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. This research aims to describe and compare the creative pedagogy experiences of STEM educators in a Mawhiba classroom (customized classroom for creative and gifted students) and a public classroom (for average students) within three cases from four Saudi high school teachers’ perspectives. The research uses a descriptive qualitative approach through triangulating data from multiple sources. The analysis approach was a priori coding.

The results indicate that the creative instructional practices of the participating Saudi STEM teachers differ based on the teacher’s position (teacher of gifted students, teacher of average students), not on the learning contexts (Mawhiba, public classrooms). Both types of teachers in both learning contexts implement instructional practices geared toward preparing students for examinations. Therefore, the study’s findings argue that developing students’ thinking skills and conceptual understanding are priorities over memorizing knowledge for the test. Further, there is a need to change the perceived value of creativity in Saudi society from believing that creativity is limited to practices in the Mawhiba classroom to the conception that creativity is for everyone regardless of the teacher’s position or the learning context.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Restricted to Campus until


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