Perceptions of educational philosophies: Written reflections of female Saudi Arabian pre-service teachers
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The purpose of this study is to provide a preliminary investigation into the perceptions of educational philosophies as viewed through the individual lens and ‘voice’ of master-level, female Saudi pre-service teachers studying abroad in the United States. This study explores the personal and cultural belief systems juxtaposed with intentions for classroom practices in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the extent to which transformative learning occurs through the reflective thinking process. Transformative learning theory and critical feminist theory frame this study. A qualitative design with a constructive paradigm were utilized to examine the handwritten reflections of eleven Saudi women enrolled in a higher education course in a 4-year university located in southwest region of the United States. Five educational philosophies taken into account include perennialism, essentialism, pragmatism, reconstructionism, and existentialism. Through the manual coding process and thematic data analysis, four major themes emerged: cultural beliefs and values, academic freedom and personal empowerment, intentions for classroom practices and beyond, and learning through reflection. Findings revealed multiple educational philosophic orientations, based on cultural beliefs and values, and transformative learning through reflective thinking with specific intentions for future classroom practices. Implications and recommendations are also included.