School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Sarah Hutter


learner profiling, student achievement, teacher credentials, PIRLS, Saudi Arabian international schools, teaching and learning




As the world enters the knowledge-based economy, schools across the globe look to teach up so students can become lifelong learners. Educators focus on implementing instructional best practices that will promote increased student achievement. The current study aims to determine if a significant interaction exists between teacher credentialing and the pedagogical act of learner profiling that would affect student Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) achievement scores. PIRLS is a recognized reading assessment proctored to over sixty-one countries that measures and benchmarks fourth-grade students’ reading achievement. The researcher deployed a quantitative, quasi-experimental nonequivalent control-group study to observe four groups of Saudi Arabian fourth-grade international school teachers and students. Each group represented all possible configurations of the two factors, including licensed teachers who learner profiles, licensed teachers who do not learner profile, non-licensed teachers who learner profile, and non-licensed teachers who do not learner profile. After all teacher groups administered a PIRLS pre-test, teachers who were identified as consistently learner profiling received a four-week treatment that provided an in-depth insight into learner profiling benefits and best practices. A two-way ANOVA was run to determine if an interaction between teacher credentialing and learner profiling existed in regards to student achievement. The test determined that there was no significant interaction between the two independent variables. However, two independent samples t tests revealed that licensed and learner profiling outperformed teachers who were not licensed or teachers who did not learner profile. These findings confirm the most recent literature regarding the importance of highly qualified teachers and sound pedagogical practices. Future research may include using an alternative measurement more reflective of Saudi student achievement and determining the role teacher experience has on instructional effectiveness.

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