Publication Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

First Advisor

Patrick Moran


This thesis is an analysis of the events that led to my separation from a women’s college in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It contains a narrative of the events that led up to this separation, an analysis of the reasons behind it and a final statement that describes how I have evolved personally and professionally since the events occurred. I argue that various conflicts between my role, attitude and expectations and those of the students and administration at the college led to a breakdown of communication between all parties. American cultural biases caused me to misinterpret signals of a positive rapport between me and my students. To explain this misinterpretation, I cite various differences in communication styles between American and Saudi culture. I also include a poll of my former colleagues that examines the motivations behind Saudi student behavior in the classroom. My findings will have implications for the way administrators of Saudi universities culturally debrief western teachers. My findings will also help those already teaching in Saudi Arabia to gain more insight into their own and their students’ motivations. Ultimately, the findings will help teachers and administrators in Saudi Arabia serve students more effectively.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Teacher Education and Professional Development