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Teachers’ self-perceptions of their professional learning in the context of recent educational reforms in Oman

Alshandudi, H. (2017) Teachers’ self-perceptions of their professional learning in the context of recent educational reforms in Oman. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

This study seeks to answer the following research question: ‘To what extent do Omani teachers working in Post-Basic Education Schools (students aged 16-17) perceive their professional learning to be effective in the light of recent educational reforms?’ It aims to contribute to the debate about the tension between the planning and implementation of educational reforms, to improve understanding of the factors that affect implementation and lead to successful change, and to raise implications for the general understanding of the relationship between educational reforms and enhancement in teachers’ learning. This was an empirical, essentially qualitative, multi-site case study using mixed data collection methods that were applied in three sequential phases. The data collection instruments were piloted in phase one, then refined to improve their validity and the reliability of the findings. In phase two, questionnaires were used to gather quantitative data from 12 of the 37 schools in one educational district in Oman. The aim was to understand the bigger picture and identify the main issues needing further investigation. A total of 159 teachers responded, representing an 88.3% response rate, while all 12 school leaders completed their questionnaire. The issues which emerged were investigated in depth and qualitatively in phase three, when 12 teachers, four head teachers and three inspectors participated in semi-structured interviews in four schools. Three theoretical ideas underpinned this study and helped in understanding and interpreting the findings: complexity theory, contingency theory and social constructionism. The findings revealed a mismatch between what was offered and what teachers’ reported benefiting the most from. This divergence was caused by an underestimation of the complex nature of planning for improving teachers’ learning and an oversimplification of implementers’ roles in the change process. The study highlights the consideration that needs to be paid to the variation among schools and teachers and stresses the importance of enabling schools to respond appropriately to their contexts. This study also illuminates the interconnected external and internal factors that influence teachers’ beliefs and practice in relation to change at various levels and identifies the potential negative consequences of lack of motivation, non-adaptive structures and centrally imposed guidelines and regulations on teachers’ willingness to change and on schools’ contingent ability to meet their changing situations

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Turner, C. and Harris, R.
Thesis/Report Department:Institute of Education
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education
ID Code:75913

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