Bahraini School English Language Teachers’ Beliefs and Professionalism under New Educational Reforms in Bahrain: An Interpretive Perspective
Hasan, Mohamed Hasan Mohamed
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This study sought to explore Bahraini teachers’ beliefs about teaching and learning as they related to their daily work and their interactions with the contexts in which they worked and lived so as to construct a deeper understanding of their professionalism. It particularly investigated the effects of contextual factors, in light of the recent educational reform initiatives in Bahrain, on the professional lives of practicing Bahraini school English language teachers who completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) at Bahrain Teachers College (BTC) between 2008 and 2012. Research data were collected through face-to-face semi-structured in-depth interviews with twelve teachers in the primary, intermediate and secondary schools, whose experiences ranged between four to ten years at the time of the interviews. The research revealed that the teachers’ professional lives were influenced by three main contextual factors: intensification of teachers’ work, marginality of teachers and control in education. These factors were found to be complex as they were not only influenced by the educational system and the environment in which the teachers worked and lived but also by personality issues. Hence, although these factors significantly impacted upon the teachers’ professional autonomy and commitment, created moral dilemmas for them, and brought with them the question of what it means to be a teacher under increasing scrutiny, the findings showed that the consequences of these factors on the teachers’ professionalism varied from teacher to teacher and from context to context, emphasising that this impact was largely mediated by the teachers’ values and sense of professional identity. The study highlights the situated nature of teachers’ beliefs and the importance of considering teachers’ professional identities, values and moral purposes in any educational reform attempts that aim to improve teacher practice. This study also has implications for teacher beliefs and knowledge, teacher professionalism, and teacher education.
EdD in TESOL