Evaluating the effectiveness of primary teachers in Kuwait.
The aim of this research is to evaluate the effectiveness of primary teachers in Kuwait
and to identify the factors which could hinder this effectiveness. To do this, the author chose
to use the process-product criterion. The research begins by identifying the different teaching
styles among primary teachers (process) and then relating them to pupil achievement (product)
in order to discover which of the identified styles was more effective than the others. The
study focused on teachers of Arabic Language, Science and Mathematics in Grades three and
Several research methods were used, the main one being the questionnaire. Four
hundred and ten questionnaires were distributed on a proportional, clustered, yet random basis.
The data so gathered was then analysed using the cluster analysis technique. The results show
that Kuwaiti primary teachers can be classified into four teaching styles, and the characteristics
and the differences between the styles are discussed in detail. Furthermore, twenty respondent
teachers were observed, five from each style, in order to identify the interaction between pupils
and teachers, and also to validate some of the information gathered by the questionnaire.
The data relating to the results achieved by pupils taught by 84 of the teachers in the
four different styles was collected in two different periods (January and May). These results
were analysed using the residual change score. The analysis showed that there were
differences in pupil progress in the four teacher styles in that pupils who were taught by
teachers in Style 2 achieved better results in Arabic Language and Science, and those who were
taught by teachers in Style 4 obtained better results in Mathematics.
The behaviours of the most successful teachers in the three subjects are discussed in
detail and it was found that those teaching Arabic Language and Science presented behaviours,
such as clearer lesson presentation, paying more attention to the entire class and being less
inclined to use punishment and the threat of punishment to maintain control, while Style 4
teachers used class teaching more and were more inclined to use punishment and the threat of
punishment in maintaining class control.
Forty-eight teachers selected randomly were interviewed in an attempt to establish
those factors which influence and hinder the effectiveness of primary teachers in the classroom.
The main factors were considered. The direct factors were class size, teaching load,
lack of modem teaching aids, and scarcity of in-service courses. The indirect factors were the
low social status of teachers in the community, low salary, the school administration's
maltreatment of teachers, lack of moral and material incentives, lack of parental co-operation,
inaccurate assessment of teachers by their superiors, and the indifferent attitude of some
teachers towards improving their teaching standards.