An investigation of the problems experienced by primary school teachers and beginning teachers in the Yemen Arab Republic
As the title of the thesis suggests, this is a study of the problems and concerns experienced by student teachers in The Yemen at different stages in their training (second, third, first year of teaching). An initial exploratory case study of one teacher training institute, using interviews, was utilized to generate items for two questionnaires (about problems, and related beliefs respectively) completed by about 800 student -s in all 11 General Teacher Training Institutes in the country. The items covered several areas: School Material Conditions and Resources, Teaching Demands, Relationships with Professionals and Adults, Teaching Competencies, Institutes' Courses, Job Rewards, Pupils' Response to Teaching, and Students' Security. Applying Factor Analysis to the ratings of the total population for the 'problems' questionnaire showed no sufficiently strong structure of problems (patterns). Further analysis using commonsense categories showed that most problem areas were of great concern to the majority of student teachers and beginning teachers and these concerns were stable across stages, except for Students' Social/Emotional Security which showed consistently decreased concern over successive stages. When males and females were studied separately, the patterns of change were different, and diverse changes ii were found for the various (single-sex) institutes. Variables such as Background (Urban/Rural), Institutes attended, Primary School Location, Job Location for beginning teachers, seemed to be dominated to a large extent by sex differences. Males mainly expressed higher concern about job rewards, females about their own ability to cope with the tasks of classroom teaching. Variables such as Age within Stages, and Stage of Joining Institutes, did not appear to have influence upon students and beginning teachers' problems. The results of the 'Beliefs' questionnaire were analysed similarly and showed patterns of results which did not correspond with the 'Problems' results in a way which could allow the concerns to be explained by the belief s. The initial exploratory case study sample was followed longitudinally by interviews. This approach showed different patterns of increasing concerns on entry to teaching. Possible explanations for the different patterns are discussed. Interviews with a sample of institutes' lecturers suggest an awareness by the majority of lecturers of some of the common problems expressed by student teachers. iii The substantive findings and methodological issues are discussed in relation to the literature (e. g. Fuller, Gibson, Lacey ... ). Some suggestions for improving teacher education in The Yemen are offered.