The roles played by relationships of Arab expatriate teachers in Libya : a case study
A high proportion (see tables in appendix A) of those teaching in Libyan Higher Education institutions are expatriates. The current study looks at the human environment surrounding Expatriate Teachers (ETs) in Higher Education Institutions in Libya and probes the extent to which relationships with people around them enable ETs to maximise their contribution to the education system in Libya. Various fields in the literature on socio-cultural context, help in social relationships and mentoring have been consulted to illuminate the types of help and relationships ETs should ideally obtain in a host context. This case study investigated six Arab ETs. Data collection methods included interviews, shadowing, and classroom observations. Data showed that ETs receive enabling social help through their relationships with others, who in these cases were found to act as contextual mentors to ETs, playing roles similar to those expected from mentors in the literature on mentoring. Other relationships, however, were found to constrain ETs' ability to contribute to the success of Libyan Higher education in terms of its ability to develop well-qualified, capable expert graduates who would help in Libyanisation and national development in Libya. It was found that factors specific to the Libyan context over the last century were found to affect ETs' relationships to make them rather constraining. The study therefore demonstrates/contributes to knowledge in the field in the following ways. It confirms the existence of a natural form of mentoring (contextual mentoring) that involves not only close relationships but other people around it. It also shows the importance of context in shaping human relationships, especially in mentoring. It also looks at an area of the literature on ETs' that had little attention: the human environment. Moreover, the study alerts those working in educational change to the fact that educational change is not only what is understood as innovation, but there are forms of contextual disruptive changes that affect relationships.