The effectiveness of teacher recruitment and selection in Oman : an analysis of stakeholder perceptions
Oman's public education system has expanded rapidly, with the number of teachers employed rising from 32 in 1970 to more than 36,000 in 2006. Widespread educational reform is currently underway and a number of stakeholders have voiced concerns about the quality of the novice teachers being appointed. This thesis responds to these concerns through an exploration of the practices and processes used to recruit and select primary and secondary teachers for Oman's public schools. A review of related literature, exploratory analyses and field observations gave rise to a number of research and practical aims. These focuses on assessing the extent to which teacher recruitment and selection (R&S) in Oman corresponded, in theory and in practice, with the normative prescriptions found in the best practice literature; exploring the conflicting perceptions of different stakeholders about the effectiveness of these processes, and contributing to the development of theory-based educational policy in Oman. The empirical study employed both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analyses. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with recruiters, head teachers and school district officials. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to cluster samples of newly recruited teachers. 496 completed questionnaires were analysed representing about 8% of the total population. The study produced two major findings. First, many of the techniques and processes employed in the R&S of teachers in Oman deviate significantly from those that have been shown to be effective elsewhere. Second, there is a widespread feeling amongst novice teachers that their psychological contracts with their employer have been violated and almost half of all teachers surveyed wish to leave the profession. The findings challenge the widespread community assumption that there is a problem with the quality of new teachers and highlight the importance of managing the expectations and perceptions of appointees throughout the selection and recruitment process.