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Title: Saudi English-language teachers' perceptions and reported practices of teacher leadership
Author: Alsalahi, Saud Mossa A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6352 6421
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2016
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This interpretive study explored how Saudi Arabian nationals employed as English-language teachers within intermediate and secondary Saudi schools understand the concept of teacher leadership, and how they perceive themselves as teacher leaders. The study also explored teachers’ views of current factors that empower or disempower them in being teacher leaders, as well as the roles and support they desire. The research used an exploratory design methodology encompassing three qualitative research methods: focus groups, one-to-one semi-structured interviews and reflective essays. The participants included nine Saudi English-language teachers from intermediate and secondary public schools. Participants were able to define teacher leadership in relation to: practices inside the classroom, practices outside the classroom and teacher knowledge and professionalism. The participants also perceived themselves as teacher leaders with potential professional capital that would allow them to engage and participate professionally in their school community of practice. The data revealed that teacher leadership is not the general practice in Saudi public schools; however, participants reported practices of teacher leadership that they desired and aspired to. The study also reported the many barriers to teacher leadership that currently exist, such as lack of teacher leadership roles, lack of support from the heavily centralised educational hierarchy, insufficient and inadequate pre-service and in-service training, and lack of voice in decision-making processes. Despite these barriers, the participants were eager to act in teacher leadership roles because they believe these roles carry benefits for themselves, their colleagues, headteachers, curricula and students. Based on the data obtained in the research, the study proposed a model for “professional teacher leadership” that supports teacher leaders as professionals who have professional capital to work with professional agency and autonomy in a positive atmosphere of communities of practice. This model could have benefits if applied in the context of Saudi Arabia and would be transferrable to similar contexts globally. The study concluded with some theoretical and practical recommendations for the Ministry of Education and for teachers in regards to teacher leadership within Saudi Arabia. Through teacher perception and reported experiences, TESOL teachers can challenge policy and provide a basis for developing new ways emerging from them in the context, as in-depth perspectives can give a voice to participants. Based on the literature reviewed and the design of the current research with its underpinning theoretical and conceptual frameworks, additional pathways are suggested for future research.
Supervisor: Riley, Susan ; Hania, Salter-Dvorak Sponsor: Saudi Cultural Bureau in London ; Saudi Ministry of Education
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Teacher Leadership