THE DEVELOPMENTAL ACTIVITIES OF TEACHERS AND HEADTEACHERS

Published:

This chapter reports the findings of the study relating to developmental activities of teachers and headteachers. The findings are reported in three major parts based on three specific questions addressed in the study: (a) teachers' and headteachers' involvement in staff development, (b) barriers to staff development for teachers and headteachers, and (c) teachers' and headteachers' recommendations for changes to staff development. A discussion of the major findings and emergent themes is also included.

Participation in and Promotion of Staff Development

This section deals with the analysis of the data obtained from the reactions of teachers and headteachers to questionnaire and interview items regarding developmental activities for teachers and headteachers. The specific research questions addressed in this part were concerned with participants' perceptions about the existence and adequacy of staff development programs for teachers and headteachers.

Questionnaire Findings

Each teacher questionnaire included statements describing the role of the headteacher in the promotion of staff development of teachers. Participants were requested to indicate their level of agreement with each statement by choosing from given alternatives ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). A response of not applicable (N/A) was provided. For details about specific statements regarding developmental activities for teachers, see Appendixes A and B. The percentage and frequency descriptions, mean scores, and standard deviations for each of the aspects of the roles were computed from the data obtained.

Lady using a tablet
Lady using a tablet

Professional

Essay Writers

Lady Using Tablet

Get your grade
or your money back

using our Essay Writing Service!

Essay Writing Service

Only the roles that received the highest and lowest rankings in terms of teachers' level of agreement with and degree of importance attached to the roles as perceived by teachers have been included.

Teachers' responses regarding their level of agreement with the headteacher's roles in the promotion of staff development for teachers in the schools were determined from the data obtained (see Appendix C, Table 8.1). The headteacher's role-namely, "providing continuous orientation to new teachers on how to perform their duties"-was ranked first in terms of teachers' level of agreement; "providing access to school funds for professional travel to conferences and workshops" ranked second; and "encouraging inter-school teacher visitations" ranked third in terms of teachers' level of agreement (see Appendix C, Table 8.1). At the other extreme, "offering to teach certain classes for teachers in order to demonstrate specific instructional strategies," "acknowledging teacher participation in staff development in school bulletin or newsletter," and "planning for continuing staff development activities" were ranked lowest in terms of teachers' level of agreement (see Appendix C, Table 8.1).

"providing opportunities for teachers to assume leadership," "providing access to school funds for professional travel to conferences and workshops," and "providing continuous orientation to new teachers on how to perform their duties" ranked first, second, and third, respectively, in terms of teachers' perceived degree of importance that the

headteacher should give to the instructional supervision process (see Appendix C, Table 8.2). At the other end of the continuum, three roles ranked last in terms of teachers' perceived degree of importance: (a) "offering to teach certain classes for teachers in order to demonstrate specific instructional strategies," (b) "acknowledging teacher participation in school bulletin or newsletter," and (c) "encouraging inter-school teacher visitations" (see Appendix C, Table 8.2).

Interview Findings

Interviews with teachers, headteachers, and senior government education officers revealed numerous in-service training programs in which teachers and headteachers had participated, with substantial achievements. Eight of the interviewees indicated that they were aware of in-service training programs for headteachers organized by the Saudi Education Staff Institute (SESI). Two headtechers, two education officers, and three teachers explained that the SESI in-service courses were mainly organized for newly-appointed headteachers; that the facilitators in the programs included school inspectors; that venues for the courses included secondary schools with sufficient boarding facilities; and that the programs were designed mainly by the SESI.

Three of the interview participants identified the following foci of the SESI in-service training programs for headteachers: (a) the role of the headteacher as first inspector of the school; (b) management by walking around (MBWA); (c) teachers' classroom attendance; (d) general school management; (e) headteachers' administrative duties; and (f) school inspection strategies. However, there was controversy regarding the inclusion of instructional supervision in the SESI training programs. Whereas one headteacher was categorical that instructional supervision had never been included in the SESI programs, one education officer indicated that supervision of instruction was a common topic in the in-service training programs organized by the SESI. Another controversy was concerned with in-service training programs for deputy headteachers. One education officer explained that the SESI also organized in-service training workshops for deputy headteachers at the district levels on topics, such as general school administration and financial management. On the other hand, one deputy headteacher noted that there were no in-service training programs for deputy headteachers. This deputy headteacher remarked as follows:

Lady using a tablet
Lady using a tablet

Comprehensive

Writing Services

Lady Using Tablet

Plagiarism-free
Always on Time

Marked to Standard

Order Now

In-service training for deputies and heads is not done anywhere, neither do we do it in our schools because the Ministry of Education has not come up with a clear policy on how these people could be in-serviced to grow together.

A few interviewees also commented about in-service training programs for teachers. Two headteacher and three teacher interviewees concurred that teachers were not involved in the SESI training programs and that headteachers were expected to in-service teachers in their own respective schools. However, three teachers and two headteachers indicated that in-service training programs for teachers included those organized by the Ministry of Education and subject panels, with the help of school inspectors based at the district levels, and that the programs were based on the various subjects, such as Mathematics, Home Science, and Arabic language. According to these participants, the major foci, especially of workshops organized by subject panels included (a) methods of marking examinations; (b) techniques of answering examination questions; (c) school leadership; and (d) subject syllabi. Among the benefits gained by teachers from the Ministry of Education and subject panel workshops, as suggested by two teachers, included (a) opportunities to share common instructional concerns and (b) an awareness about the topic in the various subject syllabi in terms of their scope and their difficulty. As one teacher stated:

I have attended a seminar to discuss the syllabus. This helped me to share the problem teachers have encountered and enlightened me about the topics which are too wide or too difficult and which should be replaced.

Two teachers hinted that they had never attended in-service training programs specifically on instructional supervision.

Synthesis and Discussion of Participation and Promotion of Staff Development

The findings from questionnaire data regarding the headteacher's role in staff development for teachers reveal that the headteacher's role-namely, providing continuous orientation to new teachers on how to perform their duties-was ranked highest in terms of level of agreement and degree of importance as perceived by teachers. On the other hand, "offering to teach certain classes to demonstrate specific teaching strategies" and "acknowledging teacher participation in staff development in school bulletin or newsletters" ranked lowest in terms of level of agreement and degree of importance as perceived by teachers.

Findings from interview data revealed that headteachers had participated in in-service training programs organized by the Saudi Education Staff Institute (SESI) at the district levels. The foci of the SESI in-service courses for headteachers, as interview data revealed, included (a) the role of the headteacher as first inspector in the school; (b) management by walking around (MBWA); (c) teachers' classroom-attendance; (d) general school management; (e) headteachers' administrative duties; and (f) school inspection strategies. The benefits gained by headteachers, especially from the SESI in-service courses included sharing of administrative experiences and acquisition of supervisory skills and certificates of attendance.

The interview data also revealed that teachers had participated in in-service training programs organized by the Ministry of Education at the district levels, and subject panels. The foci of such programs, as interview data indicated, included (a) methods of marking examinations; (b) techniques of answering examination questions; (c) school leadership; and (d) subject syllabi. Among the benefits gained by teachers from the Ministry of Education and subject panel in-service workshops, as interview data revealed, included opportunities to share common instructional concerns and an awareness about the topics in the various subject syllabi. Interview data further revealed that teachers had never attended in-service courses specifically on instructional supervision.

Participation in Staff Development Programs

The participants appeared to believe that the Saudi Education Staff Institute (SESI) in-service training programs were basically tilted toward addressing mainly the professional development concerns of the headteachers. It is, therefore, not surprising that more headteachers than teachers participated in the SESI programs. This institute is one of the major staff development providers for headteachers in Saudi Arabia. As explained by the Ministry of Education (1994), SESI has been established in Saudi Arabia mainly to provide induction courses in management skills, especially to education administrators such as headteachers, school inspectors, and field service officers. Teacher participation in SESI in-service training programs is, therefore, highly limited. Once headteachers have undertaken professional training organized by SESI, they are expected in turn to provide professional guidance to teachers in their respective schools. As Salem (2000) observed, a major role of the headteacher, as the chief executive of the school, is to provide professional guidance to the teaching staff.

Lady using a tablet
Lady using a tablet

This Essay is

a Student's Work

Lady Using Tablet

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Examples of our work

Training in Instructional Supervision

It seems that in-service training opportunities for teachers and headteachers are extraordinarily ineffective in preparing these professionals in their respective instructional leadership roles. This finding is contrary to the beliefs held by several writers in the literature regarding in-service training in the area of instructional leadership. For example, the National Staff Development Council (NSDC; 2000) observed that effective professional development for teachers and school principals should be team based and job embedded and focus on the critical aspects of instructional leadership, such as planning lessons, critiquing student work, and group problem solving.

The importance of incorporating instructional supervision in in-service training programs for teachers and headteachers cannot be underestimated. According to Robbins and Alvy (2003), information gained from workshops in supervision can help to provide the rationale for supervision and reduce teacher anxiety about supervision process.

Headteacher's Role in Promoting Staff Development of Teachers

Apparently, the headteacher's role in providing opportunities for teachers to assume leadership was viewed by teachers as an important instructional leadership role of the headteacher. It seems that the headteacher's instructional leadership role in modeling teaching strategies was not regarded by teachers as important. This finding is contrary to Blase and Blase's (1999) findings that revealed that teachers studied reported that (a) their principals occasionally demonstrated teaching techniques during classroom visits to model good instruction, (b) modeling was always followed by a conference in which it was discussed, and (c) modeling was viewed as an impressive example of instructional leadership that yielded positive effects on teacher motivation, including reflective behavior, increased innovation, variety in teaching, focus, and planning.

It appears that headteachers, as instructional leaders, did not seem to value the importance of acknowledging teacher participation in staff development initiatives, especially in school bulletins or newsletters. Alternatively, the headteachers did not seem to care about teacher professional development initiatives to the extent of recognizing and rewarding them. I can speculate that, because of the apparent lack of recognition of teacher participation in staff development programs, teachers generally did not pursue such programs with enthusiasm and pride. As Tanner and Tanner (1987) noted, teacher initiatives in in-service programs without supervisory support are likely to fail: "It is difficult for teachers to maintain enthusiasm [in in-service training] when there is little evidence that supervisors also care" (p. 469).

Barriers to Staff Development for Teachers and Headteachers

This section deals with questionnaire and interview data obtained from teachers, headteachers, and senior education officers regarding their perceptions of the main barriers to staff development for teachers and headteachers. The barriers are presented in two major parts, first for teachers and then for headteachers.

Teachers

Analysis of the data obtained from the questionnaire and during the interviews with headteachers, teachers, and senior government education officers revealed numerous barriers to staff development for teachers. The barriers are presented in three major themes: (a) policy, (b) work overload, and (c) staff development opportunities.

Policy

Several participants believed that the lack of Ministry of Education policy regarding staff development was a major barrier to staff development for teachers. Five of the participants in their general comments reported that, to the best of their knowledge, they had not come across any written policy on staff development for teachers. Other comments focused on the perceived lack of clearly defined staff development practices and procedures. The following remarks made by five teachers about policy are indicative of their beliefs:

"No government policy on staff development,"

"There is no clear Ministerial policy on this,"

"Lack of proper written policy by the Ministry of Education," and

"Lack of well-defined policy on staff development procedures."

Not only was the absence of a policy regarding staff development an issue, but the lack of clear direction from the higher authorities about the practices and procedures of professional development programs for teachers was also questioned because teachers were generally confused in their quest for professional growth.

Workload

The "demanding and heavy workload" was frequently cited as a major barrier to teacher staff development. Seven of the participants observed that, because of too much work, especially in subject areas, teachers had limited time for involvement in staff development matters. Some teacher interviewees expressed their perceived frustration with the heavy work demands and described their workload as follows: "unbearable workload," "too much work," and "high workload."

Staff Development Opportunities

Nine of the interview participants identified the lack of opportunities as a major barrier to staff development for teachers. In many cases, the respondents felt that teachers appeared to be deliberately excluded from participating in staff development programs. Also prevalent was a growing concern among a few participants that headteachers appeared to have failed to facilitate professional learning of teachers in their respective schools. The following quote is illustrative of one teacher's prevailing sense of frustration on this issue:

The practice we have in this country is that it may be safe for the headteachers who go for annual seminars related to their work. Teachers hardly go. So while the headteachers are armed with all the information related to the work to be done in schools, the teacher who is supposed to be the beneficiary is not taken for a seminar or a related seminar to be receptive for such kind of work. So it is very important that that one is also to be encouraged. There is always a cry that "Who will be in school as the teachers attend the seminars?"

Three teachers also wrote:

"Lack of opportunities,"

"Limited opportunities," and

"Unavailability of places relative to staff development."

An education officer added, "Headteachers are expected to in-service teachers in their own schools, but this rarely happens; the Ministry of Education has not made attempt to ensure that this happens."

Headteachers

Teachers, headteachers, and senior government education officers cited numerous barriers to staff development for headteachers. The major barriers are given in this section in three major themes: (a) policy, (b) workload, and (c) staff development opportunities.

Policy

Seven of the interview participants agreed that there was no clear Ministry of Education policy relating to staff development for headteachers, and, consequently, many headteachers were ignorant about what their professional growth entailed. Four teachers, in their general remarks regarding policy, wrote as follows:

"Lack of proper policy by the Ministry of education,"

"The government policy about staff development is wanting,"

"No proper guidelines on staff development," and

"No clear-cut policies."

According to one teacher, staff development programs for headteachers have been poorly planned apparently due to lack of proper Ministry of Education guidelines. This teacher remarked, "I believe that staff development programs for our heads of schools have been very poorly organized and planned. I have not come across any guidelines on how our Ministry organizes this. Things are just done by chance."

Workload

A further constraint associated with staff development for headteachers cited by three participants was concerned with the workload associated with the headship. Some participants felt that, in general, many headteachers failed to participate in staff development programs because of their busy work schedules at schools demanded by the overloaded school curriculum. One headteacher remarked as follows: "The education curriculum is really heavy on our part. Headteachers are always busy with noninstructional work on a daily basis and hardly find time to engage in staff development programs."

Staff Development Opportunities

Eight of the participants were of the opinion that sufficient professional development opportunities for headteachers were lacking. Two headteacher interviewees, in expressing their disappointment regarding staff development opportunities, commented as follows:

"Lack of opportunities for staff development," and

"Lack of openings resulting in severe competition for few chances."

One headteacher interviewee observed that, because of very limited opportunities for professional development, identifying individuals for further professional development was sometimes based on dubious factors; as a result, high-performing headteachers were not considered. This headteacher stated:

Staff development opportunities for headteachers are highly limited. This means that only very few headteachers may have the chance to go for further in-service training. The identification of such headteachers is based on unknown and usually dubious criteria which we really don't understand.

Some participants blamed the limited participation in staff development programs by headteachers on the usual inappropriateness of the course content of in-service training programs, which, they argued, did not take into consideration essential administrative elements such as management skills. As one headteacher lamented:

Usually the course contents, especially in SESI training programs, are not relevant to our needs. You go there and you find that everything has already been arranged and you have to take it. The essential skills in management that we may need to improve our supervision in the schools are not included in the programs. This is one of the reasons as to why some headteachers are reluctant to participate in in-service training programs.

Synthesis and Discussion of Emergent Themes

The findings from questionnaire and interview data have revealed the following major barriers to staff development of teachers and headteachers: (a) lack of policy on staff development, (b) heavy workload associated with the education system, and (c) lack of staff development opportunities. A discussion of these barriers is included in this section.

Policy

There does not appear to be a clear policy from the Ministry of Education regarding staff development programs for teachers and headteachers; consequently, these two groups of professionals did not engage in meaningful professional development undertakings. As a result, they had limited opportunities to enhance their quality of teaching. This finding contradicts Saudi Arabia's belief regarding teaching quality. As explained by Saudi Arabia (1999), one of the determinants of quality education is the availability of a well-qualified and highly motivated teaching force that is capable of understanding the needs of the curriculum in order to implement it effectively.

It is apparent that staff development for Saudi Arabian teachers and headteachers in its current form seems to be misguided in both policy and practice; it is not the product of a coherent policy, nor has it been systematically integrated with school, instructional, or curricular improvement priorities. This state of affairs suggests that policymakers have little opportunity to assess either costs or benefits of staff development as a public investment.

Workload

It appears that, because of the heavy workload associated with the Saudi Arabian education system, teachers and headteachers have had inadequate time for involvement in meaningful staff development programs. Concurring with this finding, the literature (e.g., Saudi Arabia, 1999; AI-Bataa,1998) has revealed that the heavy workload characteristic of the system of education imposes a great deal of strain on teachers and headteachers and grossly affects the quality of teaching and learning because of the lack of time for effective implementation. Also, Mohammed (2002) observed that a major challenge in secondary headship in Saudi Arabia concerns the "management of secondary school curriculum that is broad, overloaded, and expensive to implement" (p. 15).

It seems that the time demands imposed by daily teaching and other aspects of educational reform continue to absorb a bulk of teachers' energy and attention. It is, therefore, not surprising to find that teachers and headteachers in Saudi Arabia do not have sufficient time to participate in professional learning programs. Several writers converged on the notion that the time element is an important consideration in designing staff development programs. For example, Glatthorn and Fox (1996) argued that provision of quality time is crucial, especially for self-directed staff development initiatives, to enable individual teachers to work on their own and to focus on professional growth goals.

Staff Development Opportunities

Staff development opportunities for teachers and headteachers appeared to be highly limited; consequently, the very few opportunities that were available were sometimes given to undeserving individuals, based on dubious selection criteria. These findings are consistent with those of the Report of the Commission of Inquiry Into the Education System of Saudi Arabia (Saudi Arabia, 1999), which revealed that "once teachers have completed the pre-service training, there are limited opportunities to enhance their professional growth and development" (p. 170). I can speculate that, although the Ministry of Education expects continued quality service from teachers and headteachers, the resource barrier seems to limit the Ministry's endeavor to explore varied and sufficient staff development opportunities for these professionals.

The extant literature on staff development (e.g., Dunlop, 1990; Glatthorn & Fox, 1996; Zepeda, 1999) resonated with the beliefs that all teachers need opportunities for effective staff development, that the development of teachers lies at the heart of improving schooling, and that the principals need job-embedded opportunities for their professional learning as principals.

Participants' Suggestions for Changes to Staff Development

This section deals with questionnaire and interview data obtained from teachers, headteachers, and senior education officers regarding their perceptions of needed changes to improve staff development for secondary teachers and headteachers. The suggestions given are presented in this section in eight major themes: (a) policy, (b) workload, (c) in-service training opportunities and (d) collaboration.

Policy

Forty-five of the participants stressed the need to have a clearly written policy concerning professional development of teachers and headteachers. They wished that the Ministry of Education would take the initiative in developing a policy specifically on in-service training. The most commonly cited reason for policy development was its perceived role in facilitating school-based supervision and staff development. For example, one teacher suggested, "So for at least good supervision to take place, Ministerial guidelines are very important."

Workload

Another area in which the participants felt that they needed a change was concerned with the heavy workload imposed by current Saudi Arabia's education system. Thirty-four of the participants favored the idea of reviewing the education curriculum to reduce the heavy burden that teachers and headteachers currently experience. Consistent with these findings are the recommendations of the Report of the Commission of Inquiry Into the Education System of Saudi Arabia (Saudi Arabia, 1999) that the education curriculum be reviewed to reflect the current needs of society and that the content and number of subjects offered be reduced.

In-Service Training Opportunities

Sixteen of the interview participants expressed a need for more in-service training opportunities for teachers and headteachers. Most frequently cited were the reasons for in-service training of teachers and headteachers; for example, to enable them to meet their professional expectations, to facilitate their understanding about human relations, and to enlighten them on instructional supervision. The following statement indicates one teacher's belief regarding in-service training:

I think that is very important for exposure for both heads and teachers, because there are some new people in the profession, and they are not aware about what is expected of them. Even some heads who are very young who have just picked the responsibility because they bought the headship, they don't know how to handle people.

In almost all instances the need for in-service training opportunities was raised to indicate that professional development of teachers and headteachers was considered vital by the participants.

Collaboration

A final other noteworthy area identified by the participants for future staff development for teachers and headteachers was concerned with collaboration. Eighteen participants stressed the importance of facilitating sharing of ideas among all of the key players in the professional development of teachers and headteachers. The most commonly cited area for change included consideration for teachers' and headteachers' voices in the development of course content. As one headteacher stated, "Our ideas should be incorporated into the training programs. We need to be involved in designing course contents of in-service programs. Why should we be left out?"

Also prevalent was a growing concern that teachers and headteachers, being the key implementers of educational policies on the ground, should have the opportunity to recommend professional development formats that they deemed appropriate for their needs. The following quote is illustrative of the belief held by one teacher in support of collaboration: "need for teachers' input into their in-service training programs so that they don't feel left out." A headteacher similarly echoed:

Heads to have more input in terms of the topics for discussion during training because they are the people on the ground. The headteachers are the people on the ground, and they are the implementers. They should actually have a say on their in-service training programs.

Although the participants varied greatly regarding the modality for involving teachers and headteachers in matters concerning their professional development, a majority indicated that they wanted a mechanism for soliciting the views of these professionals and especially for defining their professional needs, possibly through appropriate interviews or questionnaires.

Synthesis and Discussion of Suggestions for Changes to Staff Development

The findings based on questionnaire and interview data indicate the following major suggestions for changes to staff development: (a) develop a clearly written policy on staff development, (b) review the current overloaded education curriculum, (c) provide more in-service training opportunities to teachers and headteachers, and (d) involve teachers and headteachers adequately in planning, developing, and implementing their staff development programs. Each of these suggestions is discussed in the following section.

Policy

There seems to be an urgent need to develop a policy regarding staff development of teachers and headteachers. The participants seemed to be in agreement that policy development and review, including determining strategic directions and overall monitoring, should be the responsibility of the Ministry of Education. I can speculate that the development of an appropriate policy for staff development might (a) make in-service training programs become more attractive to teachers and to headteachers as potential consumers, to the extent that professional learning for these professionals becomes a reality; (b) enable the Ministry of Education to rethink the purposes, structures, and content of future staff development that are most likely to enhance the quality of teachers and headteachers; (c) enable the Ministry of education to provide teachers and headteachers with the opportunity to contribute more effectively by developing their abilities and skills; (d) provide a rich and diverse menu of professional development opportunities for teachers and headteachers for meaningful continued learning and for change efforts; and (e) establish an environment of trust and encouragement for professional learning.

Also, within a well-defined Ministry of Education policy framework, control over staff development resources will most likely become a useful part of school planning and development; and teachers and headteachers might be encouraged to rethink their involvement in staff development programs and to concentrate on professional learning experiences that would enhance their performance for the benefit of students. Additionally, the policy framework regarding staff development is likely to serve as the basis for developing school-level policies for professional learning for teachers and headteachers based on their individual contexts.

Workload

It appears that participants, in general, held the view that the education curriculum should be reviewed with a view to reducing the current heavy workload imposed on teachers and headteachers and creating more time for involvement of teachers and headteachers in professional learning initiatives. This finding concurs with other appeals to the Saudi Arabian government to reduce this curriculum. For example, the Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Education System in Saudi Arabia (Saudi Arabia, 1999) recommended that, because the content of the education system is overloaded and is impossible to cover within the specified academic years, there is a need to overhaul the system to make it manageable. And, more recently, Al-Zahrani (2004) addressed the need to overhaul this education system because it has become burdensome to parents and to students. Similar sentiments regarding the review of this system of education have been voiced elsewhere (e.g., Al-Dhuwayan and Ghanim, 1998; Osman, 2002).

However, this finding is contrary to the views of a few Saudi Arabians who have opposed the calls to overhaul the education system. For example, Al-Salloom (2003) observed that this education system is the best for Saudi Arabia because of its substantial achievements in structural adjustments as well as in preparing the students who have gone through it for their future academic endeavors.

In an apparent response to the many calls for the overhaul of the education system, the Saudi Arabian government has recently endeavored to drop some school subjects to ease the burden on pupils, teachers, and parents and perhaps will continue to review this system of education.

In-service Training Opportunities

The participants seemed to concur in their desire for in-service training opportunities for teachers and headteachers to educate them on their professional roles. This finding is consistent with the Saudi Arabian government's future development plan for teachers and headteachers. For example, the Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Education System of Saudi Arabia (Saudi Arabia, 1999) recommended that (a) budgetary allocation be provided to strengthen in-service training of teachers, (b) teachers be given opportunities to further their academic and pedagogical skills, and (c) headteachers be reinforced in their capabilities to enable them to perform their responsibilities effectively.

This finding also supports the sentiments expressed by Al-Mughaidi (1997) that, because the initial training of teachers is not adequate for professional growth, because teachers and headteachers operate in dynamic socio-cultural settings, because courses in educational administration and management at the pre-service training are deficient in content, and because education is a lifelong process, the Ministry of Education must set up regular in-service training programs for teachers and headteachers in the skills essential for their respective professional roles.

Collaboration

It seems that the participants regarded collaboration in which teachers' and headteachers' inputs are considered as key to the success of staff development programs. Collaboration in staff development programs means that teachers and headteachers would become more intimately involved in the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of staff development programs. As a result, they would most likely accept more responsibility for the quality of their staff development programs and work closely with staff development providers to ensure the success of the programs. Teacher involvement in staff development training is particularly crucial because, as AI-Bataa (1989) noted, unless teachers are willing to participate in educational development, there is no future in innovative practices.

The involvement of the teachers in staff development must be genuine by allowing proper participation in planning and decision making. There must be a shared endeavor among all the stakeholders in the programs. Teachers, especially, must be consulted rather than patronized. That teacher involvement in staff development programs is crucial has been supported by views from several writers in the literature. For example, Pink and Hyde (1992), in concurring with Zepeda (1999) and Brandt (1994), recommended that when planning for and subsequently implementing staff development, there is a need to include teachers on the planning and implementation teams and to give teachers and administrators equal "voice" in defining and resolving the issues for discussion, and that it is important that teachers have ownership in the staff development activities. They further cautioned that to continue to ignore the knowledge and expertise of teachers as key elements to successful school change is to limit severely the effectiveness of even the best-intentioned staff development activities. Speck (1999) observed that teachers see the most important improvement in their practices when they take an active role in articulating problems, exploring solutions, and applying new techniques. The research literature (e.g., Clarke, 1995; Guskey, 1995; Hawley & Valli, 1999) indicated that the collaborative approach to staff development, involving all the key players, makes sense and that teachers' involvement in professional development increases their motivation and commitment to learn and, therefore, is an essential component of effective professional development.

Summary

This chapter was dedicated to presenting the findings of the study relative to developmental activities of teachers and headteachers. In general, the teachers studied agreed that their participation in instructional supervision courses facilitated the development of instructional materials, improved their teaching effectiveness, and increased their skills in examining students' work and their abilities in supervising students. On the other hand, the headteachers studied indicated that the courses in instructional supervision enlightened them on the importance of supervision of instruction, provided them with supervision and administrative skills, enlightened them on the role of the deputy headteacher in curriculum supervision and teacher motivation, and provided them with knowledge regarding problem solving and self-evaluation. The role of the headteacher-namely, "providing continuous orientation to new teachers on how to perform their duties"-ranked highest in terms of level of agreement and degree of importance given to this role in instructional supervision as perceived by teachers.

Numerous barriers to staff development of teachers and headteachers were identified. The major barriers were those associated with lack of Ministry of Education policy on staff development; lack of adequate staff development opportunities, and lack of involvement of teachers and headteachers adequately in planning, developing, and implementing their staff development programs. Among the proposed strategies toward the improvement of staff development programs included developing an appropriate policy regarding staff development, providing the necessary rewards and incentives to individuals who undertake staff development initiatives, providing more staff development opportunities, and observing a great deal of professionalism in the practices of staff development.

The major barriers to staff development for teachers and headteachers identified in the study and the corresponding proposed strategies for improvement are summarized below.

Barrier

Proposed strategies for improvement

Lack of policy

Development of a clear policy regarding in service education

Heavy workload

Lack of staff

development

opportunities

Review of the education curriculum

Provision of more in-service training opportunities

Encouragement of a great deal of professionalism

Lack of professionalism

In Chapter 8 the findings regarding advantages, problems, and suggested changes for effectiveness in practices of instructional supervision.