Evaluating the effectiveness of teacher education in Oman: a multiple case study of multiple stakeholders

Aisha Salim Al-Harthi, Waheed Hammad, Fawzia Al-Seyabi, Noor Al-Najjar, Sulaiman Al-Balushi, Mahmoud Emam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The accreditation process of academic programs is being used more to recognize program quality and identify areas for improvement based on rigorous standards. This study aims to use the standards of the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) as a theoretical and analytical framework to examine the effectiveness and areas for improvement of the teacher education program at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman. Design/methodology/approach: A multiple case-study design is used to investigate the cases of 16 novice program completers. Data is collected using nonparticipant observation and semistructured interviews with 48 key stakeholders: program completers, their educational supervisors and school principals. Findings: Results show that, overall, the program is effective in preparing future teachers to enter the teaching profession, especially in the subject and pedagogical content knowledge, and that stakeholders are generally satisfied with the program. However, about a third believe the program lacks relevance to the responsibilities teachers face on the job and some “technical” skills needed in practice. Research limitations/implications: First, the findings are limited by the small number of completers’ cases from one teacher education program. Therefore, the authors recommend that future studies should include larger samples of novice teachers graduating from different teacher education programs. Second, the study is limited by focusing only on stakeholders’ perspectives, and teacher observation through CAEP informed categories related to standards 1, 4 and 5. So future research can tell more to the story by uncovering other CAEP standards to provide a more comprehensive view. Practical implications: The findings of this study are expected to contribute to the existing pool of knowledge on the utility of using international accreditation frameworks, not only as a means to measure the effectiveness of teacher education programs but also to develop such programs according to an internationally recognized set of quality standards. The results may also contribute to the discourse on whether the Madonlization of CAEP standards is a useless business for Arabic-speaking countries. Social implications: As elsewhere in the Arab region, education has been placed at the core of the Oman 2040 vision, which prioritizes the improvement of educational outcomes as Oman’s gateway to becoming a developed country. Therefore, it has become clear that teacher education programs need to be subject to scrutiny to ensure that they produce highly qualified teachers. While reform initiatives have raised concerns about the quality of teacher performance in Omani schools, little attention has been given to the effectiveness of teacher education programs in the country. Originality/value: These results are discussed through three main themes related to the role of teacher preparation programs in the Arab region from a standards-based perspective: they need to be viewed as a rite of passage for all teachers to provide them with only the threshold competence to commence the professional teaching performance, there is a need for more authentic and safe learning experiences in these programs, and finally, there is a need for continuous adjustment of courses in these programs to perfect the “potion” that makes them more effective and relevant.

Original languageEnglish
JournalQuality Assurance in Education
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Accreditation
  • CAEP
  • Oman
  • Program impact
  • Stakeholders
  • Teacher education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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