The lived-through experience of the senior teacher: A closer look at a middle management and leadership position in Bahraini public schools
PublisherTaylor and Francis Ltd.
Senior teachers in Bahraini public schools are a part of the Kingdom�s national educational reform initiatives underway. The main role they play is that of leading and managing a group or cluster of teachers who teach the same subject matter at the same grade level. They are therefore more or less like �department heads�. With advances in education worldwide, the pressure on public schools in Bahrain to improve and raise their quality standards to the level of international best practices has increased. Accompanying this pressure are increased demands on school leaders in general and on senior teachers in particular. Many in leadership positions, however, tend to struggle in times of change dominated by educational reform. This phenomenological study examined how senior teachers see themselves as professional leaders and how they construct their identities in their schools, the educational spaces which constitute for them contexts of changes and flux. The results indicated a positive lived-through professional experience in essence on the part of the senior teachers participating in this study, despite many challenges and demands apparent on the surface. Such results yielded a number of significant recommendations for policy-makers in Bahrain related to how to better understand the role of the senior teachers as reform agents, how to invest in it and most importantly, how to support it. � 2015 The Author(s).