Teachers are in the eyes of many the essential ingredient of success fueling educational development. The advancement of teaching and learning standards, both inside and outside of the classroom, hinges upon the effective participation of teachers in the relevant professional development programs being implemented in schools worldwide. In this regard, a number of valuable lessons can be learned from the experiences of countries that boast widely respected, modern education systems. Such lessons can subsequently be utilized to the advantage of other nations, including the GCC states, which are actively exploring a number of potential avenues in view of bolstering their respective teacher training and professional development programs. As highlighted in this volume – through a number of different case studies and with reference to the best practices being employed in the likes of the United Kingdom, Finland and South Korea – the provision of financial benefits and the elevation of teachers standing in society represent two prominent factors that enable the cultivation of a culture of excellence in the classroom.
In the Gulf, research suggests that greater support should be given to highly educated and productive nationals who have chosen to pursue a career in teaching; based on an acknowledgement of the pivotal role that teachers play in terms of assisting human and societal development, which in turn, heightens the prospects of long-term economic prosperity. The retention of competent teachers is equally imperative, particularly for the education process itself, whereby experienced teachers serve as welcomed role models for the next generation of teachers. Possible solutions include: the construction of specific, more appealing career paths; the provision of professional development and further education opportunities; and raising societal awareness of the vital role played by teachers.
The scholarly papers presented in this book provide a comprehensive overview of the current situation that teachers are facing in certain GCC countries, compared to other countries across the globe. The insights and recommendations presented therein highlight a range of key aspects that are central to professional teacher development, which if acted upon, serve to enhance the standard of education in any given country.