Stories of teacher leadership: lived experiences of English subject coordinators in public schools in Abu Dhabi.
Pandaram, Desiree Sangeetha.
MetadataShow full item record
As the notion of teacher leadership becomes embedded in the educational arena, it begins to manifest in schools as a form of distributed or shared leadership. The practice of teacher leadership in Abu Dhabi, one of the fastest growing cities in the United Arab Emirates, has begun to blossom. This qualitative study focusses on the storied narratives of three English subject coordinators in three Abu Dhabi public schools. It examines three key questions surrounding the role of English subject coordinators namely, How do the English subject coordinators enact leadership on a day-to-day basis? Why do the English subject coordinators enact leadership the way they do? and What challenges do the English subject coordinators encounter in enacting leadership? The study is framed using distributed leadership theory and Crowther’s Model of teacher leadership. Narrative inquiry is employed as methodology and data was generated using narrative interviews, collage inquiry and artefact inquiry. Data analysis occurred at two levels. The first level was the narrative analysis that involved the construction of the stories. The second level entailed analysis of narratives which entailed the deconstruction of the stories in order to answer the three critical questions. The findings of the study reveal that when teachers are given the chance to lead, they are committed to the process and inspire both their colleagues and their students. Their role however is not without challenges. They face the challenge of leading the English department which has both English 2nd language speakers as well as English native speakers. The English subject coordinator does not hold a formal portfolio and as a result, their role fluctuates from teacher to teacher leader. One of the important recommendations that stem from this study is that the principals of Abu Dhabi public schools need to create the necessary professional milieu in order to allow teacher leadership to flourish.