Developing a programme of support for teacher leadership in Egypt
In Egypt, the school educational system has been suffering a deteriorating quality over the last few decades. Since the revolution that took place in Egypt in 2011, political tensions and conflicts have consumed so much energy and time, making it hard for Egyptians to focus on development. Therefore, through this doctoral study that follows an action based methodology, I aim to contribute to the current efforts to improve the Egyptian educational system. In this study, I introduced an intervention that draws upon the principles of school improvement, reform strategies and non-positional teacher leadership. This is done through adopting and adapting the ‘teacher-led development work’ (TLDW) approach. In this study, a group of 50 teachers from four different Egyptian schools took part in the programme for one academic year. Through this programme I supported them to lead innovations in their classrooms and schools as a whole. Each teacher/participant was expected to initiate and lead a development project that improves teaching and learning in their schools, and other teachers could benefit from as well. Data was collected throughout the academic year to continuously monitor and adapt the programme, and to explore what the programme made possible and the conditions that made it possible. The programme usefully supported teachers in taking action that had a positive impact on the students, teachers and school as a whole. However, the most significant impact observed was on the participating teachers themselves: their professionality, self-confidence and self-efficacy that underpinned growth in their own skills and pedagogic repertoires. There were a set of conditions that were required for this programme to have an impact. Practitioners and policy makers interested in educational reform through teachers could benefit from considering these factors in their own development.