Teacher resistance to educational change in the United Arab Emirates

Author/s:

Ibrahim, Ali S.*
College of Education, United Arab Emirates University, UAE (ibrahim6@gmail.com; ali_saidebrahim@uaeu.ac.ae)

Al-Kaabi, Ali
College of Education, United Arab Emirates University, UAE (ali.alkaabi@uaeu.ac.ae)

El-Zaatari, Wafaa
College of Education, United Arab Emirates University, UAE (wafaaz71@gmail.com)

Abstract:

This study investigated four factors for teacher resistance to educational change in government schools in the UAE: psychological, personal, school-culture-related, and organizational. Data were collected through a survey of 39 statements on a Likert scale completed by 255 male and female, foreign and national teachers who taught different grade levels in Al-Ain government schools. The findings of the study showed that teachers felt the need for change and trusted change agents and principals. However, they needed to be prepared psychologically because they were afraid of the unknown consequences of change. They were also exhausted by frequent changes that they felt were imposed. Further, they faced difficulties in teaching students who were not grasping the new curriculum because of the English language barrier. The study recommended that well-planned changes, supportive principals, change-based effective professional development, and a reward system are needed for the change to succeed. Above all, change should fit the UAE culture.

Keywords: resistance to change; teachers; education reform; United Arab Emirates

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5861/ijrse.2013.254

*Corresponding Author