As part of a larger mixed-method study on teacher evaluation, this paper explores how cultural and socio-political contexts of the Israeli Arab public schools inform principals’ high-stakes evaluation processes for attaining tenure.
Concepts from micropolitical theory were used to analyse data from in-depth semi-structured interviews with twenty novice teachers and twenty principals.
Findings from the qualitative data suggest that power relations and contextual features of Israeli-Arab society such as collectivism and face-keeping direct how decisions are made and limit the work of the actors involved.
The study provides insights into how principals exercise their power to attain what they interpret as teacher quality while evaluating teachers, and how the latter interpret such power relations in their local contexts.
It also suggests the need for substantive groundwork in preparing prospective teachers for the high-stakes teacher evaluation processes that characterise the Israeli-Arab education system and the efforts to maintain teacher quality.