Global Perspectives, Experiences and Implications
CHAPTER TWELVE: Leading for Educational Revolution in the United Arab Emirates: Remapping Culture, Educational Outcomes, and Paradigm Shift: Robin R. Dada
Robin R. Dada
“It is vitally important that people be loyal to their leaders, but it is even more important that a leader be loyal to his people. A leader and his people share a bond of faith in each other, which, if broken, is extremely difficult to fix.”
—H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum (Ruler of Dubai and Vice-President of the United Arab Emirates)
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has made significant efforts to study the educational needs of the K–16 system. While tertiary education has made progress toward international standards of best practice, and student achievement is rising, the K–12 system has not had the same success and requires nothing less than a revolution of paradigm in policy and practice. This chapter reviews historical and cultural perspectives on leadership and decision making in the Arab Gulf and consideration of the potential for an Arab-Islamic leadership model that will facilitate the implementation of innovations more efficiently than current Western models, which are often presented as “more advanced.” An Arab-Islamic framework that draws upon the participatory, responsibility-oriented, and consultative nature of the culture’s perspective on leadership may be used to develop a promising educational leadership model that will facilitate school improvement. The graphic (see Figure 12.1) below presents an eight-component model of the Gulf Arab leadership style (Scott-Jackson, 2003).
Streams of foreign consultants have studied and reported their findings and have made recommendations for paths forward to innovate the...