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Teaching and Learning in the Arab World

Edited By Christina Gitsaki

In the Arab States, globalization and economic development have had a significant effect on education. Serious concerns have been expressed over the state of education in the Arab world. Even in the oil-rich Gulf States, with over 200 higher education institutions, education is problematic with a notable lack of emphasis on specialized science and innovative learning. The Gulf States are in a race to become ‘knowledge economies’ and, as a result, they are promoting educational reforms such as the application of bilingual education models and curricula adopted from the West. This book provides a collection of studies on the state of education in Arab countries with a special focus on the Arabian Gulf, where currently there is increased activity and investment in education. The book is composed of three major sections. The first section is a collection of nine papers on current practices and challenges in education in the Arab world. The second major section is devoted to the educational reforms that are being implemented in the Arabian Gulf. The third and final section is a collection of papers describing new approaches to teaching and learning in the Arab world.

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Part II: Educational Reforms in the Arabian Gulf

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ROBIN DADA Chapter 10 Teacher Leadership in the Arab Gulf: Expatriates and Arab Educators Mentor Each Other Abstract Teacher leadership is a part of participatory leadership (Tolbert & Rook, 2005) and the maximization of educator teams in schools. This chapter reports on the results of a qualitative study into the attributes and roles of teacher leaders and the interplay of bureaucratic and organic leadership systems in Arab schools. Eleven middle level (Grades 6-9) teacher leaders in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were the key informants in the study, with data drawn from teachers and principals. The data collection included their weekly reports about their work, as well as the field notebook of conversations with principals and teachers kept by the Academic Program Coordinator for the Middle Schools (the researcher), all of whom were a part of a systemic school reform program in the UAE entitled Madares al Ghad (Schools of Tomorrow). The results describe the attributes of good teacher leaders as strong relationship builders and listeners, both by the teacher leaders and their principals and colleagues. The most important role identified by teacher leaders was the responsibility for professional development experiences. More difficult roles for the teacher leaders included the scheduling of these experiences. Obstacles to the role included the random scheduling patterns, absenteeism, and sporadic Internet connectivity in some schools. Commitment to and support of teacher development by the principals was an asset to the teacher leadership role. The interplay 206 Robin Dada between the organic nature of teacher leadership...

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