Dubai School Experiences Best Practice in Teacher Leadership
Dubai, UAE, 8 May 2014 – Educators engaged in the UAE Ministry of Education’s school leadership programme have heard from teacher professional development experts at an event held at Jumeriah English Speaking School (JESS). The participants of the School Leadership Programme (SLP) came from across the Emirates to witness international best practice in teacher leadership. The event provided SLP learners with an excellent example of how a high-performing school operates on a day to day level.
Participants also took part in a forum led by a number of education specialists, including representatives of the world’s largest learning company, Pearson. Amanda Collins, Pearson’s Professional Development Director in the region, said the event provided a unique opportunity for programme participants to see first-hand how the theory they had learnt throughout the multi-dimensional school improvement programme could be applied in real-life classroom and administrative scenarios.
“A key focus of the School Leadership Programme, which is a joint initiative of Pearson and the UAE Government, is to provide a highly engaging and hands-on professional learning experience for the Emirates’ existing and future school leaders. Our research has shown that the most effective school leadership programmes are those that make practical learning a priority. In order to engage in critical inquiry and reflection, leaders need multiple opportunities to observe powerful, effective practice in action”.
A number of education specialists presented at the event, including Pearson’s Global Head of Direct Delivery, Steven Guttentag; JESS Director, Robert Stokoe; JESS Head Teacher, Ruth Burke; CEO of Taleem, Dr Samia Al Farra and CEO of the Indian High School, Dr Ashok Kumar.
Ms Collins said the event was a great opportunity to emphasise the importance of school leadership to the futures of learners currently in the UAE school system:
“A 2010 report by McKinsey and Company, and co-authored by Pearson’s Chief Education Strategist, Sir Michael Barber, found that good schools depend on good leaders. Capturing the Leadership Premium, which contained an international review of school leadership practices from some of the world’s leading education systems, found that aside from classroom practices which promote strong learner outcomes, nothing has a bigger impact on improving school standards than leadership. So if we are serious about improving learner outcomes in the UAE – which we are – we need to enhance leadership practice.”
The research contained in the Capturing the Leadership Premium drew on the resources of Britain’s National College for Leadership of Schools (NCLS), the organisation that has also been responsible for developing course resources for the MOE’s school leadership programme. Launched in 2013, the UAE School Leadership Programme, a flagship initiative of the UAE Government’s education reform agenda, will serve more than 700 Emirati educators, principals and administrators over the next five years.
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