10 to know in education in the UAE in 2017

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In celebration of ten years serving the global education community we are highlighting ten to know in education in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) in 2017. The UAE was selected since the founder has been based here the majority of the last ten years. Each person will be shared throughout this year. Our ninth person to know is Dr. Sudha Sunder.

Sudha started her teaching career in 1999 and has taught students from grade 2 through grade 12. She currently serves as an Affiliate Consultant for the Council of International Schools and Associate Consultant for KDSL Global.

A post-graduate diploma holder in computer science, and a Master’s degree holder in Business Administration and Accountancy, she became a part of the IB community in 2006 and taught the IB Course Information Technology in a Global Society (ITGS), and soon became an examiner in the subject. Although Sudha was quickly drawn to the interdisciplinary nature of this subject and the IB philosophy of teaching for deep conceptual understanding versus the regurgitation of factual knowledge, she also experienced and resonated with the challenges teachers faced in putting curriculum design principles (that they appreciated in theory) into practice.

Inspired by her own experiences, Sudha decided to certify with Dr. Lynn Erickson in concept-based curriculum and instruction, at the Lynn Erickson Institute in Whitefish, Montana, USA, in 2011. Ever since, she has become a much sought after facilitator in many IB schools for coaching teachers in concept-based curriculum and instruction. Currently, her work spans over seven countries.

An introduction to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) happened while she was serving as the head of the curriculum committee at the Universal American School in Dubai, UAE. As a curriculum design enthusiast, she was very drawn towards the three-dimensional structure of the NGSS and the NGSS’s potential to foster interdisciplinary teaching at the conceptual level (through the crosscutting concepts) and to put into classroom practice the factual and conceptual elements in science learning. She took on every opportunity that would allow engagement in understanding, unpacking and debating on the potential challenges involved in adopting and implementing the NGSS.

In 2013, she presented a paper at the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) Common Core Conference convened in Dubai. This was followed by a number of hands-on interactive workshops at conferences and schools that particularly focused on enabling teachers unpack and understand the crosscutting concept component of the NGSS. During this time, she also published an article titled “Fostering Scientific Inquiry through the NGSS” in the Teach UAE Magazine.

It was around this time that Sudha became a Curriculum Reviewer in the IB, Maryland, USA, for a pilot project called “Building a Quality curriculum”. Through this project Sudha reviewed and offered feedback for PYP curriculum documents (both Units of Inquiry and Programmes of Inquiry) for schools in the United States, Europe and India.

The more Sudha mentored, trained, and worked with teachers in curriculum and instruction, the stronger she was convinced that while teachers understand and appreciate the value and notion of teaching for conceptual understanding, putting this into practice in the classroom is indeed challenging. Sudha strongly believes that understanding curriculum design principles involved in three-dimensional concept-based curriculum and instruction is key to addressing this challenge. At present, Sudha continues to present workshops and papers to empower teachers in American IB schools across countries such as Kuwait, Oman, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, UAE, Qatar and India.

As a part-time doctoral research student at the University of Bath in the UK (since 2008), Sudha also decided to explore teacher perceptions in school-based curriculum development initiatives as her doctoral dissertation, which she eventually defended in 2015, with none other than Professor Jeff Thompson and Professor David Phillips from Oxford. Sudha believes that she cleared her viva with no further recommendations or modifications is testimonial to the many teacher voices she has gathered over her work spanning over 7 years in IB/international schools. Sudha’s doctoral dissertation Abstract is now published on SAGE. Sudha writes and publishes articles on the role of ongoing professional development for international educators. A recent one can be accessed here: http://www.cois.org/page.cfm?p=3078

 

Sudha believes that her own journey of learning and transitioning as a teacher in the IB programme and her passion for fostering scientific inquiry amongst students through real-world connection and sustained inquiry has been instrumental in digging deeper into the NGSS. This, along with her strong understanding of curriculum design principles involved in unpacking and implementing three-dimensional curricular frameworks provided her with the knowledge, understanding, skills and experience to explore the breadth and the depth of the NGSS, particularly so in helping IB educators see how the two complement each other in a powerful “synergistic” (Erickson, 2012) fashion. Commissioned by the IB, Sudha has co-authored the IB-NGSS Dual Implementation Report now available for IB schools in the US, available here: http://blogs.ibo.org/blog/2016/12/09/aligning-the-next-generation-science-standards- ngss-with-ib-curricula/

Sudha’s wider research interest includes the role of ongoing professional development for 21st century teachers. Sudha presented her research findings in 2015 at the American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies (AAACS) at the George Washington University, D.C. She has now been invited to serve as a member of the AAACs Task force.

More about Sudha’s work in curriculum and Instruction can be accessed here:

https://www.tlinternational.org/

 

10 to know in education in the UAE in 2017

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In celebration of ten years serving the global education community we are highlighting ten to know in education in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) in 2017. The UAE was selected since the founder has been based here the majority of the last ten years. Each person will be shared throughout this year. Our eighth person to know is Shady Elkassas.

Since his childhood, Shady Elkassas looked forward to a career in teaching and is committed to maintaining high standards and practices in the education of young people. He has a Master’s of Science in Education, Executive Management Diploma, and a Bachelor’s of Science.

Shady believes that the capstone of education is to give every student equal opportunities to learn. For this reason, the true educator is the one who acknowledges, respects, and appreciates students’ diverse backgrounds, learning styles, intelligence, and abilities. From this perspective, he has centered his teaching repertoire around this idea and searches for the best way to meet students’ individual needs. As a head of department, he communicates the same message to his team members. He articulates a vision and mission for the science department that meets the short and long term goals. Additionally, he has taken the initiative to adopt the project-based learning and inquiry based learning methodologies to create a new foundation of STEM learning in his school. Shady strongly believes that leadership has a strong influence on education reform. This vision is shared both inside and outside of the school. He has been selected to be a speaker at TEDx and three international education conferences such as Global Educational Supplies and Solutions Exhibition (GESS) 2016 & 2017 and Fatih Educational Summit in Turkey 2016. Shady was also a GESS education award finalist for 2016 & 2017.

For the past few years Shady has been associated with Sharjah American International School. He joined as High School Physics Teacher and currently handles dual responsibilities as Head of Science Department and Academic Coordinator. As Academic Coordinator he oversees departmental recruitment, staff and faculty training, and organizes academic events. As Departmental Head, he ensures departmental objectives are met, facilitate quality education for students, and supervise staff. For a significant duration, Shady taught Physics and was successful in generating a growing interest in the subject among students. He delivered interactive lectures, solved student difficulties, and completed all course-work in time. With Robotics being of particular interest, Shady led the School Robotics team and supported them win many awards at international events.

 

Twitter: @profshady
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/vol7815
Website: http://profshad9.wixsite.com/saispd
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shady-elkassas-19935b7b
Blog: https://sites.google.com/site/profshady/

KDSL Global Teacher Fellowship

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KDSL Global Teacher Fellowship

KDSL Global, based in the United Arab Emirates and in the United States, is looking to provide fellowships for educators each year. We are a leading learning organization focused on empowering educators and education businesses globally. The fellowship responsibilities will include:

  1. Writing. KDSL Global is devoted to sharing and collaborating with K-12 education stakeholders worldwide. A KDSL Global fellow would have the opportunity to contribute to these various sources and introduce new education topics based on their interest.
  2. Leadership. There are many opportunities to learn and expand leadership skills within the organization. KDSL Global organizes conferences and forums focused on the American curriculum in the MENA region. A fellow would collaborate with the team to develop innovative programs and materials and contribute to professional learning opportunities in MENA, USA, and beyond.
  3. Launch. We will work with fellows to launch a new education idea. This could be a product or service specific to their context or created for the global education community.

KDSL Global seeks two resourceful, intelligent, detail-oriented, hard-working individuals who are capable of excelling in an intellectually stimulating work environment. One fellow will be based in the USA and one fellow will be based in the MENA region. Research experience is desired, strong writing skills a must, and Internet experience greatly welcome. The time commitment is 3-5 hours virtually a week for this one year volunteer fellowship. Please browse the KDSL Global website at www.kdslglobal.com and www.kdslglobalwordpress.com for more information about the organization.

To learn more about our current fellow who will launch a new website soon please visit https://kdslglobal.wordpress.com/2016/11/23/kdsl-global-teacher-fellow-c-monique-childress/.

Individuals interested in a KDSL Global Teacher Fellowship should send a CV and a writing sample about an idea they have that will disrupt the education field to Kevin Simpson at kevin@kdslglobal.com. Select candidates will be interviewed. This fellowship begins on 1 September.

Dubai-Based Consultants Train Teachers around the Globe to Understand Why ‘English Only’ is a Bad Policy

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Two Dubai-based educational consultants, Francesca McGeary and Alison Schofield are making big waves around the world by educating teachers about working with bilingual and multilingual learners (BMLs).

Having lived and worked in the UAE over the past 12 years, the two have written a book and teacher-training programme based on 3 years of research. Their focus is to help teachers work with students who do not speak English as a first language, but who attend English-medium schools. The two have launched their work at the IB Conference of the Americas in Toronto last summer. Since then, they have trained international teachers in Germany, Ecuador, Egypt and Montenegro.

“Our research has shown us that bilingual and multilingual learners are the fastest-growing student population in the world today,” says McGeary. “Whether we look at the US, Canada, or the UK, the figures show dramatic increases in the number of learners who speak another language at home. This creates a huge problem because the large majority of teachers, regardless of what country they are in, do not receive any additional training to understand and work with BMLs effectively. They do not have a knowledge base about the language-learning process these students undergo when learning English. This can lead to all kinds of problems, including students being misunderstood and misdiagnosed with learning disorders or speech and language delays.

“In schools today, the dominant terminology used to describe bilingual and multilingual learners represents a glass half-empty because words like English language learner (ELL) and students learning English as an additional language (EAL) do not remind teachers that students are bilingual or multilingual and that there are many strengths that come along with that.” McGeary, who speaks several languages herself, receives a great deal of positive attention about her multilingualism, but says that young students acquiring English are often viewed from a deficit perspective in schools. “In general, teachers are caring and have good intentions but they simply have not received the right training.

Schofield goes on to explain that many schools emphasise ‘English only’ because they are not aware that a student with a strong mother-tongue language can actually have an easier time learning English. “Many schools tell parents to start speaking English at home if the child goes to school in English. This is the wrong advice. Schools need to promote bilingualism in their policies and practices in order to support students in becoming strong in both or all of their languages. That is what we help schools with.”

McGeary states that there is a big demand for their services around the world but she also thinks that teachers working in the UAE and Gulf region would greatly benefit from training as well. “In expatriate countries, English is so widespread that it can easily take over the mother-tongue languages of the region, like Arabic, for example. This can dilute the culture, since language and culture are deeply connected. These countries need even more highly-trained teachers and strong educational policies to ensure students’ own languages are protected.

The authors also offer an accreditation award for schools that apply strong training, policies and practises. Recognising a school as a School of Excellence for Bilingual and Multilingual Learners is a step in the right direction for showcasing schools that value and promote bilingualism and multiculturalism.

The authors run their online training institute at: www.educatorsofbmls.com  

 

CONTACT:

Alison Schofield Co-Founder IngeniousEd. (+971) 50 398 3518 alison@ingenioused.com

Kevin Simpson Founder KDSL Global|USA Affiliate (312) 478 1695 kevin@kdslglobal.com

 

10 to know in education in the UAE in 2017

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In celebration of ten years serving the global education community we are highlighting ten to know in education in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) in 2017. The UAE was selected since the founder has been based here the majority of the last ten years. Each person will be shared throughout this year. Our seventh person to know is Dima Yousef.

Dima Yousef has a Master’s degree in English Literary Research from the University of Leicester, UK. She has more than 15 years of teaching experience in schools and higher education. She was recognized by the Canadian University Dubai with an award for outstanding teaching in April 2014.

Because of her passion for lifelong learning and professional development, she has been involved in organizing and participating in PD events. She believes that an excellent teacher provides students with challenging and rewarding learning experiences. To accomplish that, teachers should remember their role as learners. Meeting inspiring educators at various PD events is an opportunity to explore new methods, spark new ideas, and improve their performance and students’ experience.

She is a longstanding member of TESOL Arabia; she held several roles in the organization: secretary & event organizer of Dubai Chapter, Sharjah Chapter Chair, TESOL Arabia Annual International Conference co-chair.

She is also a member of the TESOL International Association, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development(ASCD), and the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL).

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dimaalnsour

https://twitter.com/Dimayousef

KDSL Global and the GCC ASCD Connected Community Convenes the MENA Teacher Summit

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KDSL Global and the GCC ASCD Connected Community Convenes the MENA Teacher Summit

 

Professional Development Targets MENA’s American Curriculum Teachers and Administrators  

DUBAI, UAE, April 19, 2017 – On Friday, October 6, and Saturday, October 7, MENA region American curriculum teachers and school leadership teams will convene at Esol Education’s Universal American School in Dubai as part of an initiative of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Connected Community in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Organized by KDSL Global, a UAE-based education company, the Teacher Summit seeks to improve teaching and learning and connect education professionals throughout the MENA region to the resources provided by ASCD.

This regional event is a platform for teachers to engage and learn with renowned educators and scholars. Topics at the summit will address best practices in leadership, data, curriculum, college readiness, English Language Arts, Math, and Science Standards implementation. The audience for this conference will include classroom teachers, heads of department, program coordinators, school administrators, and organizations active in the educational sector.

Education expert Dr. Tom Hoerr has led schools for 37 years and is the Emeritus Head of School of the New City School in St. Louis, Missouri. He is a Scholar-In-Residence at University of Missouri – St. Louis and teaches in the principal preparation program. Hoerr worked as a teacher and principal, and founded and directed the Non-Profit Management Program at Washington University in St. Louis. He leads the Independent Schools Association of the Central States New Heads Network and holds a Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis.

Dr. Hoerr’s latest ASCD book is The Formative Five: Fostering Grit, Empathy, and Other Success Skills Every Student Needs. He makes the case that it is not enough to prepare students academically; we must prepare them to succeed in life. This will be the focus of the 6 October pre-conference and 7 October keynote address. Hoerr is also the author of Fostering Grit, The Art of School Leadership, Becoming a Multiple Intelligences School, and School Leadership for the Future. He has written more than 110 articles, and his “Principal Connection” column has been in Educational Leadership since 2004. Hoerr has presented at conferences around the world on grit, leadership, multiple intelligences, faculty collegiality, instructional leadership, and Success Skills.

Educators and school leaders from the MENA region American curriculum schools are encouraged to attend. Super early bird registration for the summit is now available until May. The agenda and the first announced featured speakers are found at www.menateachersummit.com.

 

ABOUT KDSL Global

KDSL Global is a UAE-based leading learning organization focused on empowering educators and education businesses globally.

 

ABOUT GCC ASCD CONNECTED COMMUNITY

Our goal as the GCC Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Connected Community is to unite educators throughout the region, inspiring all of us to learn globally and teach locally.

PRESS CONTACT

Kevin Simpson KDSL Global, menateachersummit@gmail.com, +971 55 344 9286

Global Leadership Week

Here’s an update on what’s going on in the Global Education Conference Network during Global Leadership Week (April 24-28)! Considering finding a way to participate!

The purpose of Global Leadership Week is to:

  • contribute to current dialogue regarding globally connected teaching and learning

  • educate education leaders about international education programs and resources

  • call attention to the need and importance of fostering global competency in today’s students and teachers

People can participate by designing and hosting their own virtual event, by attending GLW events including the Global Education Fair, and or by attending our in-person summit. More here: http://www.globaledleadership.com/overview.html

Individuals and partner organizations who plan on hosting their own GLW events should post these to our main GLW calendar so that people can make decisions around participating. These activities do not need to be complicated and can tie into existing programs and plans within your organization. Once you’ve developed your event, please register it as soon as possible on our calendar using the form that is provided on our host an event page. Use GLW to promote your work in the global education space!

Here are a few of the awesome offerings so far and more will soon be posted:

 

  • The Global Online Academy is hosting an online multi-day student-led conference

  • WorldVuze has scheduled a webinar to give an overview of their platform

  • Know My World is hosting their third in a series of five webinars this spring

  • Jennifer Williams is hosting two Twitter chats; one is around teaching the SDGs and another is focused on the arts for social good

  • Loudon County Schools is hosting a slow Twitter chat over the course of the week

Regarding the Global Education Fair, we think it is really a good idea to connect global ready teachers with the wonderful organizations and programs that are part of the GEC through this new event. However, we’re waiting a few more days to see if we can gauge more interest from organizations. We may cancel this event and reschedule it to coincide with Global Collaboration Day in September which may give people more time to prepare accordingly. We’ll make an announcement about this either way in the next couple of days. Make sure to follow the hashtag #globaled17 on Twitter to see our latest news!

Thanks,

Lucy Gray & Steve Hargadon
Co-Chairs
The Global Education Conference
lucy@globaledevents.com
hargadon@gmail.com

KDSL Global Education Internship – Summer 2017

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KDSL Global, based in the United Arab Emirates, is looking to provide internships throughout the year. We are a leading learning organization focused on empowering educators and education businesses globally. The internship will be diverse and challenging. Responsibilities will include:

  1. Research. Primary topics of interest for KDSL Global are: school development, global learning, innovation, American curriculum, instruction, assessment, professional learning, teacher quality, standards, and technology. KDSL Global is seeking an intern with experience and interest in the education field who can perform high-quality research and write clearly. Research tasks would include crafting weekly reports using a wide range of sources.
  2. Writing. KDSL Global is devoted to sharing and collaborating with K-12 education stakeholders worldwide. This is done via the KDSL Global Facebook, Twitter, website, and newsletter. A KDSL Global intern would have the opportunity to contribute to these various marketing and media sources.
  3. Leadership. There are many opportunities to learn and expand leadership skills within the organization. KDSL Global has embarked on organizing conferences and forums focused on the American curriculum in the MENA region.

KDSL Global seeks a resourceful, intelligent, detail-oriented, hard-working individual who is capable of excelling in an intellectually stimulating work environment. Research experience is desired, strong writing skills a must and Internet experience greatly welcome. The time commitment is 5 hours virtually a week for this unpaid internship. Please browse the KDSL Global website at www.kdslglobal.com for more information about the organization.

 

Individuals interested in a KDSL Global internship should send a CV and a 250 word writing sample about the future of education and email it to Kevin Simpson at KDSL2007@gmail.com. Select candidates will be interviewed. This internship is from late June-August 2017.