TAMAM: A School-Based Reform Model 

TAMAM is an educational Movement in the Arab region that resulted from a memorandum of understanding between the Arab Thought Foundation (ATF) and the American University of Beirut (AUB). TAMAM’s name derives from its purpose: it is an acronym from the initials of the Arabic translation of the phrase “school-based reform” [Al-Tatweer Al-Mustanid ila Al-Madrasa]. In Arabic means good or perfect.

TAMAM was initiated in 2007 as part of a memorandum of understanding between the Arab Thought Foundation (ATF) and the American University of Beirut (AUB). Through continuous funding, TAMAM has transformed into an educational Movement that spans 9 Arab countries, comprising more than 1000 practitioners in 72 schools collaborating with 32 researchers from 12 different universities, 42 coaches and numerous policymakers to design and implement impactful school-based improvement.

TAMAM aims to address four key concerns:

(1) the absence of a culturally-grounded research based body of educational knowledge that is in line with international best practices and capable of addressing the challenges of Arab educational practitioners; (2) the lack of agency and preparedness among school based practitioners to lead innovative school improvement; (3) the compromised quality of professional development programs offered to Arab educational practitioners; and (4) the lack of accountability and evidence-informed decision-making at all levels of the educational system.
TAMAM was fully directed by Dr. Rima Karami since 2015 with a Steering Team of 11 researchers, designers, and consultants leading the research and development activities of TAMAM. 

TAMAM vision

TAMAM is an educational Movement in the Arab world that promotes transforming schools into self-renewing institutions, with broad based leadership capacity for change working in a concerted effort through strong partnerships with research universities, policy-makers and community members toward enhancing the transformative role of schools to graduate the next generation that leads innovation and change in their society.

TAMAM educators are leaders of change enacting their collaborative expertise to generate knowledge that is grounded in the cultural fabric of the Arab region and that triggers innovative practices for sustainable school-based improvement. 

TAMAM mission

TAMAM operates as a research lab adopting emancipatory collaborative action research to produce practical knowledge that can inform and refine the process of leading sustainable school-based improvement towards schools that are proactively engaged in their community.  As action researchers, the TAMAM Steering Team develops research-based designs to build the leadership capacity of teams of educators to initiate, plan, monitor, implement and evaluate innovative initiatives while concurrently supporting them as they acquire Competencies needed to lead sustainable school-based improvement. These research-based designs also encompass strategies to build partnerships with students, the school community, research institutions, ministries of education, donors, and training centers and to empower Arab educators to influence educational policy in their countries

TAMAM Student Profile

Student learning is at the heart of TAMAM work. TAMAM is committed to providing the school climate and capacity needed to remove the barriers that inhibit students from developing to their full potential.

TAMAM’s model adopts the term “student leadership” for acknowledging and valuing students as contributors to the teaching learning process and to their societal advancement. In this respect, a student profile was generated that encompasses a set of values, skills, and capacities that a TAMAM graduate should embrace stemming from the notion of student leadership. This profile was developed through a collaborative process that included educators from all its partners, schools and educational institutions. The “TAMAM student profile” is organized under three main categories:
– A responsible Citizen
– A balanced and moral individual
– A lifelong Learner

To get information about TAMAM’s unique contributions, press on more

Capacity Building Program

The “TAMAM Capacity Building Program” is the first research-based design that the TAMAM Steering Team generated and refined through iterative cycles of inquiry and action. 

The program aims at building leadership capacity among lead teams of practitioners at schools while setting the stage for building broad based leadership capacity encompassing students, parents, and partners from the larger community. Implementation of this program spans over 3-4 years and follows an evolving plan approach which facilitates customization of the program to the unique conditions and sociocultural context of educational institutions.


  1. The TAMAM capacity building program design comprises:  
  2. A set of guiding principles essential to lead sustainable school-based improvement: the eleven TAMAM Pillars.
  3. Targeted outcomes at the individual, team, and institution levels.
  4. Strategies to train and guide educators built around a job-embedded process on leading school-based improvement: the TAMAM School Improvement Journey.
  5. Evaluation framework with criteria and tools to evaluate impact.

The TAMAM Capacity Building Program is detailed and documented in the form of a resource book that is designed to be shared to support TAMAM coaches while working with school teams in the different countries. 

Research Lab  

TAMAM promotes research methodologies based on collaboration with educational practitioners who are actively engaged in leading transformational change aimed towards social development in their schools.

TAMAM uses emancipatory collaborative action research to generate research-based designs while capturing the best practices at educational institutions, building on strengths and honoring the sociocultural context of the communities they serve. This methodology allows for continuous refinement of the generated designs through an iterative process of experimentation informed by international research and the experiences emerging from the practices of Arab educators. As such, the main contribution of TAMAM’s research goes beyond introducing internationally accepted practices to Arab schools and towards triggering a paradigm shift in how reform is conceived, implemented and researched in the Arab region.

With that, TAMAM aims at contributing to a contextually-grounded knowledge base on effective school improvement practices that can inform educational policies in the Arab region.

The progress and outcomes of TAMAM research are documented in a series of papers and technical reports some of which are published in regional and renowned international journals and/or on the TAMAM website.

In addition, TAMAM lead teams document their school-based improvement experiences in the form of reports that provide sequential narration of their improvement projects based on the TAMAM School Improvement Journey.

TAMAM research outcomes are also disseminated through participation in regional and international conferences.

What's Happening?
Testimony from Katia Dabaghi, Preschool Academic Coordinator, Hariri High School II, Lebanon, 2020.

TAMAM took me on a transformative journey of professional reflection. It empowered me with the…

Testimony from Dr. Sally Al Turki, Chair of the Advisory board, Al Dahran Ahliah School, KSA, 2018

We admire people like you, change makers, who focus their energies, sacrifice their time, and…

Testimony from Sudan 2018

A testimony from Al Ahfad School in Sudan related to the impact of the TAMAM….

Testimonies from Oman 2018: Part Two

A testimony from Al Ithar School in the Sultanate of Oman related to the impact…

Testimonies from Oman 2018: Part One

To know more about the testimony from Oman, please click the following link

Tamam Testimony from Algeria 2016

To know more about the testimony from an Algerian teacher, please click the following link…

Our Community 

The TAMAM community includes participating public and private schools in nine Arab countries that lead sustainable school-based improvement in partnership with researchers and coaches from various collaborating universities: Al-Ahfad University for Women, American University of Beirut, American University of Cairo, Arab Open University in Jordan, Assyut University, Princess Noura Bint AbdulRahman University, Qatar University, Sultan Qaboos University, and The Lebanese University.

Three self-sustaining TAMAM country hubs are established in Lebanon, Jordan, and Oman. They are led in collaboration with the TAMAM Steering Team by Country Hub Coordinators.

On November 11 and 25, 2022, the two branches of Al-Maymouna Education Schools, Bakr Muhammad – Al-Fakeha and Mustafa, and Tahia Al-Lawzi – Berqayel, held their “Family Welcoming Day” for the parents in the two schools. We consider this an achievement of the first stage of planning for the partnership with the parents for the fourth year of the agreement between Al-Maymouna Education and TAMAM.
The schools held the “Family Welcoming Day” after the TAMAM project steering team trained and empowered the coordinators with parents and followed up with the two teams in both schools to prepare for the event. The “Family Welcoming Day” was held in the presence of the Director General of AlMaymouna Education Schools, Mr. Ayman Hamidi Saqr. The event started with an introduction to clarify the importance of the parent-school partnership and the role of the school. This “Family Welcoming Day” was an exceptional event for the two schools in terms of increasing the collaboration between the parents and the school. The event included a speech by the Director General and school principals, a speech by the parents, in addition to classroom visits by parents where they were introduced to the teaching staff and discussed the challenges of the children at home and in the school.

Link for the Facebook Post

In early December 2022, the Malcolm Kerr-Carnegie Middle East Center launched the Arabic version of the report, which was recently published in October 2022, titled “Innovation and New Directions: Searching for Novel Paths in Arab Education Reform”. The report emphasizes on several reform efforts that are being implemented across the Arab region and highlight several experiences taking place within different Arab educational systems, not so much because these experiences are necessarily transportable but rather to point out that together with the challenges, there are also successes that can be built on. The report draws on the practical experiences of experts from the Qatari, Jordanian, and Egyptian educational systems as well as from the regional, bottom-up experience of the TAMAM project.

In the section about the TAMAM project, Dr. Rima Karami talks about how TAMAM was initiated and transformed into an educational movement, describes the TAMAM model for school-based reform, the capacity building programs, TAMAM’s professional network, partnerships, and the produced knowledge base. In this report, Dr. Rima also shares TAMAM’s main achievements, lessons learned, and the identified key characteristics that a reform model must have to ensure its successful use and implementation in different contexts.

The authors of the Arabic version of the report are: Sheikha Jabr Al-Thani, Wafaa Al-Khadhra, Heba Al-Degheidy, Marwan Al-Muasher, Nathan Brown, Christina Zakharia Hawatmeh, Rima Karami Akkari.

You can read the full report in English here: https://carnegie-mec.org/…/innovation-and-new…

Report in Arabic:


Report in English:


The TAMAM steering team organized an interactive session on Zoom entitled “The Journey of TAMAM Professional Network: From Lived Experience to a Structured Design”  on Saturday, November 26, 2022.

The meeting was attended by about 60 members of the Tamam Professional Network, including members and friends.

The meeting began with a celebration of what TAMAM has achieved as a pioneering educational movement throughout its historical stages, which were joint and hand in hand with members of its professional network, until being culminated with winning the UNESCO-Hamdan Prize on Teacher’s Day 2022. Then the history of the development of the Tamam Professional Network was presented and how it evolved from a culture sharing common educational professional values ​​that brought together individuals in a professional community which smoothly and spontaneously transformed into an expanded professional network. Work is currently underway during this stage to structure this network and set intended goals for its key role in  achieving the TAMAM strategic goals  in its fifth phase. Then, the importance of engaging in this network and the environment it provides for capacity building and continuous professional learning were discussed. Then, active membership in the Tamam Professional Network was discussed to expand its leadership role from focusing on the school to focusing on educational reform by investing in the collective leadership capacity of the TAMAM network members, their knowledge and connections’ power, and considering it a driving force for enacting their agency in the sustainability of TAMAM movement in the Arab world while respecting the circumstances and workload conditions of the members.

The session concluded with input, comments and suggestions for possible input that network members can make to contribute to the movement. A padlet was filled out asking members to write a possible contribution from their professional context and personal position within the Tamam Network to spread and sustain the  movement.

This session will be followed by other sessions to continue the dialogue, harvest existing success stories from members of the network, build on them and expand them to have a greater impact and to present them at the upcoming TAMAM gathering in 2023-2024.

To browse the news, you can use the following link on Facebook.

A symposium entitled “Searching for New Paths in Reforming Arab Education Systems”  and organized by the Malcolm Care – Carnegie Middle East Center, was conducted on Monday, November 21, from 12:00 to 1:15 Beirut time, to discuss the recently published report entitled “Innovation and New Directions: Searching for New Paths in Reforming Arab Education Systems”. Which was co-written by Dr. Rima Karami.

During the symposium in which Dr. Rima. participated, the authors explained the state of education in the Arab region, discussed the findings and ideas presented in this report, and identified possible ways towards reform in light of the constraints and problems facing education in the Middle East, ending with  recommendations for multiple parties including local decision-makers,  international organizations, educators, teachers and parents.

The symposium was public and hosted the report’s authors, Heba Deghaidi, Rima Karami-Akkari, and Marwan Muasher, and the discussion was moderated by Maha Yahya.

The seminar was conducted in Arabic.

Here is the link for the Facebook Post.

The partnership between the TAMAM project and Al-Bayan Bilingual School in Kuwait started when three members of the school joined the TAMAM training program launched in May 2022. A specialized training agreement was also signed between the two teams, along with meetings with  the school deputy director Mr. Paul Said as well as meetings with the improvement team members  who were also invited to attend and participate in the activities of the TAMAM professional network.

According to the planks of the agreement, the TAMAM steering team held on Tuesday, November 16, 2022, the first training session for the improvement team in the school that works on “development of learning and teaching of the Arabic language.” The workshop began with an introduction by the steering team on the areas and themes of the agreement between the TAMAM project and Al-Bayan Bilingual School. This was followed by an introduction to the TAMAM project as an educational reform movement in the Arab world. The steering team then started working with the team on the TAMAM improvement journey and identified their current position on it based on their progress of work  since last year. The steering team then explained the “designing the innovative initiative” station, and presented the importance  of professional collaboration competency in the process of leading change at the school. The session also included a reflective pause on the first station of the TAMAM journey , where the team members shared their thoughts and comprehension of their improvement need they identified last year, the improvement goals they set, as well as the initial design of their innovative initiative.

The steering team is looking forward to the success of this partnership with Al-Bayan Bilingual School.

Here is the link for the Facebook Post.

Testimony from Katia Dabaghi, Preschool Academic Coordinator, Hariri High School II, Lebanon, 2020.

TAMAM took me on a transformative journey of professional reflection. It empowered me with the skills I needed to translate and channel my passion to teaching/ learning into professional practices. The growth I experienced with TAMAM made me realize that educational leadership is

To know more about the testimony from Oman, please click the following link

We admire people like you, change makers, who focus their energies, sacrifice their time, and commit their full powers to making our corner of the world a better place. Dr. Sally Al Turki, Chair of the Advisory board, Al Dahran Ahliah School, KSA, 2018


To know more about the testimony from an Algerian teacher, please click the following link

A testimony from Al Ahfad School in Sudan related to the impact of the TAMAM. Please click the following link


A testimony from Al Ithar School in the Sultanate of Oman related to the impact of the TAMAM project and its uniqueness.


Mailing Address:American University of Beirut P.O.Box 11-0236 / Department of Education Fisk Hall/ Room 245 Riad El-Solh / Beirut 1107 2020 Lebanon Phone: 00961 1 350000 Ext: 3116

Dr. Rima Karami: ra10@aub.edu.lb

Rola Katerji: rk14@aub.edu.lb