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 8 Arab countries, comprising more than 860 practitioners in 69 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 eight 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.

Online session presented by Dr. Khaleel Ajineh- the principal of the Lebanese International School with the student Khaled Abed Al-Aal

This session presented the experience of the principal of the Lebanese International School – one of the TAMAM partner schools – in his mentorship journey with the school learners during this academic year and his continuous follow-up with them in order to discover their abilities and develop their skills, making use of the TAMAM school improvement journey to launch this initiative and plan its procedures with continuous follow-up and monitoring of progress and impact.

The student Khaled Abdel-Al also participated in this session, expressing his own experience with the school principal and its personal impact on him.

To view the session, please contact us.

Here is the link for the Facebook Post.

As a continuation of this year’s partnership between Al Maymouna Education and TAMAM project in collaboration with the Center for Civic Engagement & Community Service (CCECS) at AUB which aims at evaluating quality of learning and teaching in Al Maymouna Schools and building partnership with parents, the TAMAM steering team held a training workshop for the central instructional team and the team of Partnership with the parents on Friday, June 17, 2022, in order to present first, the progress of the evaluation process, the criteria that were adopted, the indicators for each criterion and the rubrics that were developed specifically for Al Maymouna Education and which included standard levels that respect the specific context of Al Maymouna Education, and second the development of the socio-cultural form and its implementation knowing that this form was customized especially for Al Maymouna context. Then the classification table of families was presented by TAMAM expert in order to empower teams’ members on how to build upon it to plan for the coming open day in the schools. After the presentation, there was a think tank about the most important learned lessons by the schools’ teams and the most prominent concerns about the process and its outcomes. The steering team also stressed during the training its keenness to adhere to TAMAM competencies during the evaluation process, so that the process is collaborative, experimental, based on inquiry, far from personalization, in order to reach decisions based on evidence and needs.The session was valuable, as the schools’ teams expressed, and is considered an entry point to later dependency, in order to achieve the ambitions of Al Maymouna staff and its founder.

Here is the link for the Facebook Post.  

On Thursday 2 June 2022, Dr. Rima delivered a presentation for the University of Seniors participants titled “Leading school reform: from vision to action”.

During this presentation, Dr. Rima presented TAMAM’s experience in building and implementing a scalable model to transform schools into self-renewing institutions by empowering practitioners with leadership capacity for change while working in a concerted effort through strong partnerships with researchers, policy-makers and community members. The presentation illustrated success stories of improvement of Lebanese public schools and will discuss the role that partners/the community can play in advocating for school reform.

At the end of the presentation, the attendees expressed their admiration to the presentation and the achievements that TAMAM made with the Lebanese public schools.

It is worth noting that the University of Seniors is a ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​new life-long learning initiative at AUB, the first of its kind in Lebanon and the Middle East. It gives older adults (who are 50 and above) the opportunity to share their wisdom and passion, to learn things they have always wanted to learn in a friendly academic environment and to interact socially with other seniors, AUB faculty and students.

#AUB #TAMAM #UnivesityOfSeniors #UfS #schoolimprovement #publicSchools #Lebanon

Online session presented by Mr. Rabih Murr– Academic Principal of Ahliya School in Lebanon.


This session is based on a case study and academic research for a master’s degree by Mr. Rabih El-Murr on the experience of a school principal in a private school in Lebanon (the Ahliya School in which he works). The session shed light on one of the organizational frames, which is the political frame, especially the micropolitical level, and the strategies and procedures that the school principal can follow under it to reduce resistance from members of the institution while leading the change process and taking the school towards renewal and continuous improvement while being respectful of the context and identity of the institution.

The session was attended by about 45 practitioners and educational researchers from TAMAM participating schools in different Arab countries, in addition to members of the advisory board of Al-Ahlia School, which is a TAMAM-friend school.

The session began by presenting the reality of ineffective educational reform in the Lebanese context, as well as the context of the case school. Then the international literature was explored to describe change as a complex process that is accompanied by many challenges, as it undermines the status quo and the identity of the institution. It is also accompanied by resistance to change, which is considered one of the most important challenges of change from the perspective or the political framework of the institution, especially from the micropolitical lens. The study considers the latter a promising lens for understanding change in the Lebanese context and deals with the concept of self-interest that may conflict with the interest of the institution, and the role of the educational leader in adopting strategies and political methods to reduce resistance to change and overcome obstacles towards achieving it. The study showed that prior to initiating change plans and actions, it is imperative for the school principal to have a good understanding of the school’s culture and identity and build an understanding of the culture’s reactions and attitude to change, coupled with building a thorough awareness of the school’s micropolitics – mainly power dynamics and personal interest versus the interest of the institution. Another key strategy that emerged from the study is the school leadership’s differentiated approach in managing groups of teachers, mainly those who were pro-change and those who were still resisting change especially during the first micropolitical landscape. The case study underscores the importance of achieving educational change through strategies that transform the school toward continuous self-renewal rooted in its unique identity by following a bottom-up approach to change. The session concluded with the model Mr. Rabih established to delineate a grounded process for initiating and effecting change in a context like that of the case study school. The model is based on a theory of educational change aimed at transforming the school into an institution continuously engaged in self-renewal that is rooted in its unique identity. The session then was followed with discussion of comments and questions from the attendees.  


To view the session, click on the following link.

Here is the link for the Facebook Post.

In person presentation by Ms. Stephanie Jureidini: Reflections on the Development of an Arab Feminist Framework: Lessons Learned from a Critical Inquiry with Women Educational Leaders

On April 19, 2022, Ms. Stephanie Jureidini (PhD student at University of Wisconsin-Madison) delivered a presentation titled: “Reflections on the Development of an Arab Feminist Framework: Lessons Learned from a Critical Inquiry with Women Educational Leaders” at the 66th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES). The presentation is based on a study that she conducted with Dr. Rima Karami to examine the experiences of women educational leaders in TAMAM. The presentation presented a critical reflection on the methodology used and discusses its implications for the development of an Arab feminist framework. The conference was held from April 18 to 22, 2022 under the theme “Illuminating the Power of Idea/lism”.

Here is the link for the Facebook Post.

Dr. Rima Karami, Project Director of TAMAM, participated in a report of the Carnegie Middle East Center in which she spoke about TAMAM as a promising development initiative in the Arab region. To read the report, you can use the following link

 Taawon Welfare signed an agreement with the American University of Beirut, “School Based Development Project” (TAMAM). Here is the agreement news link on Facebook

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 the sacred mission of service and humility. Such a mission could only be fulfilled as we positively and persistently work on building our team’s capacity, so that together, we could contribute into the sustainable betterment of our communities.  Katia Dabaghi, Preschool Academic Coordinator, Hariri High School II, Lebanon, 2020.

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

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.


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

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



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