The unfolding of the experience of developing and implementing the TAMAM Capacity Building Program is reported in a series of technical reports that outline the actions and the design decisions that the TAMAM Steering Ream took. Part of these experiences were published as journal articles from these technical reports.
Technical Report 5: Developing the TAMAM’s Monitoring and Evaluation: An Experience of Evolving Design Planning – By Rima Karami Akkary, Rasha El Saheli ElHage, Diana Sarrieddine, & Rola Katerji– 2013
TAMAM is a research and development project that adopts an evolving design approach in designing processes for school-based improvement that are grounded in the organizational and social culture of the schools.
TAMAM’s monitoring and evaluation model establishes a process that provides useful information on an ongoing basis to improve the project’s activities and how they are implemented.
As such, it puts into action the concept of the “evolving design planning” adopted by TAMAM, where evidence is collected as a basis for reflective practice and improved decisions.
The purpose of this report is to illustrate the journey of the TAMAM Project Steering Team (PST) in developing the project’s monitoring and evaluation model at the conclusion of the first phase of its implementation.
It describes the various processes that led to the development of the current TAMAM monitoring and evaluation approaches from being reactive, practicing intuitive heavy data collection, to being proactive, following purposeful, efficient and effective data collection procedures.
The report will highlight how TAMAM’s monitoring and evaluation interventions were gradually conceptualized based on the lessons learned from phase I and how their implementation in the schools’ settings helped test their usefulness and validity, and accordingly modify and improve their procedures.
The ongoing participation of the TAMAM school teams and the constant efforts of the PST to include all stakeholders in decision making to develop the suggested monitoring and evaluation model kept TAMAM true to its claim of participatory evaluation and evolving design planning.
In the midst of the absence of an evaluation culture and the scarcity of “participant oriented evaluation” approaches in the Arab world, TAMAM’s adoption of participatory evaluation grants the project the characteristic of being a pioneer in following such methodology and approach.
Technical Report 4: Building Leadership Capacity for School-Based Reform : TAMAM professional development journey in phase I – By Rima Karami Akkary, Mary Saad, & Rola Katerji with Sara Halwani -2012
This report describes the process followed by the Project Steering Team [PST] of the TAMAM project while designing and implementing its professional development activities.
It highlights the “evolving design plan” approach the PST has used while planning and implementing PD activities. PST actions – and decisions on their sequence – have been based on evidence generated through monitoring training progress, and identifying the challenges faced during the training implementation.
The report narrates the evolution of the PD activities from being narrowly conceived initially around engaging teams in action research as the main foci of capacity building, to a broader conception of having the teams embark on a school-based improvement journey, where action research is a tool used among many to effectively implement and sustain this improvement. The report includes a description of the competencies, and why and when they have been introduced throughout the PD process.
Also, it describes the PD approach used which is rooted in experiential learning, mentoring, and encouraging reflective practice. The report concludes by presenting an “emerging model” of PD grounded in lived experiences and mindful of the unique cultural characteristics of its context.
The model consists of a set of 11 pillars and a proposed improvement journey along which the PD activities are organized.
The pillars constitute the foundational principles guiding both the processes and the learning experiences along the journey which are:
- Experiential learning.
- Mentoring approach.
- Decisions and actions driven by needs.
- Systematic documented practice.
- Collaborative inquiry.
- Professional collaboration.
- Reflective dialogue and practice.
- De-privatization of practice.
- Leadership for change.
- Evidence based decisions.
- Evolving design planning.
The journey comprises of:
- Identifying a problem.
- Designing an innovative intervention.
- Implementing the intervention.
- Evaluating its impact; and finally.
- Taking actions based on this evaluation.
Throughout this journey, school teams will be trained on:
- Action research
- Documentation of practice
- Professional dialogue
- Reflective thinking
- Evidence based decision
- Planning and leading change
Throughout this journey teams pass through cycles of inquiry that would allow them to gather data and reach insights that they need for taking action and moving forward along the journey; ultimately reaching their goals for improvement.
Technical Report 3: An Innovative Model for Educational Reform in the Arab World- By Rima Karami Akkary & Nadia Rizk – 2011
This report describes the case of TAMAM project as a new reform attempt in the Arab world that combines research to development in bringing about and supporting school based initiatives for school improvement.
The report focuses on the initiation stage of the project. It describes the project initial design, its goals, underlying assumptions and strategies as well as the culturally specific factors that shape the conceptualization and design of this project.
Based on the data gathered from interviews, document analysis and participant observant notes, TAMAM is found to be conceived as having three main goals: building capacity for school-based reform among school practitioners; produce research based understanding of best practices on school-based reform grounded in the cultural context of the Arab countries; and find ways to impact practices of university professors and policy makers at the ministry level.
Analysis of the results shows that in the initiation stage TAMAM activities have focused on building capacity at the school level through engaging teams of practitioners in action research projects at their schools.
Professional development was ongoing and went beyond “one-stop” workshops to include providing continuous support through close monitoring of the teams’ learning throughout the implementation progress.
The report concludes with identifying the promising features of TAMAM project design and its activities when compared to the current trends of educational reform in the Arab World and to the international theoretical literature on school reform.
These promises of TAMAM include:
- Distributing expertise for knowledge production by building capacity for research at the school level
- Activating and synergizing resources (teachers, principals, ministry representatives, university representatives, scholars…)
- Building capacity for internal as well as external agency for change
- Reframing professional development as an ongoing process of planned experiences aimed at professional learning at all levels of the educational system
- Building channels to continuously connect the work of researcher, practitioners and policy makers