The Development and Implementation of the TAMAM Capacity Building Program

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 reports

Technical Report 7: Toward an Educational Reform Movement in the Arab World: TAMAM Lebanon Hub Experience By Dr. Rima Karami, Noha Chaar, Yusra Khattab (With TAMAM Project Steering Team: Feyrouz Salameh, Rania El Hage, Rola Katerji) – 2021

The TAMAM Lebanon Hub project was launched in 2015 with the aim of achieving school improvement that: 1) focuses on developing students holistically and prepares them to be productive and responsible citizens; 2) improves teachers’ performance and involvement in the school improvement process to become agents of change capable of facing the challenges of public schools while sustaining their momentum; and 3) engages the school’s parents, community and students in the shared responsibility of this improvement process. During its five years, the Hub project worked with six lead teams in geographically distributed public schools in Lebanon: Bzal Mixed Public School, Ghobeiry Second Mixed Public School, Jezzine Elementary Public School, Kfarruman Second Intermediate Public School, Rachel Edde Public School, and Tarbiya Haditha Public School for Girls. This report presents the experience of the TAMAM Lebanon Hub steering team (HST) while working with these six schools. The report starts with an overview of the initiation of the Hub project, then it provides a description of the profile of the selected schools, their improvement projects and the impact these projects had on the students, teachers, coordinators, principals, and parents. The report also describes the completed capacity building activities throughout the project, which included more than 230 encounters with the six public schools in forms of gatherings, workshops, training sessions, coaching and follow-up visits, meetings, and daily interactions. Moreover, the HST conducted several planning and monitoring meetings, networked with various stakeholders, engaged in ongoing research and experimentation on the TAMAM programs, prepared 3 proposals for expansion, made 4 presentations at international conferences and published one study in an international peer reviewed journal.

This report also describes the impact of the capacity building activities conducted with the school lead teams on their leadership capacity, motivation, mindsets and the institutional culture of their schools. The results of the monitoring conducted showed that the completed activities resulted in the lead team members acquisition -to different degrees- of the TAMAM competencies, and their successful planning and implementation their initiatives following the TAMAM Capacity Building Program starting with identifying their improvement needs up to monitoring/ evaluating their implementation plans. Moreover, the capacity building activities and the approach the HST followed with the school lead teams has a positive impact on their motivation to participate and engage in improvement. It was also apparent that the lead team members, including the school principals, have experienced a paradigm shift in their mindset and their patterns of unexamined beliefs, which is reframing the professional principles of their practices. The completed activities did not only result in impact on the development of team members and their schools, it also included several research activities and outcomes which includes a list of policy/administrative recommendations that need to be taken into consideration when working on improvement with Lebanese public schools. Finally, the report presents the conditions surrounding the implementation of the project at the ministry level and the school level, by describing some of the faced challenges and the corresponding attempts made by the HST to support the implementation of the project. The report narrates how the project came to a closure and what are the HST’s future plans for the project. The project ends with a description of the activities that the PST conducted after the closure of the project which included continuing the research activities about the schools’ experiences, applying for new grants, and sustaining relationship and engagement of members within TAMAM professional network. The last section also shows how the Lebanon hub schools’ members acted as agents of change, where they continued the implementation and expansion of their innovative interventions, and engaged in various activities within the TAMAM Professional Network.

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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. 

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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: 

  1. Experiential learning.
  2. Mentoring approach.
  3. Decisions and actions driven by needs.
  4. Systematic documented practice.
  5. Collaborative inquiry.
  6. Professional collaboration.
  7. Reflective dialogue and practice.
  8. De-privatization of practice.
  9. Leadership for change.
  10. Evidence based decisions.
  11. Evolving design planning.

The journey comprises of: 

  1. Identifying a problem.
  2. Designing an innovative intervention.
  3. Implementing the intervention.
  4. Evaluating its impact; and finally.
  5. Taking actions based on this evaluation.

Throughout this journey, school teams will be trained on: 

  1. Action research
  2. Collaboration
  3. Documentation of practice
  4. Professional dialogue
  5. Reflective thinking
  6. Evidence based decision
  7. 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. 

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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: 

  1. Distributing expertise for knowledge production by building capacity for research at the school level
  2. Activating and synergizing resources (teachers, principals, ministry representatives, university representatives, scholars…)
  3. Building capacity for internal as well as external agency for change
  4. Reframing professional development as an ongoing process of planned experiences aimed at professional learning at all levels of the educational system
  5. Building channels to continuously connect the work of researcher, practitioners and policy makers

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TAMAM Schools’ Experience during COVID-19

Conference papers and presentations

Background Research on School Reform

Journal Articles

Technical reports

Relevant research reports

The Development and Implementation of the TAMAM Capacity Building Program
On-going research

Journal Articles and Books

Technical reports

Conference papers and presentations

Research reports

Factors Supporting or Hindering School-Based Improvement

On-going research

Journal Articles

Conference papers

Research for and on TAMAM programs’ design

Research reports