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 started as a project in 2007 and has transformed itself into an educational movement that spans 8 Arab countries, serving more than 600 practitioners, in 69 schools with 32 researchers from 12 different universities, 32 coaches, and policymakers collaborating on designing and implementing impactful school-based improvement.
TAMAM was initiated 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.

Coming Soon!!!

You can see all of TAMAM’s 11th Gathering through the following link




In an attempt to spread hope and resilience in response to the unprecedented public health crisis we are facing, the Project Steering Team would like to share what the Lebanese International School is doing in relation to distance learning to turn this emergent and imposed change into a learning experience and a mean for reevaluating teaching in a self-renewing school culture that welcomes innovation and initiates improvement actions. Inspired by TAMAM competencies of reflective practice, evolving design planning, inquiry, experiential learning, and creativity in generating solutions, the school developed an educational online program for students that suits their conditions and context and focuses on building their skills and lifelong learning through fun activities related to real life and the current situation.
With the guidance and support of the school principal, this program was led by the coordinator of the unit of academic affairs and improvement initiatives at LIS with the collective efforts of school members and TAMAM lead team members. It is important to note that TAMAM model became the formal process for any change initiative at LIS and this reflects the school adoption of TAMAM and the sustainability of its impact. Additionally, it is worth noting that assigning a coordinator for the unit of academic affairs and improvement initiatives is a newly institutionalized full-time position created this year that supervises, in addition to the academic affairs, TAMAM expansion and all school improvement initiatives at the school.
To get more information about LIS online program, check the following link: http://lis.edu.lb/?page_id=3988.

 Here is the link for the Facebook Post



After launching the partnership between Al Maymouna Education in Lebanon and the TAMAM project on January 17 during a workshop that introduced AlMaymouna school teams to the TAMAM improvement journey and its competencies, TAMAM team conducted the first training for the lead teams based on the training needs that were identified. The training, conducted on March 3-4, aimed to build the capacity of the lead teams to define the improvement needs that they will work on in each school using the two competencies: inquiry and evidence-based decisions. During the training, the participants got acquainted with the three components of each competency: knowledge, skills and attitudes, and together they engaged in brainstorming about their improvement needs and priorities. The training took place in each school separately because the project aims to be based on the needs of each school and its circumstances with a great focus that the improvement needs should impact students’ learning. The coach will follow up with the teams to identify the needs for improvement while traveling the TAMAM improvement journey.
Worth noting that the teams showed a high enthusiasm to participate in finding solutions to the educational and academic challenges they are facing by engaging in this journey.
The training was attended by 16 lead team members from the two schools in Berkayel, Akkar and Al Fakiha, Bekaa. Here is the link for the Facebook Post

On Friday 6th March 2020, the TAMAM project steering team conducted a workshop for the lead team in Haifa Co-education School Bir Hasan LB. The workshop was titled “Activating the professional collaboration to lead the implementation of the improvement plan: Towards restoring the excellence of Haifa school”. During the workshop the team members brainstormed a list of activities to be implemented with grade 7 students to increase their motivation. Later, the TAMAM coach presented the “Professional collaboration” competency to urge the team to work together in joint efforts toward a common goal. Here is the link for the Facebook Post

In line with the school’s development project, which aims to activate the role of technology in the educational process and in response to the conditions that Lebanon is going through, a member of the lead team in the Kfar Ramman Second Intermediate Public School, Mr. Jamal Abdo, initiated a unique technique to prepare a physics class for students through electronic interaction to explain the lessons remotely and to test students to see how they have acquired the competencies of the lesson.
We are proud of this initiative and consider it a sign of the ability of the lead team to invest the limited capabilities in the school in the context of the difficult circumstances that Lebanon is going through.
Leading the change is evident by the initiative to make efforts by educators, each of its position to provide their best to increase the effectiveness of the educational process and serve their students. Here is the link for the Facebook Post

Al-Kawthar High School, one of the leading schools in the Tamam project, celebrated the conclusion of the stage of disseminating knowledge about the competencies and pillars of Tammam among its school community. These pillars have become part of the professional school community culture and its acquisition is among the strategic goals of the TAMU Unit. Here is the link for the Facebook Post

Dr. Rima Karami, one of the #SafeAndSound advisory board educational experts, leading with Dr. Leyla Dirani #SafeAndSound workshop on adolescent #MentalHealth, self-care, and reflection on sustainable #schoolbased psychosocial support interventions. 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