Technical Report 3: An Innovative Model for Educational Reform in the Arab World

An Innovative Model for Educational Reform in the Arab World – 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 on going 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 on-going 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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