Teaching and Learning Forum Held by Qatar Foundation

The Qatar Foundation (QF) Office of Pre-University Education held its inaugural Teaching and Learning Forum for QF, Supreme Education Council and international school teachers at the Hamad bin Khalifa University Student Centre in Education City at the weekend.

The one-day forum saw educators at QF deliver three sets of 10 workshops that explored the themes of leadership, early childhood education, innovation and practice, and the use of student data in learning methodologies. The forum provided teachers with the opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise with their counterparts in the community.

Sheikha Noof Ahmed bin Saif al-Thani, director of the Academic Outreach Pre-University Education Office, said the forum “was a wonderful opportunity for Qatar’s teaching community to gather, share and discuss their innovative ideas with regards to the teaching of specific subjects.

“Teaching, like learning, is a lifelong endeavour and the rapid technological and social advances of the 21st century demand that teachers remain creative in their methodologies. At Qatar Foundation, we believe this is the key to unlocking the human potential of future generations.”

The Teaching and Learning Forum also hosted a keynote speech by Richard Gerver, an award-winning teacher and school principal, whose groundbreaking work in education has been celebrated by the British National Teaching awards and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

Gerver is also a former educational adviser to the British government and a world-renowned speaker for his insights into change, leadership and education. He has authored two books – ‘Change: Learn to Love it, Learn to Lead’ and ‘Creating Tomorrow’s Schools Today: Education – Our Children – Their futures’.

Addressing the future of education while referencing conversations he has had with Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, and Stephen “Steve” Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, Gerver said: “What we have to understand about the nature of change, not just in education, is that it is not about systems and structures, but about people. If you don’t change the capacity of people, all you ever lead to are short-term measures that will live and die in moments and actually transform nothing.”

The first set of workshops included a presentation by Asma al-Nuaimi, Gifted Department co-ordinator at Qatar Academy, in which she explored innovative ways to teach Arabic to gifted students. One of the effective methods she suggested included highlighting students’ abilities and talents through activities that help stimulate creativity.

Rola Atauneh, a teacher, shared her experience teaching Arabic and the subsequent challenges faced while tutoring students in handwriting.

During the second set of workshops, one lecture focused on modern teaching methods in Islamic education, the aim of which was to discuss ways to make Islamic studies more interesting and meaningful for students, by linking it to their daily lives.

The final group of workshops included presentations by Muneera Rashid al-Mannai, head of Integration Technology at Qatar Academy Primary School, and Zayed Qasim, co-ordinator of Qatar Academy Primary School, who addressed the use of modern teaching strategies, tailored to individual student needs, with regard to imparting the four basic skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening.