Evaluation of Teachers for the 21st Century Training Project

  •  Hassan Elannani    


The United Arab Emirates has witnessed exponential growth while its schools have been lagging behind other areas of national development. Research studies attributed that to classroom practices that overemphasized theory and rote memorization. Education officials addressed this issue by setting up training programs about effective teaching techniques and strategies. The author participated in the Teachers for the 21st Century project and provided workshops to hundreds of public schools’ teachers. To evaluate this teacher training project, the author followed a qualitative methodology using participant observation and data from documents, newspaper accounts, observation notes, and transcriptions of tape-recordings during the project. After each training session, the author tape recorded observations and noted participants’ views and impressions. After the tapes were transcribed there emerged salient findings related to training content, trainers and translators, participants, training environment, and project management. The author found that an amalgam of organizational, professional, and cultural deficiencies had caused the three years’ project to be discontinued after less than one year of its inception. Despite these shortcomings, teachers and trainers had benefitted from the training. However, these pressing issues must be seriously addressed in order to conduct sustainable professional development programs in the United Arab Emirates and Gulf region.

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