Published: 2019-03-11 11:26
Last Updated: 2019-03-11 11:39
Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah attended the main session of the fifth annual Teacher Skills Forum (TSF), on Sunday, where she met with a number of international professionals working in education.
Held under the patronage of Her Majesty under the theme “Agile Minds, Turning Tides,” the forum spanned three full days, starting on Friday and concluding on Sunday, at the King Hussein bin Talal Convention Center at the Dead Sea. The Queen Rania Teacher Academy (QRTA) organizes TSF yearly in partnership with the International Baccalaureate (IB).
Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Dr. Walid Maani, also attended the main session, along with representatives of educational organizations, diplomats, school principals, university presidents, Ministry of Education staff, the Jordanian Teachers Syndicate and the media.
Welcomed to the forum’s main session by QRTA Academic Advisor, Mary Tadros, Her Majesty attended a panel discussion on how to equip upcoming generations with the agility they need to be resilient.
Participants in the panel included Lecturer and Director of Learning and Outreach at Harvard School of Education’s (HGSE) Project Zero, Dr. Tina Blythe, Chair of the IB Examining Board, Dr. David Homer, Head of Innovation at Luminus Education, Loay Malahmeh, and CEO of the Education Development Trust, Patrick Brazier.
During the panel, Dr. Blythe who possesses over three decades of experience in the field of education explained that for students to have agile minds their teachers must have developed agile minds through training, explaining that agility is crucial for keeping up with changing needs.
Dr. Homer for his part showcased the stages of education development and the transition from teaching to learning, as well as the integration of both concepts to achieve agility. He also highlighted how to make learning reflect students’ daily experiences. Homer added that novel learning does not imply forcing knowledge onto students, but rather requires involving students in the learning process.
Joining in the discussion, Brazier noted that current times require focusing on the quality of education and the extent to which it addresses 21st century skills and employment requirements, stressing the role that societies have to play in achieving this end.
At the session, Tadros explained how TSF “stands out as a platform where teachers and educators meet to find practical solutions that elevate the teaching process, especially this year’s forum, which focuses on agile minds and skills.” She also highlighted that “QRTA is currently celebrating 10 years of hard work and dedication to achieve its vision of contributing to the improvement of education in Jordan.”
This year’s forum focused on several themes, including the holistic development of learners, teaching for learning, learning in early years, pedagogical leadership, and digital literacy in the classroom. Each theme also posited innovative approaches to teaching and the use of technology to enhance learning outcomes.
On the sidelines of the forum, Her Majesty met with a group of international professionals in the field of education, including members of HGSE and IB.
The meeting with HGSE covered joint projects between HGSE’s Middle East Professional Learning Initiative (MEPLI) and Jordan, the Case Study Development Project for Educators in Jordan to support research and practice related to professional development, and MEPLI’s contribution to TSF.
In a second meeting with members of the IB, Her Majesty received an update on the partnership between IB and QRTA, and the performance of Jordanian students in IB examinations. The meeting also discussed IB’s support of Jordan’s examinations and curricula reform agenda.
Launched in 2014, TSF was designed to provide teachers from Jordan and the Arab world with modern and creative strategies and innovative teaching techniques. Since its inception, the forum has gained regional and international recognition for its approach and focus on teacher and classroom needs in order to enhance teaching.
TSF aims to empower teachers and educators to transform their experiences in the classroom by helping upgrade their knowledge on emerging trends and best practices in education, connect and network with peers and experts, and discover innovative ways to address learner needs.
The largest to date, this year’s forum boasted 139 workshops, and 11 pre-conference workshops led by expert educators and keynote speakers from globally renowned universities and organizations. The forum was also attended by participants from countries around the world, including Bahrain, the UAE, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, the U.S.A., Sri Lanka, India, Egypt, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Nigeria, Tanzania, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, Bahrain, Lebanon, Kuwait, Pakistan, and Jordan. Educators from IB schools in the region were also present.