DOHA: Qatar University‘s College of Education (CED) will soon open a teaching and learning unit aimed at improving science and mathematics education in Qatar’s schools.
“The unit will offer professional development courses and workshops to teachers and academic coordinators of science and math to help improve the pedagogy and content of instruction for primary and preparatory grades,” said Dr Tricia Kerr, CED Assistant Professor of Educational Sciences.
The courses will have an infusion of technology with equipment for use in scientific investigations, mathematical measurements, and global positioning, according to Dr Kerr.
“The objective of the courses and workshops is to strengthen the teachers’ capacity and effectiveness in improving the knowledge and understanding of students in science and math,” she said.
Classes will follow a format of three levels – introduction, intermediate, and advanced. The first session will begin on October 13 and will address the topic of Questions and Critical Thinking in Science and Math.
“The College is in the process of designing professional development that provides closer alignment with the needs of teachers and schools. Certificates will be awarded on completion of courses and workshops,” Dr Kerr said, adding the process of assessment will be rigorous.
“We follow the objectives of the National Professional Standards for Teachers and School Leaders and the Conceptual Framework of the College of Education that promote teacher efficacy, and quality and excellence in teaching.”
On the benefit of the unit to students, Dr Kerr said: “It provides them with teachers who are equipped to strengthen their knowledge of scientific and mathematical concepts and guide them to a better understanding of the world, to encourage them to ask questions, analyse and solve problems, and make informed decisions as both children and adults.”
Commenting on the new unit, CED Dean Dr Hissa Sadiq, said: “Another reason for its establishment is that there is concern about the low performance of students in science and math. The plan is not only to offer training but also to work with CED’s Center of Educational Development and Research to do some research on the issue”. Dr Sadiq said that the College’s professional development programmes are designed based on results of research on best practices.
“Last year we successfully provided workshops for over 1,000 teachers. The new unit will add considerably to our goal to ensure that teachers in Qatar continue to be engaged in advancing the quality of teaching and guiding the nation’s schools towards achieving Qatar National Vision 2030,” she said.
© The Peninsula 2010Sep 2010