Queen Rania Foundation

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) 2021 Fellowship at QRF – Evidence Synthesis and Uptake

Main Job Purpose

The Queen Rania Foundation (QRF) is seeking two outstanding individuals to become Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) Fellows at QRF for one year. During this year you will contribute your expertise and energy to the task of facilitating evidence-based teaching and learning to maximize student outcomes in Jordan and the wider Arab region.

This full-time Fellowship (the second of two) is focused on evidence synthesis and uptake (the first, described in a separate posting, is focused on evidence generation). Under this Fellowship, you will primarily advance our work on making evidence useful and design and deliver active approaches to evidence uptake by both teachers and policy makers. Given the overriding priority to improve rates of Arabic Literacy in the region, your fellowship would operate within a ‘literacy first’ agenda.

Your work will contribute to advancing the investments QRF has made- and is still making- in sharing ‘what works’ in teaching and learning through –

QRF’s ambition is to eventually institutionalize these investments in what we call an Arabic Literacy Lab (‘The Lab’), an evidence center for the teaching and learning of Arabic literacy.

This role will suit academics/practitioners who have experience in Arabic Literacy research alongside a strong interest in the practical implications for teaching and learning in early childhood and school grades 1-6, evidence-based teacher practice, and the research-policy nexus. Alongside that, you will be passionate about nurturing the expertise of others through coaching, mentoring, knowledge-sharing forums, and codifying ‘best-practice’.

We will shape the detailed work-plan of the successful Fellow in light of their interests and expertise, but we expect it will include –

The Fellow will work alongside the Manager of QRF’s Learning at School team to identify – and deliver – opportunities to maximize awareness and uptake of the methodology and insights in the Toolkit, including newly generated ones from the Toolkit update, and to ‘make the case’ for the wider topic of ‘evidence for the classroom’.

  • Advance the design and validation of the concept of an Arabic Literacy Lab (an evidence center for the teaching and learning of Arabic literacy) by leading on, or supporting, activities to better understand the challenges and opportunities it will face around evidence uptake. This will include:
    • Advice QRF on running a survey and focus groups with teachers to understand their existing use of research and evidence (in the first instance, with teachers in Jordan);
    • Advice QRF on running in-depth explorations with Policy Makers in Jordan to understand the same;
    • Work with QRF to understand the research amenable questions that teachers want answering (and the extent to which they are already addressed by existing research);
    • Use QRF’s existing Teacher Engagement Campaign, as a platform for an action research approach to explore ways in which we can maximize the uptake of research-informed advice.
  • Advice on the permissibility, process, and caveats involved, in responding to the lack of robust research into Arabic Literacy by transferring insights from other languages in order to generate useful guidance for teachers and policy makers akin to the EEF’s Guidance Reports.

The Partnerships behind the Fellowships

These two Fellowships are made possible through the generous support of The Education Endowment Foundation (the EEF). The EEF is a UK based charity dedicated to breaking the link between student achievement and parental income in England. To advance this goal, the EEF summarizes high-quality evidence, generates new evidence?of ‘what works’ to improve teaching and learning, and supports the active uptake of educational research on the part of teachers and school leaders.

Website: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/)

QRF is a global partner of the EEF through its “building a global evidence ecosystem for teaching” project, which is delivered in partnership with the BHP Foundation. As a global partner of the EEF, QRF is running an evaluation of a promising intervention aimed at the decoding phase of learning (‘Let’s Read Fluently!’) and localizing and launching the EEF’s Teaching and Learning Toolkit in the region. We are also hosting two EEF Fellowship that, together, advance the goals of generating new evidence and, this Fellowship, making existing evidence useful, and supporting its use by teachers and policy makers.

The two 2021 Fellowships build on the success of the first EEF Fellowship at QRF which was held by Dr. Sandra Baroudi of Zayed University. Dr. Sandra Baroudi has this to say about her time as a Fellow at QRF:

It was an honor to be a fellow for contextualizing the teaching and learning toolkit into the Arab region. The teaching and learning toolkit is the first research-based guide that summarizes evidence on 35 different approaches to improve education in the Arab world. During the fellowship, I learned about the most effective practices in teaching as well as the most pressing challenges facing the education sector in our region.

As a fellow, I was able to create an action plan which will ensure the delivery of the project on time. I collaborated with researchers and practitioners throughout the region and in the UK during my visit to EEF. As a fellow, I never felt I was on my own, especially during the most challenging times, when I was constantly supported and guidance was given to me to help navigate the obstacles.

This whole experience generated a feeling of reward knowing that my work will help impart the knowledge that was gathered to the teachers and education practitioners in the Arab region.

As advice to future fellows, I would recommend them to pick up the baton and continue the work on this major breakthrough that will improve the education sector in the Arab world."

How the Fellowship will work?

Our hope is that the successful Fellows will hold the position from July 2021 for twelve months. If the successful Fellows are currently employed at an academic institution, we will reimburse them for the salary costs of the Fellow. In the event that the Fellow is based outside of Jordan then, Covid permitting, QRF will cover the costs of visits to QRF’s offices in Amman, Jordan, and any other travel that is needed in order to fulfill the Fellowship. For example, attendance at conferences or school visits.

For a conversation about the Fellowships

If you are interested in this opportunity and have some questions, please do get in touch with our learning at School Stream Manager, Maysoon Masoud, who will be happy to speak to you. She can be contacted at [email protected].

Main Roles and Responsibilities

The detailed work plan will be co-created with QRF, but we expect it will include –

  • Support the update of the Arab version of the EEF Toolkit as the EEF Toolkit moves from being a meta-analysis of meta-analyses, into a meta-analysis of individual studies.
  • Support the uptake of the EEF Toolkit by –
    • Developing and delivering engagement opportunities with teachers/ educators in Jordan demonstrating the way in which the evidence can be proactively adopted by teachers to enhance their practice. For example, designing and delivering workshops, lead action research projects with teachers in the field, or associate some of the toolkit strands with practice guides.
    • Work alongside colleagues from the Queen Rania Teacher Academy (QRTA) who have supported the creation of the Toolkit in Jordan to identify and deliver other opportunities for supporting the uptake of the insights in the Toolkit.
    • Identify new partners in the Arabic speaking world with whom links can be established to build up Toolkit use.
    • Build on our partnership with Zayed University (established through the first EEF Fellow) and develop further partnerships (potentially in Egypt and Morocco.)
  • Support QRF to establish a process for generating reliable and useful documents such as the EEF’s Guidance Reports by –
    • Delivering evidence-based advice on the permissibility for delivering useful guidance to teachers of Arabic literacy given the absence of a rich research base on Arabic literacy. For example, asking how Perfetti’s concept of a universal grammar of reading can be used to ‘transfer’ insights from the non-Arabic literacy research literature;
    • Defining a process for producing practical guidance reports - what needs to be done, who needs to be involved, what are the likely time-lines?
  • Use QRF’s existing Teacher Engagement Campaign, as a platform for an action research approach to explore ways in which we can maximize the uptake of research-informed advice.
  • Support the design and validation of an Evidence Centre for the teaching and learning of Arabic literacy (‘The Lab’) by better understanding existing opportunities and barriers to research use on the part of teachers and policymakers.
  • Help develop QRF’s growing relationships with specialist impact organizations, including scoping available regional experience and appetite for educational evidence uptake in the region and internationally.

Job Qualifications

  • A postgraduate qualification in a relevant field, such as education research, curriculum and teaching methods, or Arabic literacy. (Essential)
  • A strong interest in evidence-based practices and the research-policy nexus (Essential)
  • Demonstrable interest in evidence synthesis and uptake activities in the education sector. (Essential)
  • Experience in supervising teaching practicum and/or teaching – primary school, grades 1-6 (Desirable)

Languages

  • Arabic
  • English