The Queen Rania Foundation and the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), based in the UK, started to think through the opportunities presented by a translation and contextualization of the EEF’s flagship Teaching and Learning Toolkit in early 2019. Our worlds have changed markedly since then but the importance of evidenced, well-designed educational opportunities is now more important than ever.
The aim of the Toolkit is to provide free access to international and regional evidence on 35 key approaches to teaching and learning in both Arabic and English for teachers, universities and colleges, students, policy makers and all those interested in improving education not just in the Arabic speaking regions but globally. A wide spectrum of issues is included – from arts participation to meta-cognition.
Some of the topics are particularly relevant at the moment –for example, digital technology. Here evidence from studies done in the Arab world pointed to the advantages that technology integration in K-12 classrooms holds for students’ cognitive development and personal skills. Studies point to improvements in fluency, elaboration, and originality as well as creative thinking abilities. For example, communication skills for tenth-grade students were significantly better for those using e-mail- and WhatsApp-based instruction over one eight-week intervention.
Other strands provide equally important information on areas such as collaborative and individual learning, and feedback. None of these strands exists in isolation and they can be explored and used together.
The Toolkit website contains guidance on how to access the evidence which is not just categorised by subject matter but also by the quality of the evidence and the effects that types of intervention have on learning in terms of added months of achievement.
QRF and the partners involved in the Teaching and Learning Toolkit very much hope that our audiences will be inspired to use some of the evidence and to transfer this to the Arabic speaking world or to create innovative projects that reflect the regional context. We plan to share learning and lessons and really welcome interest from our audiences.
Neither is this a static instrument – an update is already planned for 2021. Over time, new and developing evidence from across the region will be shared with the core team and used to shape new iterations of the Toolkit to ensure that it really reflects global learning and innovation.
The research work was led by Dr Sandra Baroudi, Assistant Professor at the College of Education, Zayed University, the 2019-2020 EEF Fellow for this project. The development of this new platform could not have been undertaken without generous support from Professor Hanada Taha Thomore, Endowed Professor of Arabic Language Education and her team and colleagues at the Arabic Language Research Center, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates. QRF is very grateful for the support of the Queen Rania Teacher Academy in Jordan. We would also like to extend our deep thanks to Prof Steve Higgins and his team at the School of Education at Durham University for their on-going expertise and advice.
Interested? Want to know more? The Toolkit can be accessed here