Youmen Chaaban

Abstracts

5 Qatari Licensure System as Perceived by Teachers and School Leaders

Authors: Abdullah Abu-Tineh, Youmen Chaaban, Hissa Sadiq, Fatma Al-Mutawah

Abstract:

The past 20 years have seen a proliferation of empirical research into various licensure systems. Extensive quantitative work investigates these systems of appraisal from different countries, but there is far less research on the implementation of the Qatari licensure system and the adoption of professional standards. In this paper, we provided a quantitatively and qualitatively descriptive look at the process that moves educators from their point of entry into the profession through their certification as accomplished professionals. Specifically, we focused on the perceptions of teachers and school leaders on the licensure system currently adopted by Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Qatar. The paper aims to inform progress towards a system of reliable, valid, and nationally appropriate teacher and school leader evaluation procedures. Such a system can support decision-making based on a common, comprehensive set of standards that ensures the placement of only the most effective educators in Qatari schools. This paper was made possible by NPRP grant # (NPRP7-1224-5-178) from the Qatar national research fund (a member of Qatar foundation) to Abdullah M. Abu-Tineh. The statements made herein are solely the responsibility of the author.

Keywords: Professional Standards, licensure system, professional portfolio, educator voice

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4 Situated Professional Development: Examining Strengths, Challenges, and Ways Forward

Authors: Youmen Chaaban

Abstract:

The study examined the influence of a situated professional development program (PD) aimed at enhancing English language teachers’ knowledge and skills and improving their instructional practices. The PD model under examination was developed upon sound theoretical underpinnings, taking into consideration research-based principles of effective PD. However, the implementation of the PD model within several school contexts required further investigation from the perspectives of the teachers, who were receiving the PD activities, and the instructional coaches, who were providing them. The paper, thus, presents the results of a qualitative study examining the perceptions of seventeen English language teachers and nineteen instructional coaches about the strengths of the PD program, the challenges they faced in the implementation of the program, and their suggestions for the improvement of the program’s implementation and outcomes. Comparisons were further made between the two groups of participants to uncover agreements and contradictions in their perceptions. Data were collected from the teachers through in-depth interviews and observations, while the data collected from the instructional coaches were open-ended surveys followed by focus group interviews. The findings of the study confirm the necessity of structuring PD activities around sound theoretical underpinnings. However, practical considerations specific to the contexts where the PD activities take place should be considered when evaluating the PD’s effectiveness. Finally, the study provides several recommendations for maximizing the influence of the PD program on teachers’ practices and beliefs.

Keywords: teacher beliefs, English language teachers, situated professional development, teacher practices

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3 Instructional Coaches' Perceptions of Professional Development: An Exploration of the School-Based Support Program

Authors: Youmen Chaaban, Abdallah Abu-Tineh

Abstract:

This article examines the development of a professional development (PD) model for educator growth and learning that is embedded into the school context. The School based Support Program (SBSP), designed for the Qatari context, targets the practices, knowledge, and skills of both school leadership and teachers in an attempt to improve students’ learning outcomes. Key aspects of the model include the development of learning communities among teachers, strong leadership that supports school improvement activities, and the use of research-based PD to improve teacher practices and student achievement. This paper further presents the results of a qualitative study examining the perceptions of nineteen instructional coaches about the strengths of the PD program, the challenges they face in their day-to-day implementation of the program, and their suggestions for the betterment of the program’s implementation and outcomes. Data were collected from the instructional coaches through open-ended surveys followed by focus group interviews. The instructional coaches reported several strengths, which were compatible with the literature on effective PD. However, the challenges they faced were deeply rooted within the structure of the program, in addition to external factors operating at the school and Ministry of Education levels. Thus, a general consensus on the way the program should ultimately develop was reached.

Keywords: school reform, situated professional development, instructional coach, school based support program

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2 Factors Impacting Technology Integration in EFL Classrooms: A Study of Qatari Independent Schools

Authors: Youmen Chaaban, Maha Ellili-Cherif

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of teachers’ individual characteristics and perceptions of environmental factors that impact their technology integration into their EFL (English as a Foreign Language) classrooms. To this end, a national survey examining EFL teachers’ perceptions was conducted at Qatari Independent schools. 263 EFL teachers responded to the survey which investigated several factors known to impact technology integration. These factors included technology availability and support, EFL teachers’ perceptions of importance, obstacles facing technology integration, competency with technology use, and formal technology preparation. The impact of these factors on teachers’ and students’ educational technology use was further measured. The analysis of the data included descriptive statistics and a chi-square analysis test in order to examine the relationship between these factors. The results revealed important cultural factors that impact teachers’ practices and attitudes towards technology in the Qatari context. EFL teachers were found to integrate technology most prominently for instructional delivery and preparation. The use of technology as a learning tool received less emphasis. Teachers further revealed consistent perceptions about obstacles to integration, high levels of confidence in using technology, and consistent beliefs about the importance of using technology as a learning tool. Further analyses of the factors impacting technology integration can assist with Qatar’s technology advancement and development efforts by indicating the areas of strength and areas where additional efforts are needed. The results will lay the foundation for conducting context-specific professional development suitable for the needs of EFL teachers in Qatari Independent Schools.

Keywords: ICT, Independent Schools, Qatar, EFL, educational technology integration

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1 The School Based Support Program: An Evaluation of a Comprehensive School Reform Initiative in the State of Qatar

Authors: Abdullah Abu-Tineh, Youmen Chaaban

Abstract:

This study examines the development of a professional development (PD) model for teacher growth and learning that is embedded into the school context. The School based Support Program (SBSP), designed for the Qatari context, targets the practices, knowledge and skills of both school leadership and teachers in an attempt to improve student learning outcomes. Key aspects of the model include the development of learning communities among teachers, strong leadership that supports school improvement activities, and the use of research-based PD to improve teacher practices and student achievement. This paper further presents findings from an evaluation of this PD program. Based on an adaptation of Guskey’s evaluation of PD models, 100 teachers at the participating schools were selected for classroom observations and 40 took part in in-depth interviews to examine changed classroom practices. The impact of the PD program on student learning was also examined. Teachers’ practices and their students’ achievement in English, Arabic, mathematics and science were measured at the beginning and at the end of the intervention.

Keywords: Professional Development, initiative, school based support Program (SBSP), school reform

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