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GLOBE Training in Qatar Takes Innovative Approach to Integrated Learning

"Scientific research is a catalyst for future scientists in Qatar," writes Imran Asif, Science Specialist for the Curriculum Standards Office at the Supreme Education Council (SEC) of Qatar, in support of the GLOBE Program in Qatar. "We believe real education comes from scientific research and all the skills related to it and all the subjects related to it as well. Programs like GLOBE create ownership and instill motivation and enthusiasm into young budding scientists. GLOBE science creates awareness and understanding of global issues in a scientific context." Mr. Ibrahim Al Mannai, Director of Curriculum Standards Office for the Education Institute states, "We need more teachers trained in GLOBE."

Shabnam Abid and Samina Sediq testing water pH

It is with this in mind that Qatar hosted an international training conference in Doha, from 2 March - 29 April 2009. The initiative was a cooperative effort between the Supreme Education Council (SEC) and Mosaica Education Doha, who contracts with the SEC to train math and science teachers. The Qatar Ministry of Education introduced GLOBE by hosting international GLOBE training in September 2000. At that time, Dr. Nawal Al-Sheikh, Director of the SEC's Office of Communications and GLOBE Country Coordinator began introducing GLOBE into the Independent Schools and offered them guidance, training and support. Since then, over 40 Qatari schools have participated in the GLOBE Program and more than 100 teachers in Qatar have received GLOBE training.

Seddiqa Ghuloom, Zakeya Ali Zada, Paulla VanOeveren and Dr. Intisar Alsadi at GLOBE Training in Qatar

Dr. Nawal Al-Sheikh, along with Omar Hamad Al Najjer, Special Projects Officer for the SEC, laid the groundwork for this year's event by bringing in international GLOBE trainers. Training was provided by Mrs. Seddiqa Abba Ghuloom, Deputy Country Coordinator, Ministry of Education, Kingdom of Bahrain and Mrs. Zakeya Ahmed Ali Zada, Ministry of Culture and Information, Kingdom of Bahrain, who is also GLOBE International Advisory Committee (GIAC) Regional Representative for North Africa and the Middle East. These regional GLOBE representatives, along with Dr. Nawal Al-Sheikh, brought the program to life.

Seddiq Guloom on the beach with students of Al Wakra Secondary Boys Independent School

Further development of the training workshop became a team effort, involving the assistance of several other committed scientists and educators: Dr. Intisar Alsadi, of the SEC Curriculum Standards Office, Fatima Al Rashid, SEC's Project Leader for Basic and Advanced Curriculum Standards Training, and Paulla Melin-VanOeveren, Advanced Curriculum Standards Science Project Trainer for Mosaica Education. Susan Dudas helped oversee the training as Mosaica's Math and Science Project Manager. Abdelqader Mohammed, Chemistry Teacher from Al Wakra Secondary Boys Independent School and newly trained GLOBE teacher, volunteered his class to investigate hydrology at the Arabic Sea with Mrs. Zakeya Ahmed Ali Zada and Mrs. Seddiqa Abba Ghuloom.

Sixty-six teachers from 33 schools participated in two GLOBE Trainings: Education Institute's Advanced Curriculum Standards Training and the Qatar Math and Science Teachers Association (QMASTA) Conference at the College of the North Atlantic on 9 May 2009. They offered training in hydrology, climate, surface ozone, soil, and phenology.

Abdelqader Mohammad, Master Trainer, with the boys from his class

Having completed the training, participating teachers received the distinction of being designated certified GLOBE Teachers. If newly certified GLOBE teachers would like their schools to be recognized GLOBE Schools they should request their school principal to write to Dr. Nawal Al-Sheikh, Director, Office of Communications and Omar Hamad Al Najjer, Special Projects Officer at the Office of Communications, Supreme Education Council, and, or by post to P.O. Box 35111, Doha, Qatar.

The GLOBE Program follows Qatar's National Science Curriculum Standards and has easily integrated math, technology, social studies, Arabic and English language into classroom lessons and student research. The Supreme Education Council is ensuring that workshops relate the opportunities for integration across the curriculum through Advanced Curriculum Standards Training. This instructional approach provides students with a more integrated view of the many subjects they study. It supports curricula interconnection in the classroom and will allow for interdisciplinary projects that incorporate many subject areas while providing direction in scientific research methodologies and analysis of data sets, bringing critical thinking and joy in learning to many Qatari classrooms.

24 June 2009

Trainers and student participants from Al Wakra Secondary Boys Independent School