The UAE’s education specialists will showcase their research work in the nation’s first collaborative forum at the Higher Colleges of Technology Sharjah on February 9.
The National Education Research Forum (NERF) will give UAE teacher education researchers in all the major tertiary institutions, as well as from the Ministry of Education and schools, the opportunity to share their current or recently completed research activities in a collaborative and collegial environment.
NERF is facilitated by the Sharjah Higher Colleges Centre of Excellence in Education, in collaboration with the UNESCO Chair in Applied Research in Education and HCT’s Education Division. It is aimed at teacher education faculty members, educational researchers and practitioners and postgraduate students from both UAE and regional institutions.
The Centre of Excellence in Education’s Associate Dean Tony Revill said NERF will be the first collaborative forum of its kind in the UAE, with the UNESCO Chair in Applied Research in Education.
“NERF will provide a platform for both federal and private university education specialists and academics to share their current education-based research with fellow researchers and students, undergoing teacher training throughout the UAE,” Mr. Revill said.
Recently appointed UNESCO Chair in Applied Research in Education in the UAE, Dr. Christina Gitsaki said the forum would reinforce education’s crucial role in the nation’s future and its integration into the global economy.
“I hope participants will take this opportunity to reflect on current teaching practices, teacher education programs and educational policies in the UAE, learn about new research currently underway in educational institutions across the country and exchange ideas and visions about the future of education in this nation,” Dr. Gitsaki said.
Mr. Revill said the HCT’s Centre of Excellence in Education, based at Sharjah Women’s College, would be a hub bringing together stakeholders in the country’s education future, including Emirati teachers and government representatives.
“We plan expanding to a regional, then international, platform of education research in the future and with education a current hot topic of debate among teaching experts and leaders, the forum would be beneficial for national industry standards,” he said.
“The UAE is currently undergoing a minor revolution in its education policy, standards and quality assurance, which has attracted a lot of expertise and interest and we hope to channel that in this current forum.”
The one-day forum, which starts at 10am, will see a diverse range of issues discussed including teacher education, current education policy and pedagogy.
The forum’s format will be for each presenter to introduce and outline their research activities in 15-minute time slots, followed by a short Q&A session. All proposals for the forum will be refereed and included in the program booklet and presentation summaries and/or full papers will be refereed and included in the forum proceedings.