About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 583-591
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR TEACHERS IN THE 21ST CENTURY PROJECT, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

S. Anderson, H. Elannani

Zayed University (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
The main objective of the study is to ensure that professional development for teachers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is culturally and content effective. Secondary objectives are to analyze what it takes to create trained presenters to deliver professional development and to examine the ways in which teachers are prepared to receive the professional development. Nine themes were developed which when implemented properly ensure effective professional development.

The authors participated in the teacher training phase of the project and provided workshops to hundreds of teachers throughout the northern Emirates. To tell our story, we utilized MoE and ASCD-ME documents, newspaper accounts, observation notes, and transcriptions of tape-recordings during and after our time in the project. This is a qualitative study using participant observation based on our participation in professional development in the Northern Emirates of the United Arab Emirates in the UAE. After each day or several days we tape recorded our impressions and observations. Later we transcribed the tapes and coded the information into 9 manageable themes, From this we interpreted the themes and uncovered our major findings. For each theme we discuss problems and other issues based on our personal experience and then reveal solutions that will aid anyone doing professional development in the future in the UAE, taking into particular account issues of culture.
After recording what took place each day in the PD sessions, we transcribed the tapes and coded the information into nine themes. We interpreted the themes and came away with data for each theme. Once we knew what the problems were for each theme, the solutions became more evident. For the sake of brevity we will present the use of translators as one theme. The rest of the themes will uncovered later. The translators in the study were also supervisors of English teachers in government schools. Most of the trainers had little understanding of UAE culture or its educational system because they came directly from America with no cultural training. For example one trainer wore a Christian cross all day which prompted harsh criticism from teachers and the local media. Another trainer went back home after four days. A third trainer ignored teachers’ criticism and refused the help of colleagues.
In terms of translation, often the translator would take off on his/her own and say more than what the trainer wanted to say, requiring the trainer to stop the presentation and request the translator to avoid elaboration. Another problem was the translators’ lack of understanding of educational terms, which often resulted in the use of inaccurate Arabic translations. In fact, often times the teachers would ask the trainers for the English Power Point version of the presentation saying that it was easier to understand than the Arabic one.
What are the solutions? We recommend a cultural orientation for each trainer that includes religion, dress, social customs and how differences in gender are treated in the Arabic culture.
Since the translator plays an important role in the process we recommend that the trainer and the translator spend time together planning how they will organize and deliver each training session.
@InProceedings{ANDERSON2010PRO,
author = {Anderson, S. and Elannani, H.},
title = {PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR TEACHERS IN THE 21ST CENTURY PROJECT, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS},
series = {3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-2439-9},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {15-17 November, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {583-591}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Anderson AU - H. Elannani
TI - PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR TEACHERS IN THE 21ST CENTURY PROJECT, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
SN - 978-84-614-2439-9/2340-1095
PY - 2010
Y1 - 15-17 November, 2010
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2010 Proceedings
SP - 583
EP - 591
ER -
S. Anderson, H. Elannani (2010) PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR TEACHERS IN THE 21ST CENTURY PROJECT, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS, ICERI2010 Proceedings, pp. 583-591.
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