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DUTCH EXPOSURE FOR EMIRATI TEACHERS – INNOVATION IN TEACHING & LEARNING

This post is also available in: Arabic

As part of our mission to enable individuals to lead a fulfilling life and contribute to their communities, ASK has implemented a unique professional development program commissioned and sponsored by GEMS Education. 11_2The capacity building program included a Dutch Exposure trip for the 19 distinguish Emirati teachers to visit the Netherlands and get exposed to the best practices of innovation in the Dutch basic education. The focus is on
building a unique learning community around innovative education as the teachers connect with forward-thinking leaders from schools, government and NGOs.

With the launch of the Emirates Innovative Teacher Award, by GEMS Education and UAE Ministry of Education, 19 exceptional Emirati teachers were selected as the best innovators in their classrooms and chosen to enjoy this unique opportunity to be engaged in an intensive and robust 1-week Professional Development Program outside the UAE.

The 19 exceptional Emirati teachers have commenced their journey of discovery and transformation with visits to some of the most innovative and technologically advanced learning institutes, schools and universities, in the Netherlands, including: DELFT UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, INHOLLAND UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES, STEVE JOBSSCHOOL, MONTESSORISCHOOL LEIDSCHENVEEN, among many
others. The purpose of the Innovation in Teaching & Learning Study Trip was to identify best practices, educational policies and large-scale programs in the Netherlands that contribute to that country’s high OECD ranking in outcomes for children, and consider their applicability to the UAE. Our many dialogues during the Dutch Exposure canvassed the relative importance of educational policies and programs, and their contribution to
child wellbeing.

One of the first questions asked by the Emirate educators “why are we in the Netherlands?”

Despite the limited geographic area with high population density, the Netherlands succeeded in establishing one of the world’s most advanced economies, (the 16th largest economy globally and the 6th largest economy in Europe), as well as being ranked the 4th as the world’s most innovative nation, according to the Global Innovation Index 2015 “This is mainly due to the innovative educational context, where students are prepared to participate and contribute to the society of the future” according to Dr.Amin Amin President and CEO of ASK Arabia.

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“The Dutch have been ranked among the top of the world’s successful education systems according to global ranking standards. Dutch children have been rated the most fortunate children in Europe and the happiest globally. There are many similarities between the Netherlands and UAE, therefore being exposed to the success and challenges in the Dutch education system could provide educators in the UAE with valuable means to support their genuine efforts in achieving a highly effective and innovative education system” continued Dr. Amin.

DELFT UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY:
Delft University of Technology, also known as TU Delft, is the largest and oldest Dutch public technological university, located in Delft, Netherlands.
With eight faculties and numerous research institutes, it hosts over 19,000 students, and more than 3,300 scientists. TU Delft is considered to be among the world’s most prestigious and innovative universities of Engineering and technology, in general, and in Europe in particular, currently being positioned on 6th place, immediately after the top Engineering Universities of UK (Cambridge University, Oxford University, Imperial College London) and of Switzerland (ETHZ and EPFL) according to both Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings. This ensures a place on the podium of European Engineering Universities (3rd place) for Continental Europe.

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TU DELFT library
– The Library, constructed in 1997. The roof of the library is covered with grass, which serves as a natural insulation. The structure lifts from the ground on one side allowing to walk to the top of the building. The library is topped by the steel cone, giving its unique shape. All the walls are completely filled with glass. The library won the Dutch National Steel Prize in 1998 in the buildings of steel and hybrid constructions category. 

 

 

 

STEVE JOBSSCHOOL:
One of the most significant fast growing Dutch innovative school models, rejects the conventional wisdom in full; 11_5instead of corralling kids through the same educational system, they go at their own pace allowing each kid to excel and grow as a valuable individual where learning is a 24/7 journey and not only during school hours. All students receive iPads fully loaded with all the needed educational apps to guide individualized learning. The school and teachers have many IT tools available to follow the students’ learning progress and to suggest the needed interventions. The use of ICT is just one of the visible elements of a totally shifted approach to the ‘old’ school model. The goal is to get kids designing their own education, which is realized by an Individual Development Plan, where the student, parents and teachers agree on the development points for the coming six weeks, and reflect on the learning process in the past six weeks. The school’s methodology is built on trusting the students, and not in pushing them to learn.
The students get space in developing themselves. It’s an uniquely successful school model, with over 35 schools joined the school group both in the Netherlands and in Spain, South Africa and its spreading over the world.

ASK has extensive experience in delivering study trips to the Netherlands, involving over 250 expert teachers and educational specialists from the Arab region.
We have managed to expose the participants to excellent practices at innovative schools, universities and organizations. The study trips were part of an intensive capacity building program with a strong professional development component, with clear objectives and learning outcomes. In all cases, the study trips made huge impact on the participants and their educational practice on the long run.

ASK has several Dutch partners and a network of 50+ innovative schools and organizations, which are some of the most innovative educational entities in the Netherlands, as well as a large number of educational experts.

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