Education Ambassadors participate in different training programs

  • Sunday 18, August 2019 01:09 PM
  • Education Ambassadors participate in different training programs
Sharjah 24: The Ministry of Education delegated 112 academic and administrative cadres in groups to the world’s leading international destinations in the field of education development for two weeks during the summer vacation, as part of the Education Ambassadors programs conducted under the framework of the Ambassadors Initiative that was launched in 2016. The Education Ambassadors programs were implemented in Microsoft HQs in the USA, Toronto University in Canada, New York University (NYU) in the USA, and the National University of Singapore in Singapore.
The Education Ambassadors Program aimed at strengthening the participants’ educational endeavors, enhancing their educational and administrative capabilities, and developing their skills to enable them to be creative educational innovators through participating in specialized training programs abroad in leading countries in the field of education, exploring the best innovative modern teaching methods, approaches and the best educational practices worldwide and being involved in training lectures, workshops and sight visits to the most prominent universities, research centers and expert institutions within the destination countries. As a result, this will enable them to apply the acquired knowledge within their schools, transfer it to their students, embed it in their teaching methods and will also enable them to create and develop innovative and pioneering educational projects and strategies through exploring the latest global best practices in traditional and digital learning and innovating smart solutions for educational challenges, inclusive educational systems and teaching methods for people with special needs (People of Determination).

Commenting on the Education Ambassadors Program, H. E. Dr. Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary of the Activities Sector at the Ministry of Education, said, “The Ministry recognizes the important role of the academics and administrative personnel as pillars in the educational process and development plan. The Education Ambassadors Program came to enshrine the Ministry’s vision and firm belief in their vital role within the educational system as they transfer science and knowledge to students. Therefore, the Ministry is always keen to develop these cadres’ capabilities to keep pace with the best modern international educational techniques and methods."

“We have witnessed the positive impact of the previous Education Ambassadors Program’s editions and their positive reflection on the new approaches that teachers have been following in teaching. We have seen the results and its impact on our students, thus validating the huge benefits reaped by participants throughout the Program. We, at the Ministry, are very keen to invest in our human resources, providing them with all the components of success and leadership, to be able to continue the Country’s development process in various sectors and fields. This shall preserve our gains and our noble cultural and human mission that we draw from the thought of our wise leadership.", she added.

30 Education Ambassadors participated in training workshops organized by Microsoft Company at its headquarters in Washington, USA. Microsoft is the largest software manufacturer in the world. It is founded on the principle that providing technology to individuals gives them the opportunity to be creative and innovative. The company’s role in education focuses on the creation of inspiring and stimulating lifelong learning experiences, and the development of core life skills such as computer-aided thinking (one of the newest contemporary trends in developing cognitive skills), creative and innovative thinking, communication and cooperation, enhancing global citizenship, and refining human personality. The company also commits to support educational cadres’ student guidance skills and develop student learning passion. It also commits to the empowerment of students and teachers to share knowledge, foster lifelong learning and motivate technological innovation, design and creativity.

Moreover, Education Ambassadors participated in a professional development training workshop that provided them with an exceptional educational experience encompassing the tools and techniques that will enable them to develop and enhance their curricula and teaching methods. Throughout the workshop, they were trained and involved in course preparation methods, cooperative learning environment projects such as Hacking STEM, and a pilot multidisciplinary methodology for teaching education skills in the 21st Century using Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics (STEM). The workshop also enabled them to develop an educational framework for lessons preparation, apply Microsoft techniques to improve classroom curricula, use 3D drawing techniques, and implement educational technique that integrate real and virtual worlds (Mixed Education). The training workshop also focused on promoting their skills in computer science, use of Minecraft Education Edition and Microsoft Make Code, in addition to providing participants with distinguished learning experiences empowering them with the necessary skills to use modern technologies that positively reflect on the student learning experience. The program also included a sightseeing tour to Microsoft Concept Center that is a typical laboratory and an exhibition full of the newest Microsoft products and services, in addition to a visit to a local school.

New York University
20 Education Ambassadors at New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development (NYU Steinhardt) participated in a training program on Inclusive Education, meeting the individual learning needs of students and those with special needs (People of Determination). The training program consisted of lectures, training workshops, sight visits and activities, and work with specialized experts through which they learned how schools can best support children in learning stages and how to best respond to their individual learning needs. Through involvement in hands-on projects, the focus was on the impact of the teaching environment on students’ understanding of learning principles and the impact of children’s individual characteristics on their compatibility and harmony with their school environment.

During the training program, the Education Ambassadors worked on different projects with specialized experts within the program scopes and developed a clear-sighted strategic plan that will guide, inspire and drive them in making the desired change when they return to their country. In this context, participants were also introduced to evidence-based practices in integrated learning and to practical classroom support methods and strategies. They were also involved in experiences focusing on the importance and the implementation of integrated learning. The training topics included in the program shed the light on child learning and development, positive behavior support, language and social development, and education that considers learners’ individual differences. In addition, strategies for integrating different learners categories and neuro-diversity topics (a range of individual differences in brain functions and behavioral qualities), Universal Design for Learning (a teaching and learning thinking method that provides equal success opportunities for all), and the change theory were also included in the program.
NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development is specialized in education. It was established in 1890 and it is the first school for educators established at a United States university. Steinhardt was ranked first in New York City, and the sixth among all education specialized universities across the United States.

Toronto University, Canada
In Toronto, Canada, 30 Education Ambassadors participated in a training program entitled: “Early Childhood Education: Innovation and Practice”. The program aimed at providing participants with a sound knowledge on early childhood years teaching systems and helping children to have smooth transition from home to school. It also focused on childcare, pre-school and school preparation, in addition to methods enabling children to reap learning results through participation, playing, and exploring in a way that puts children on the path of lifelong learning and the development of the competencies they need in their world today and in the future.

The Education Ambassadors Program implemented in Toronto University mainly focused on determining how to create teaching environments enabling children to feel comfortable in applying their own unique way of thinking and learning. Participants were able to take stalk of evidence-based practices enabling self-regulation, achieving life welfare, enhancing emotional and social intelligence, and enshrining the 21st century innovation and communication skills in addition to the art of problem solving. The program also enabled participants to know how to support continuous engagement and dialogue with families when it comes to learning and developing their children skills, and how creative thinking and passionate teaching drive an attractive learning environment for students and teachers alike. The Toronto University training program tackled four main topics, namely evidence-based practices and learning, experience-based learning, applied learning, and cultural experiences.

The Toronto University sightseeing visit encompassed a rich cultural experience for Education Ambassadors, creating opportunities for them to explore cultural diversity in Toronto area. The visit included tours to several cultural monuments in several Canadian seasonal events, which came in coincidence with the visit itself.

Toronto University ranks 21st among worldwide universities according to the Times Higher Education Ranking 2019. It is one of the best and the most prestigious universities in the world and was established in 1827. It is noteworthy that four Canadian Prime Ministers graduated from Toronto University, in addition to a high number of Nobel Prize winners. Furthermore, the university annually publishes the highest number of research studies among all universities in North America, a quality that is only common with US Harvard University, the top ranked higher education institution worldwide.

National University of Singapore
30 Education Ambassadors participated in the training program of the National University of Singapore, exploring the newest innovative educational practices, tools and methods necessary to maintain the highest level of sustainable professionalism. The main topic of this integrated training program was “designing curricula”, that mainly focused on learning, standard-based learning, teaching strategies, evaluation, learning environments (emotional and physical), and curricula-related philosophy and purpose. The training program included field visits to several prominent educational schools and institutes, in addition to visits to local associations in Singapore.

It is noteworthy that the National University of Singapore is ranked 1st amongst universities in Asia and is ranked 23rd worldwide according to the Times Higher Education Ranking 2019.