Themed ‘Education for the Future of Qatar’, the fourth public Research Outcome Seminar (ROS) focused on the discipline of Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities Research and saw a selection of QNRF-funded researchers share the results and benefits of their completed projects in the field of education. Held at Education City’s Hamad Bin Khalifa University Student Center, the event was led by Dr. Michael Reksulak, Director of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities at QNRF and attracted a large audience keen to update themselves with the latest thinking in the field.
“Research in the field of education is very important for any country’s future but, here in Qatar, it will allow us to find ways in which to ultimately strengthen the research culture within the local community,” said Dr. Reksulak, adding that “this will essentially feed back into the education system, contributing to Qatar’s transition to a knowledge-based economy.”
QNRF’S opening presentation, “An Overview of Funded Projects on Education”, was given by Dr Abdellahi Hussein, Program Officer, Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, QNRF. Some interesting statistics, such as the percentage of international collaborations far exceeding that of local and region collaborations, as well as the positive trend in the number of NPRP-funded projects in the field of education were revealed.
The first of the invited speakers, Dr. Michael Romanowski, Professor of Education at Qatar University, presented his findings and analysis of Qatari educational reform. His study explored the implications of current reforms underway through the ‘Education for a New Era’ (EFNE) initiative.
By gaining insight from teachers, principals, and parents, Dr. Romanowksi had analysed how EFNE is making an impact on learning in Qatar. His research data, collected from various schools across Qatar, allowed for valuable comparisons and highlighted several issues that have led to improvements within Qatar’s school system.
Dr Ziad Said, from the School of Engineering Technology at the College of the North Atlantic - Qatar then took the stage to present his team’s research findings regarding Qatari students’ interest in science at school. Dr Zaid had identified factors that have an impact on pre-college Qatari students’ attitudes towards science, including their disposition towards pursuing it in higher education, something which, he pointed out, could ultimately lead them into science-based careers.
Dr Zaid went on to illustrate how, by drawing from a sample of grade 3 to grade 12 Qatari students and their science teachers, the findings of the project may go on to help provide methods of enhancing Qatari students’ interest in pursuing science majors at the university level.
Following that, a research team headed by Dr. Pamela Taylor, Professor of Art Education at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Dr. John Geldart, also of VCU-Qatar and Dr. ElNour Hamad, a researcher at the Doha Institute’s Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies gave a detailed demonstration of their team’s development of an electronic assessment tool. Designed to gather and analyse data in the visual arts, reading and writing, the team had looked at the academic progress of 11th grade students’ at four schools in Doha, and presented some of the research findings in the form of a film.
Finally, the event concluded with a dynamic panel discussion amongst stakeholders on the ‘Challenges for Education and Educators in Qatar’. Moderated by Dr. Romanowski, the panel was made up of Dr. Batoul Khalifa, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at Qatar University, Mr. Imran Abu Musa, Science Educational Consultant at the Supreme Education Council in Qatar and Dr. Faryal Khan, UNESCO Doha Education Program Specialist all of whom then engaged in a lively question and answer session with the audience.
“The Research Outcome Seminars provide a valuable glimpse into the work that QNRF is funding within Qatar,” concluded Dr. Abdul Sattar Al-Taie, Executive Director of QNRF. He went on to add “At QNRF, we believe it is important to showcase the important work underway locally, to relevant beneficiaries and stakeholders from government and industry, as well as the to the public, since it not only addresses the national priority needs, but will have a direct impact on helping to nurture a sustainable post-hydrocarbon society, in line with Qatar National Vision 2030.”
For more information about QNRF-funded research, please visit www.qnrf.org
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Issue 1 - May 2009
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Issue 4 - October 2010