Schools of Education are emerging academic units in higher educational institutions in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations. Most of these teacher training programs are in their infancy stages. Modern day educational discourse across teacher training programs globally, including the Middle East and in the GCC, have predominantly focused on student-centered approaches to teaching and learning. This approach to teacher training is infused with critical scholarship and marks a shift away from positivist approaches to educational scholarship. Integrating critical scholarship in GCC teacher training programs brings about a number of challenges, as this approach to education is a departure from traditional cultural and social norms for schooling in the region. This multidisciplinary volume highlights some of the challenges and complexities that inevitably arise from this paradox. Professors, researchers, and specialists working in the GCC have contributed to this volume with the intent of empowering educators with authentic and contextualized research and insights to advance collective understanding of the complexities and challenges of teacher education and training in the GCC. Ultimately, this work will serve as a practical tool and resource that can be employed by schools of education to provide authentic insights, strategies, and research to further develop teacher training in the GCC and globally.
Naved Bakali is assistant professor of Education at the American University in Dubai.
Nadeem A. Memon is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Islamic Thought and Education (CITE) in Education Futures at the University of South Australia (UniSA).
Introduction: GCC Teacher Education: Mapping Challenges and Complexities by Naved Bakali and Nadeem A. Memon
Part I: Cultural Barriers in Teacher Education
Chapter 1: The Challenges and Complexities of Religious Education in the UAE by Naved Bakali and Mariam Alhashmi
Chapter 2: Developing a Reflexive Teaching Identity in a Cross-Cultural Teaching Context: The Experience of Islamic Studies Teachers in an International School in Qatar by Mohammed Adly Gamal
Chapter 3: Shifting Paradigms in Arabic Pedagogy and Policy in the UAE: Opportunities and Challenges for Teacher Education by Jessica Tsimprea Maluch and Hanada Taha Thomure
Part II: Pedagogical Approaches and Praxis in Teacher Education
Chapter 4: Teachers’ Preparedness for Inclusive Education in Oman: Exploring the Role of Teachers’ Agency for Inclusive Practices and Professional Skills by Mahmoud Mohamed Emam and Ali Hussain Al-Bulushi
Chapter 5: Special Education and Teacher Training in Abu Dhabi: Reality and Prospects by Ahmed Hassan Hemdan, Maria Efstratopoulou, and Ashraf Moustafa
Chapter 6: The Triple Helix of Teacher Quality after the Pandemic: A Case-Study from Bahrain by Lucy Bailey
Chapter 7: The Intangibles of Teacher Education in the UAE by Nadera Alborno
Part III: Ways Forward in Teacher Education and Development
Chapter 8: Reshaping Teacher Education in the Gulf Region by Catherine Hill
Chapter 9: Critical Consciousness in TVET Teacher Professional Development: A Framework for Socio-Political Agency in the Arabian Gulf by Samah Abdulhafid Gamar
Chapter 10: Removing Cultural Barriers and Advancing an Asset-Based Pedagogy in Higher Education by Fatima Hasan Bailey, Jenny Eppard, and Herveen Singh
Chapter 11: Stimulating High Intellectual Challenge through Culturally Responsive Pedagogy: United Arab Emirates (UAE) Educator Perspectives by Nadeem A. Memon, Deborah Price, Deborah Green, and Dylan Chown
The chapters in this volume provide intricate detail on the developing contexts and reforms of teacher education in the GCC. The field is moving fast; these chapters are useful in mapping out the landscape, the trends, and the developments. The GCC is undergoing many changes, and education is inherently a part of the national goals to all GCC countries. Examining reform through teacher education is important to understanding the wider contexts of educational development in the region. This volume is important for this endeavor.