The United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) is celebrating tomorrow Emirati Children’s Day, recognised on 15th March each year, to raise public awareness of children's rights and welfare to maximise child well-being by promoting a healthy, safe, and supportive environment.
The College of Education (CEDU) at the university leads the field in childhood research. The faculty at CEDU is committed to conducting research in key areas linked to improving educational outcomes for the children. Within the college, there are many high-profile collaborations with world-leading universities to investigate important areas of childhood and education, which can be used to inform policy and positively impact the educational experience for young children. Two of these high-profile collaborations are described below.
Dr Rachel Takriti, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education and Chair of the Curriculum and Instruction Department, leads one of these projects. The "SciKids" Project is a collaboration with Oxford University, aiming to train KG teachers to teach science in a new and innovative way focused on how science works in the real world. This is known as "Nature of Science" (NoS). Including NoS in science education is a crucial component for developing students’ scientific literacy, helping them understand science in such a way as to facilitate informed decision making in their everyday lives.
The KG children of today will be the adults of tomorrow. They must have the understanding to be able to make informed decisions and valid judgments and the capability to defend and justify those. The SciKids project aims to assess the nature of science teaching in early years education in the UAE, design, implement and provide targeted instruction and workshops for teachers to increase their understanding of NoS and provide strategies for them to use in the classroom.
Dr. Rhoda Myra Garces-Bacsal, the Assistant Dean for Research and Graduate Studies and Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education, is leading a project with University College London (UCL) entitled "Educating Young People of Determination in Mainstream Schools: An Examination of Inclusive, High-Leverage, and Culturally Responsive Practices in the UAE".
This is the first baseline/benchmarking, multi-method study of its kind to examine in-service teachers’ and school leaders’ comprehensive understanding of inclusion within their mainstream school context, and challenges encountered in policy implementation across public and private school settings in Cycles 1 to 3 throughout the seven Emirates. In this project, researchers use the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) Reflection Framework as developed in the United Kingdom for inclusive schools and examine whether High-Leverage Practices (HLPs) and culturally responsive practices are being used in the UAE’s schools.
News Source: Emirates News Agency