The Dean of the Faculty of Education, Dr. Kirk Anderson and Assistant Professor, Dr. Chris Mattatall traveled to Muscat, Oman from August 13-20 to provide professional development to teachers at the Alruwad International School.
Drs. Anderson and Mattatall provided two days of workshops on the topics of school leadership, differentiating instruction, teaching mathematics, reading, and writing to English Second Language (ESL) students.
Alruwad International School (AIS) is a K-5 school which opened in 2012 and offers a Canadian curriculum. The school promotes itself as an English immersion and international school while keeping Oman's Islamic values and morals. There are currently 620 students in the school. Most of the students speak very little English, if any, upon entering kindergarten at AIS. Children enter school speaking Arabic. The construction of the new junior high school, male and female high schools, and teacher residences is currently underway.
The school has received full certification by the Alberta provincial government to use Alberta Curriculum in its classrooms. Most of the teachers at the school are Canadian, and one is even from Newfoundland and Labrador, having graduated from the Faculty of Education at Memorial. This is further proof of how valued education alumni are all over the world.
During this visit, Dr. Anderson worked closely with the school's CEO and principal on matters related to school administration and leadership. Several members of the Oman Ministry of Education attended the two day workshop and the workshop materials were provided to them for future use. Dr. Anderson also met with faculty members of the Sultan Qaboos University to discuss possible collaboration in the future.
This visit has created exciting new opportunities for both Memorial and AIS. The Faculty of Education has established a year-long online collaborative working group with the teachers of AIS. A website has been established and teachers work together online around several topics of interest. Materials and resources, as well as encouragement and advice, are provided to the teachers on an on-going basis. There is a possibility that this working group could become a master of education cohort for the Faculty of Education in the future. Eventually, this relationship could also provide an opportunity for education students to complete their teaching internships in Oman.
For additional information on AIS, please visit http://www.ais.edu.om/.