We are proud to have delivered the first Ankawa Education Conference at the Catholic University in Erbil (CUE) with the participants of our summer Training Programme.
Our Director, Elliot Grainger opened the conference, and Sally Boya gave a lovely speech thanking everyone and assuring them of the school’s support for their research and what they would like to experiment with as a result.
Each teacher has been asked to research and present on a topic of their choosing. We wanted to encourage them to take control of their own learning as part of developing themselves as teachers, and to share their learning with the whole Common Room.
The results of our teachers’ research suggests that we will improve the school by: developing a growth mindset; being soldiers of knowledge; developing a reading culture; eucharistic adoration; developing a reading culture; giving the staff bonuses; understanding the teenage brain; developing a reading culture; using the Smartboards which don’t work; using transactional scenarios; focusing on strategic and deep learning; understanding working memory better; developing a reading culture; exploring behaviourism; embracing curriculum change; and treating children like mathematical functions.
Reading culture is a theme of the day.
Whilst not all of it is directly applicable or pertinent, the main learning points are clear; everyone delivers audibly, slowly and with a (mostly) clear structure. Most teachers cite their sources and explain how they would implement their ideas in MQS. Everyone listens respectfully.
Some highlights include Albron discussing the different types of motivation; he completed his dissertation on how this works in education for his degree and is obviously passionate about the subject. It is his idea to motivate teachers by giving them bonuses, although he does acknowledge that most of the motivation in teaching comes from intrinsic worth. Sama’s introduction to Growth Mindset is excellent and sets the bar high at the start; she wants to encourage everyone to learn a new skill every month. We quite agree. Noora and Manar complement each other by giving talks on Surface vs Deep Learning. I am obviously thrilled that developing a reading culture is one of the key aims for next year.
I am so proud of the teachers and all they have achieved. Not just in their research, but in their presentations, and in acting together as a single common room to learn and explore how to improve as teachers and to improve their school. Moreover I hope this is the start of something bigger both for MQS, CUE and the Foundation.
Our thanks must also go to CUE and its Chancellor Dr Sabah for the warm and generous hospitality.
See you in 2020 for the next one!