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CONNECTING CULTURES FOR GLOBAL GOOD: The First Five Years of Qatar Foundation International, 2009-2014

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Five Years of QFI: A Look Back

five years of QFI: A look back Over the past five years, QFI has provided numerous opportunities—both

formal and informal—for young people from Qatar and the Americas to work together to excel in language, science, mathematics, the arts, and

other disciplines—as well as to learn how these disciplines relate to the

most urgent issues facing the globe in the 21st century. QFI builds strong connections among young people in Qatar and the Americas—in part

through “educational expeditions” that bring students together for a week or more of intensive collaboration. QFI also employs the latest educational technology to strengthen learning and maintain relationships begun through face-to-face interaction.

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connecting cultures for global good : qatar foundation international 2009-2014

CONTENTS

7 Arabic Learning and Culture Program

19 STE{A}M: Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics

29 Youth Engagement

25 Quality Assurance, Monitoring, and Evaluation

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Five Years of QFI: A Look Back

A member of Qatar Foundation, QFI is Not-for-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. QFI makes grants and organizes programs that facilitate collaboration across geographical, social, and cultural boundaries. This document reflects upon the achievements and challenges of each of QFI’s three program areas: • Arabic Language and Culture • “STE{A}M” (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics) • Youth Engagement QFI’s mission is to connect cultures and advance global citizenship through education. QFI endeavors to transmit to youth the critical competencies of global citizenship—the knowledge and skills needed to effectively: • explore and study the world, • delve into new cultures and learn to recognize and respect their perspectives, • communicate one’s own ideas thoughtfully and responsibly, and • become leaders and take positive action in their communities. Furthermore, QFI gives students and teachers access to innovative tools, such as open education resources (OERs) and online technologies, allowing for cross-cultural collaboration and helping them to meet 21st century challenges both globally and in their own communities. By providing such experiences, QFI is helping young people excel in the global knowledge economy and, beyond the economy, in social and political life. Specifically, QFI programs have promoted: • innovative learning and teaching practices, including hands-on and student-led experiential learning; • cross-cultural collaboration within the context of the “STE{A}M” disciplines; • the teaching of Arabic language and culture; • open access to online learning and knowledge-sharing; and • service learning and youth engagement in local and global communities. In Qatar, QFI has contributed crucial inputs to schooling over the past five years and added value in areas explicitly specified in Qatar’s national strategies (Qatar National Vision 2030, National Development Strategy, 2011-2016, and the Education and Training Sector Strategy, 2011-2016). In the Americas, our work with youth and educators in key countries, such as the United States and Brazil, has deepened understanding of the Arab world and enabled the development of school partnerships and lifelong friendships. QFI’s activities directly support Qatar Foundation’s goals for pre-university education, which include “focus on designing and operating models of excellence for pre-university education” and “addressing identified needs in K-12 education in Qatar.” (Qatar Foundation Strategy 2011-2020) Moreover, QFI’s programming supports numerous elements of the Qatar National Vision 2030 (see p. 5). Students in QFI-supported programs learn language, culture, and leadership skills that transfer to their secondary and post-secondary education, and prepare them to contribute to their community and succeed in the globalized workforce. Students gain concrete skills in language as well as critical “soft skills” such as public speaking, creativity, leadership, and passion for community service.

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connecting cultures for global good : qatar foundation international 2009-2014

Outcomes of the Qatar National Vision 2030 Supported by QFI Human Development

Social Development

Economic Development

Environmental Development

• A world-class educational system that equips citizens to achieve their aspirations and to meet the needs of Qatar’s society …

• Develop a spirit of tolerance, constructive dialogue, and openness towards others at the national and international levels

• A knowledgebased economy characterized by innovation; entrepreneurship; excellence in education; a worldclass infrastructural backbone ….

• An environmentally aware population that values the preservation of the natural heritage of Qatar and its neighboring states

• A national network of formal and nonformal educational programs that equip Qatari children and youth with the skills and motivation to contribute to society…

• Intensification of cultural exchange ... with other nations • Sponsorship and support of dialogue among civilizations, promoting coexistence between different religions and cultures

• Public awareness about environmental protection, the use of environmentally sound technologies • Awareness raising campaigns, environmental planning tools, and environmental research.

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Arabic Language and Culture Program

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connecting cultures for global good : qatar foundation international 2009-2014

Arabic Language and Culture Program QFI’s Arabic Language and Culture (ALC) program provides opportunities for young people in the Americas to learn Arabic, develop an understanding of Arab culture and history, work with their Qatari counterparts, and get to know Qatar. QFI is playing a vital role in strengthening the growing profession of school-level teaching of Arabic language and culture in the U.S., Brazil, and Canada, offering valuable training and mentoring to teachers, as well as venues for collaboration and the sharing of instructional materials.

CONTENTS

9

ALC Goal & Objectives

10 11

School Grants

Extracurricular Arabic Study

12 Supporting Excellence in the Classroom

13

Outreach

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Learning Outcomes

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 rabic Learning and Culture A in Numbers

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Arabic Language and Culture Program

Responding to the need for deeper, more positive

QFI’s ALC has established Qatar’s position as the first and only country to promote Arabic language and culture in a consistent, systematic way on the international stage.

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Arabic Programs

2,149

public school students in QFIsponsored Arabic programs

59

fellowships for Arabic teachers

engagement between people living inside and outside the Arab world, QFI launched the ALC in 2009 as our flagship program. In the US, the number of Arabic programs in public and public charter schools has increased by 33% since 2009, reflecting the growing interest in the Arab world and the demand for Arabic language programs at the K-12 level.1 QFI is the only foundation with a systematic approach and commitment to significantly expanding the study of Arabic language and culture in public schools in the Americas. In addition to providing grants to schools to implement Arabic language classes, we are playing a unique and important role in strengthening and solidifying the teaching profession in the Americas by providing training and access to professional meetings, supporting advances in curriculum and instruction, and providing new venues for collaboration in person and online. QFI’s ALC has established Qatar’s position as the first and only country to promote Arabic language and culture in a consistent, systematic way on the international stage. By supporting the study of Arabic language and culture in key countries, such as the U.S., Brazil, Argentina, and Canada, and bringing youth from those countries and Qatar into collaborative learning, QFI is building strong, long-lasting bridges of understanding and friendship. QFI’s impact on the study of Arabic in schools in the Americas has been momentous. To date, the ALC program has: • Launched or expanded 26 Arabic programs in the US, Brazil, and Canada • Provided additional support to schools in Rio de Janeiro, Vancouver, B.C., the District of Columbia, and 29 U.S. states • Enrolled more than 2,149 public school students in QFI-sponsored Arabic programs • Supported an additional 5,000 public school students through teacher and school grants • Provided 250 teachers of Arabic with professional development through workshops and conferences • Awarded 59 fellowships for Arabic teachers for studies leading towards certification to teach in U.S. public schools • Brought together more than 100 American and Qatari students in intercultural exchanges focused on language and identity • Enabled more than 250 students to attend intensive summer Arabic programs • Enabled another 100 students to enroll in the Arabic Without Walls online course • Initiated an online teacher portal for Arabic teachers in the U.S., Brazil, and Qatar to share resources and lesson plans • As a direct result of our program in Hawaii, the Department of Education has begun to award high school credit for Arabic

1 A  2009 study by the National Capital Language Resource Center identified 63 public or public charter schools in the United States that offered Arabic. A 2013 survey by Qatar Foundation International identified 84 such schools—an increase of 33%.

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connecting cultures for global good : qatar foundation international 2009-2014

ALC Goal & Objectives The ALC program aims to build bridges across cultures by increasing the number of young people in the US and other countries with good knowledge and understanding of Arabic and Arab culture. We do this by: • Increasing the number and quality of Arabic programs in public schools in urban and rural districts in the Americas • Supporting teachers of Arabic as a foreign language by increasing the supply of highly-qualified teachers, raising the visibility of a growing profession, and expanding and solidifying the network of teachers • Supporting the creation of age-appropriate curricula, learning materials, and assessment mechanisms • Using information technology to support instructional delivery, school partnerships, and teacher and student collaboration The ALC Program takes a comprehensive approach to addressing its objectives, supporting both students and teachers of Arabic. Programs and grants fall under several general categories: • Direct support to in-school Arabic programs in the US, Brazil, and Canada • Teacher professional development • One-time grants to develop Arabic curricula or support classroom needs • Summer immersion programs for students • Student exchanges between the United States and Qatar • Support for online open-source Arabic language resources In addition to aligning with the Qatar National Vision’s goal of intensifying cultural exchange and developing a spirit of constructive dialogue and openness, the ALC program has made a direct two-way transfer of knowledge between Qatar and the US. For example, lessons learned from ALC

SPOTLIGHT: TIM HURSEN Tim Hursen, a student at the Washington Latin Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., studied Arabic for three years in his school’s QFIsupported program. In November 2012, he tested at the Intermediate High level on the standardized Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI)—a remarkable achievement for a high school student and one that few college students achieve. The head of Washington Latin, Martha Cutts, has said, “I have a favorite quote from Graham Greene: ‘There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.’ For Tim, the QFI Arabic program was clearly that moment.” In March 2013, the president of George Washington University appeared unannounced in Tim’s honors humanities class to announce that Tim had been selected as one of eight recipients of the Trachtenberg Scholarship, which will cover the entire cost of Tim’s university education, including room and board, books, and personal expenses. The scholarship is designed to attract the best and brightest graduates of public schools in Washington, and is worth at least $240,000. Tim intends to continue his study of Arabic in university and he credits his engagement with QFI as decisive in his winning of this prestigious award.

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Arabic Language and Culture Program

Principals and administrators from our Global Network of Schools in Qatar, the US and Brazil convened in Doha, Qatar in November 2013 in a series of collaborative and educational workshops.

programming in the Americas underlie the design of the Qatar-UK initiative to offer more Arabic language and culture in British schools. Moreover, materials, curricula, and language teaching methods developed in QFI’s Arabic Language and Culture Program are being shared with Qatar’s schools and teachers through online platforms such as Al-Masdar (http://almasdar.oercommons. org/) and OER Commons Arabic (http://arabic.oercommons.org). QFI has also brought Qatari knowledge to the US. For example, we conducted school visits to Awsaj Academy and Qatar Academy in June 2013 to learn more about the experience of teaching Arabic as a foreign language in Qatar. QFI surveyed Qatar Academy’s model of dual-language instruction to learn from its expertise as we explored opportunities for a dual-immersion program (English/Arabic) in a school in New York. The dual-language Arabic program at PS/IS 30, launched by QFI and the New York Department of Education, is one of just a very few dual-language Arabic programs in the country. It is the first of its kind in the city and provides a rich curriculum for English-speakers learning Arabic as well as for Arabic-speakers learning English. The program began with one kindergarten classroom in September 2013, and will expand each year to become a full K-8 dual-language Arabic program.

School Grants QFI has provided direct support to 26 Arabic programs at public and public charter schools in the US, Brazil, and Canada, reaching more than 2,100 students in the 2013-2014 academic year alone. Funding has been used to help schools launch new Arabic programs, as well as to strengthen previously existing programs. In the US, QFI has partnered with schools and school districts in Washington, D.C.; Boston, Mass.; New York City; Portland, Ore.; Ewa Beach, Hawaii; New Orleans, LA; Houston and Plugerville, TX; Los Angeles, CA; and Tucson, AZ.

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connecting cultures for global good : qatar foundation international 2009-2014

In Brazil, QFI supports Arabic instruction at seven experimental middle schools and one high school in Rio de Janeiro. In Canada, QFI has partnered with Simon Fraser University (SFU) to create an online high school Arabic class. In addition, we are also exploring ways to improve Arabic instruction in existing school programs in Edmonton, Alberta. In order to include Arabic as an option in more Canadian public high schools, QFI is supporting SFU’s development of an online Arabic course to be offered through the university’s online language-learning platform. Schools in British Columbia will be able to use the SFU platform to offer an approved, credit-bearing Arabic curriculum. Vancouver High School will pilot the course in fall 2014.

Extracurricular Arabic Study Summer Study Programs

QFI provides full or partial scholarships allowing students to take part in summer Arabic immersion programs in the US, such as those offered by the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy, the Concordia Language Village,

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Arabic Language and Culture Program

OneWorld Now!, and California State University, San Bernadino. Between 2011 and 2014, more than 250 students received such scholarships. Beginning in summer 2014, we will also offer immersion Arabic in Qatar in collaboration with the Translation and Interpreting Institute (TII) at Hamad bin Khalifa University. QFI and TII have designed a three-week intensive Arabic study abroad program for advanced Arabic students. The program will be piloted in 2014 and bring ten U.S. students to Qatar. Arabic Without Walls

To make Arabic accessible even to students whose schools do not offer Arabic (especially those in rural areas), QFI partnered with Brigham Young University’s National Middle East Language Resource Center to hold a series of one-day camps in Utah, Montana, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, and Illinois that provide a motivating learning experience for students just as they begin an online, credit-bearing course called Arabic Without Walls.

I am lucky that I had the opportunity to study the prestigious Arabic language and be a part of the 1% to be taught the language in the U.S. You have opened so many doors for not only me, but also for my fellow classmates. Shariliene Baguio – Hawaii, USA

Spring Trip

Every year, QFI takes students and teachers from high schools in the US and Brazil to Qatar for a 7- to 10-day educational program focused on language and identity. Selection is on a competitive basis, and provides valuable recognition of the students’ hard work to master Arabic. The annual spring trip, called Áber, focuses on Arabic language and culture. Qatari students from independent secondary schools also participate in the exchange. In 2013, US and Qatari students collaborated on an art project (later exhibited in Doha and Los Angeles). In 2014, the trip was based on a storytelling curriculum. A total of 54 Qatari high school students and 53 American high school students have participated so far.

Supporting Excellence in the Classroom In addition to investing in schools, QFI provides comprehensive support to teachers of Arabic: training, professional networks, support for the development and sharing of curricula. Teacher Fellowships

Given the urgent need for well qualified, certified teachers of Arabic, since 2011 QFI has offered teacher fellowships to current or prospective K-12 teachers who are enrolled in Arabic teacher certification or licensure programs. The fellowships provide as much as $25,000 to defray tuition and fees. The goal of the Teacher Fellowships is to develop a strong cohort of highly trained teachers who will be future leaders in the field of Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language (TAFL). As a condition of the fellowship, Teacher Fellows must agree to work in a US public or public charter school for at least three years following graduation. Between 2011 and 2014, QFI awarded 59 such fellowships. Summer Institute

Each summer since 2010, QFI has organized a training institute for the Arabic teachers in the schools that it supports. The Summer Institutes have addressed such topics as the following: • ACTFL standards-based teaching

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connecting cultures for global good : qatar foundation international 2009-2014

Educational Travel To bring an international dimension to schooling and build friendships across cultures, QFI frequently organizes international educational expeditions for students and teachers from Qatar, the US, Brazil, and other countries. To date: • More than 400 students and more than 100 teachers and administrators have taken part in QFI exchanges

• More than 150 American and Brazilian students and teachers have participated in QFI-led educational trips to Qatar, Brazil, and Costa Rica

• More than 100 Qatari students and teachers have participated in QFI-led trips to the US, Brazil, and Costa Rica

Each expedition focuses on one or more of QFI’s core program areas: ALC; STE{A}M; Youth Engagement. QFI uses technology to link students and teachers before and after their face-to-face collaborations. Below are listed the main educational expeditions of the 2012-13 academic year, the most robust year to date: • Youth Ambassadors for Science and the Environment (Brazil: June 2012):

Twelve Youth Ambassadors from Qatar, the US, and Brazil traveled to Brazil for the Rio+20 Earth Summit. The Youth Ambassadors learned about critical environmental issues at the Albrohos National Marine Reserve and were featured at the Qatar Pavilion at Rio+20.

• Reef to Rainforest (Costa Rica: June-July 2012):

36 students from Qatar, the US, and Brazil traveled with their teachers to Costa Rica for a week-long educational expedition. The trip was a unique opportunity for students to explore one of our planet’s most spectacular ecosystems.

• Model UN/Youth Assembly on Climate Change (Doha: November 2012):

QFI brought 49 students from the US, Argentina, and Qatar, to Doha to participate in the Model United Nations and Youth Assembly on Climate Change. QFI students, along with more than 400 other youth from Qatari schools, participated in a climate changethemed Model UN and Youth Assembly.

• Youth Ambassadors to COP18/ CMP8 (Doha: November 2012):

Fourteen Youth Ambassadors from Qatar, the US, Brazil, and Argentina took part in events before and during COP18/CMP8, including a student-produced webcast. On Youth Day, four Qatari Youth Ambassadors spoke at a press conference, headed by H.E. Fahad Bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah, Chairman of the Organizing Sub-Committee for COP18/CMP8.

• Annual Service-Learning Conference of the National Youth Leadership Council (Denver, Colorado: March 2013):

In March 2013, following up on projects designed at the previous year’s conference, a dozen QFI students from Doha, Boston, and Sao Paulo presented their community service projects at the 2013 Annual Service Learning Conference in Denver, Colo. The National Service Learning Conference is the largest gathering of youth and adults involved in the service learning movement.

• ‘Aber: Expressions of Culture, Identity, and Language (Doha: March 2013):

In March 2013, QFI took 32 US students and eight teachers from four U.S. high schools to Qatar. The students, alongside 27 students from Qatari schools created a cross-cultural artwork which was unveiled at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art.

• Ocean for Life (Santa Cruz Island, California: June 2013):

QFI sponsored the 2013 Ocean For Life, a semiannual program in which high school students from Arab countries, Pakistan, and the United States come together to engage in field studies related to ocean science and stewardship. The field studies are organized by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation, and others.

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Arabic Language and Culture Program

Educators from our Global Network of Schools participate in QFI-funded professional development through webinars and workshops

• Differentiated instruction • The use of technology to teach Arabic • The integration of culture into language teaching • Use of hands-on, engaging activities for teaching Arabic to elementary school students In 2013, QFI also hosted a specialized workshop for elementary school Arabic teachers in New York. The workshop was filmed and posted on YouTube to benefit the larger Arabic community. As of April 2014, the workshop videos have accumulated over 2,700 views. Teacher Webinars

Beginning in fall 2013, Arabic teachers in QFI-sponsored programs have continued their professional development throughout the academic year in biweekly webinars with master teachers. Teachers also participate in an online forum to share ideas and discuss best practices for the classroom. Professional Development Workshops

QFI also supports workshops for Arabic teachers during the school year, including teachers from non-QFI-supported schools. For example, with QFI financial support, the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota, in collaboration with Concordia Language Villages (Moorhead, Minn.), offers teacher training weekends throughout the school year. Ninety-eight teachers have participated in these workshops. Aldeen Online Arabic Methods Course

In 2013, QFI awarded a grant to the Aldeen Foundation to develop and facilitate a six-week online course titled, “Interactive Arabic Classroom – Meets ACTFL Standards.” The course featured expert instructors modeling best practices, as well as lectures, quizzes, and an online forum for teachers to network and discuss course topics. Forty teachers participated in the fall 2013 course. Due to high demand, Aldeen plans to repeat the course each semester.

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connecting cultures for global good : qatar foundation international 2009-2014

Teacher Councils

In 2012, QFI launched Teacher Councils to support local networks of K-12 Arabic teachers who are now able to meet regularly to reflect on and improve their professional practices, share resources and ideas, and reach out to their communities to educate them about Arabic language and culture. The Teacher Councils have held conferences, workshops, training seminars, and cultural events, as well as engaged in outreach to their communities. The Teacher Councils reach more than 800 Arabic educators in Washington, D.C.; Chicago, Ill.; Kalamazoo, Mich.; Los Angeles, Calif.; and surrounding communities. Curriculum Development Grants

QFI has supported curriculum projects to develop school-level learning modules and curricula, mostly for language learning but also for Arabicrelated modules that can be used across the curriculum (e.g. in social studies, history, or music classes). In 2012 and 2013, QFI offered grants of up to $25,000 to organizations to develop and share curriculum and materials for teaching Arabic at the K-12 level. The grants promoted standards-based, student-centered materials and encouraged the use of technology in the classroom. All materials conform to national and state standards or in some cases the structure of the International Baccalaureate. As a condition of QFI financial support, all materials developed must be openly available online to all Arabic teachers. Teacher Initiative Grants

QFI awards one-time grants of up to $1,000 to teachers and/or schools for specific projects designed to enrich Arabic programs and support excellence in the classroom. Funding is used to purchase books and materials, host cultural events, take students on field trips, or attend conferences for professional development. Between 2012 and 2014, QFI awarded 61 Teacher Initiative Grants. Al-Masdar Resource Site

In 2012, QFI awarded a grant to Human Assistance and Development International (HADI) for the development of a comprehensive web-based platform and resource site for Arabic language. The site, called Al-Masdar (http://almasdar.oercommons.org/), has been developed as a one-stop shop for teachers of Arabic and includes: • Arabic language education materials: lessons, curricula, media, user reviews, and so forth • Opportunities: Information on scholarships for students and other opportunities for teachers (training, fellowships, job postings, etc.) • Events: Information on events related to Arabic language and culture, including workshops, festivals, conferences, and lectures. • Arabic Program Database: Up-to-date list of schools, colleges, and universities that offer Arabic language instruction. The site serves as a clearinghouse for open-source Arabic language education materials and also as a meeting point where teachers can share materials and collaborate on their development. Materials are vetted before being placed on Al-Masdar and teachers are able to review and rate them once they have been posted. As of April 2014, Al-Masdar contains more than 750 unique educational resources.

I realized how big the universe is and how small our minds are, and no matter what, people always should respect each other and that’s what I saw in the Boston Arts Academy and D.C. students and chaperones—how they respected us and respected our religion. Mahmoud Al Neama – Doha, Qatar

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Arabic Language and Culture Program

Outreach Conference Sponsorship

I thank you deeply for these great opportunities that have made me a better global citizen and introduced me to other passionate and inspirational youth, who are conscious and filled with the energy and will to take action in solving our global problems. Livia Kobayashi – Sao Paulo, Brazil

To further support the professionalization of the teaching of Arabic, QFI has been a prominent sponsor of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) every year since 2011 and has underwritten the participation of Arabic teachers at their annual convention. Every year, QFI hosts a reception for the teachers so they can network, collaborate and form new relationships. QFI occasionally sponsors other conferences as well, such as the National Council of Organizations of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL), the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, etc. QFI also supports the Arabic Special Interest Group, a community within ACTFL dedicated to advancing Arabic teaching, by financing small travel grants that enable K-12 Arabic teachers to attend the ACTFL convention. The travel grants are conferred by the Special Interest Group and are named in honor of Dora Johnson, a founding member of QFI’s ALC Advisory Group and a tireless advocate for Arabic in US schools, who passed away in 2012. Madar Al Huruf – Arabic Transliteration Wheel

Developed by Moneera Al-Badi, a Qatari graphic artist who had worked with QFI, the “Arabic wheel” or Madar Al Huruf is an ingenious outreach instrument and learning tool, consisting of a rotatable wheel that matches English letters and sounds to their Arabic counterparts. The wheel gives new learners their first taste of the Arabic alphabet through engaging hands-on activities. In conjunction with the wheel, QFI funded the development of a student workbook and mini-unit on how to write one’s name in Arabic, with suggested activities for students and teachers. The workbook and mini-unit were developed by Fatima Abdulkazem and Nour Jandali, Arabic teachers at QFIsupported schools in Tucson, Ariz. QFI also partnered with Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) to develop the Arabic Wheel Mobile Application, which was released in September 2013. As of April 2014, the mobile app garnered over 900 downloads. For a how-to video for Madar Al-Huruf, please visit: https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=CQdYuwP5Fo0&list=UUoukwduyUsmOOB2z3X2Kbrg The wheel has a wide range of potential functions beyond simple classroom use. It has been used in the art class, the social studies or history class, and so forth. This is a way to move beyond the language classroom and introduce Arabic cultural elements across the curriculum in US schools.

Learning Outcomes Students in QFI-supported Arabic programs demonstrate significant language proficiency gains as they continue their studies. After one year of Arabic, most students reach Novice Mid proficiency in reading and listening, and Novice Low proficiency in speaking, as measured by the ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL). After two years of Arabic, most students reach Novice High proficiency in reading and listening, and Novice Mid proficiency in speaking. Some students who have studied Arabic for three or more years and/or participated in QFI’s spring trip to

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connecting cultures for global good : qatar foundation international 2009-2014

Doha or a QFI-sponsored summer intensive program reach Intermediate High proficiency, which is equivalent to three years of college-level language study with study abroad. We believe that our focus on teacher excellence in the classroom has played an important role in achieving such strong results. Schools and communities have reported numerous cultural benefits as a result of QFI-supported Arabic programs. They have developed 21st-century skills, learned to appreciate other cultures, and gained skills to prepare them for college and to participate in the global economy. Bell High School, a QFIsupported school in Los Angeles, Calif., has used the Arabic program to bridge divides between students of Hispanic and Arab descent, bringing the students together to create Arabic language comic books.

Arabic Language and Culture Program in Numbers, 2011-2014 program or grant

grantees beneficiaries

School Grants

29

5,332

Teacher Councils

4

816

Summer Institutes

N/A

101

Teacher Fellowships

N/A

59

61

6,690

3

269

Spring Trips

N/A

140

TII/QFI Study Abroad

N/A

10

45

399

Arabic Without Walls

1

564

Al-Masdar resource site

2

866

N/A

4930

Teacher Initiative Grants Summer Study Student ScholarshipS

ACTFL Sponsorship

Madar Al-Huruf (Arabic wheel)

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STE{A}M: Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics

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connecting cultures for global good : qatar foundation international 2009-2014

STE{A}M: SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, THE ARTS, AND MATHEMATICS Contacts between schools initiated in 2010 during QFI’s earliest educational trips began a dialogue among Qatari and US teachers and administrators about the most fruitful forms of long-term cooperation. This dialogue revealed that teachers in both countries share concerns about student motivation and achievement in the socalled STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). QFI later confirmed and documented the depth of this concern through surveys and interviews with more than 100 school teachers and twenty principals and vice principals in Qatar. As we worked with schools and educational leaders to develop our STEM program, we became aware that the addition of “A” for the arts (“STE{A}M”) was at the forefront of international thinking, especially as it becomes more and more clear that innovation and creativity are the critical drivers of the new global “knowledge economy.”

CONTENTS

20 Connected Classrooms and Active Learning

23

Explore and Inspire

24

Pathway Passages

25 Effective Teaching 26

Cirriculum Development Grants

27

STE{A}M by Numbers

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STE{A}M: Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics

Through its STE{A}M projects, QFI takes an interdisciplinary approach that addresses the diverse needs of students in Qatar and the Americas. We emphasize the grand challenges of the 21st century, such as climate change, energy, and the environment. We encourage and facilitate cross-cultural collaboration, active learning (hands-on, real-world, studentdriven work), and creativity and innovation.

This trip has been a mixture of entertainment and knowledge, what more can I get? I’d like to highlight the fellow students that I met who weren’t my friends but were literally my brothers and sisters. I’ve shared with them moments of laughter that were memorable and other moments that were unforgettable. Abdulla Al-Ishaq – Doha, Qatar

For example, in the 2012-13 academic year, taking advantage of Qatar’s yearlong leadership of the climate-change negotiations process and hosting of COP18/CMP8, our STE{A}M programming focused on climate change and environmental issues for the entire year. Five of QFI’s seven large-scale student trips during the year had environmental themes: • Youth Ambassadors to Rio+20 (Brazil: June 2012) • Reef to Rainforest (Costa Rica: June-July 2012) • Model U.N. / Youth Assembly on Climate Change (Doha: November 2012) • Youth Ambassadors to COP18 (Doha: November 2012) • Ocean for Life (Channel Islands, California: June 2013) Other environmental programming during the year included: The Road to Doha; Earth Day 2013-2014; and the Mapping the Mangroves project. QFI uses technology to strengthen international peer-to-peer connections among students and teachers and has developed a platform, Classroom to Classroom (C2C), which facilitates communication across continents and cultures and enables educators located in different parts of the world to form online communities of interest around various educational resources or themes. Launched just after the end of QFI’s first year of operations, the STE{A}M program helps students better understand and more effectively address global challenges. Our main initiatives have been: • Classroom connections: students gain global competencies, especially cross-cultural skills and experience, through virtual exchanges and school partnerships • Effective teaching: teachers master 21st-century teaching techniques through training and exchanges, pilot projects, learning communities, and professional development • Explore and inspire: students are inspired and motivated through international collaboration, experiential, out-of-class enrichment programs, and educational travel abroad • Pathways to university science studies: high-achieving students are put on a path to university science studies through in-depth work with practitioners in their community and international collaborators

Connected Classrooms and Active Learning Using technology and a common curriculum, QFI has enabled high school students in Qatar, Brazil, and the US to learn together in the classroom though separated by thousands of miles.

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connecting cultures for global good : qatar foundation international 2009-2014

QFI & Technology QFI exploits technology to connect learners and educators, fortify cross-cultural relationships, and facilitate the exchange of information and knowledge. Our choice of technologies emphasizes open architecture and interoperability to ensure ease of communication with partner organizations.

C2C Classroom to Classroom (C2C) is an online, expert-moderated, global education and sociallearning community for educators and students—dedicated to resource discovery, standardsaligned content, authorship, lifelong learning, and cross-cultural collaboration. QFI has partnered with Meedan, a leader in facilitating cross-cultural dialogue using technology to create this Open Education space and provide multilingual access (English, Arabic, and Portuguese).

Open Educational Resources In partnership with the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME), QFI developed the OER

Commons Arabic microsite (www. oercommons.org/arabic) through a three-pronged approach to development, which included 1) translation of the interface elements on OER Commons and Open Author environments; 2) integration of the standards-alignment tools for Qatar’s Supreme Education Council Standards as well as the Common Core State Standards (U.S.); and 3) curation of initial resource clusters focused on STE{A}M subjects, language learning, interactive games, global competencies, and core disciplines. These resources are primarily K-12-focused and include mathematics and science content from Khan Academy Arabic, MIT Blossoms, and PHeT Interactives— along with smaller sets of Arabiclanguage materials aligned to Qatar’s educational standards.

YALLAH YALLAH is QFI’s private social and educational online platform for collaborative youth projects and the QFI alumni network. The idea of two QFI alumni—Damon Mallory, an American, and Fahad al-Nahdi, a Qatari—YALLAH helps students engage with one another to investigate and discuss global issues relevant to their own lives in a professionally facilitated virtual environment. More than 800 students from Argentina, Brazil, the United States, and Qatar subscribe to YALLAH. It has more than 650 discussions, ranging from important worldwide events, to raising awareness about various causes such as animal extinction, climate change or refugee issues, to lighter topics, such as what YALLAH members enjoyed doing during their summers. Interacting through YALLAH, students collaborate on the design of projects and take action in their own communities. QFI alumni have planned and undertaken dozens of volunteer initiatives, such as teaching reading skills to younger students in Doha, peer counseling in a family center in Boston, participating in a charity run for Best Buddies, and distributing food to the needy in Doha, Portland, and Washington, D.C.

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STE{A}M: Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics

Youth Ambassadors for Science and the Environment map the mangroves in Brazil in the summer of 2012, in the lead up to the Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

Connecting Cultures, Exploring Science: Road to Doha & Path to Sustainable Energy

In partnership with the Global Nomads Group, QFI launched a yearlong collaborative science class called the “Road to Doha” in the 2012-13 school year, and a semester-long program called “Path to Sustainable Energy” in September 2013. Students in Qatar, the US, and Brazil follow a common curriculum to understand issues surrounding climate change and energy. The classrooms interact several times during the semester using videoconferencing technology. The courses have included project-based learning and youth-led webcasts focusing on the science and policy. The webcasts sometimes include a panel of experts who interact with the students. Student Challenge Project: Sustainable Water Us

In October 2011, 19 students and six teachers from Lindblom Math and Science Academy (Chicago) visited two schools in Qatar with a strong interest in science: the Al Ieman Independent Secondary School for Girls and the Al Wakra Independent Secondary School for Boys. During the trip, US and Qatari students took part in stimulating hands-on activities related to water conservation and marine ecosystems, and visited desalination plants, water research laboratories, coastal areas, mangrove lagoons, and local islands. Science activities were led by experts from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Qatar Sustainable Water and Energy Utilization Initiative, the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), and the Environmental Studies Center of Qatar University. Following the educational trip, students continued to collaborate on research projects and presented collaborative video projects on water issues in their respective communities, raising awareness of these problems and outlining solutions.

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connecting cultures for global good : qatar foundation international 2009-2014

Explore and Inspire QFI has organized “learning expeditions” like the one just mentioned to inspire students and kick-off longer-term interaction with their counterparts abroad and with experts in the field. Summer of Science and Service

QFI’s very first student trip to the US focused on science, the Summer of Science and Service (July 2010) brought 40 students from Qatar and the US to Washington, D.C. and Florida, where they took part in a customized three-day education program at Cape Canaveral, Florida, learned firsthand of the effects of the BP oil spill, and experienced a unique out-of-the-classroom opportunity to explore various scientific fields in an action-learning environment. Ocean for Life

Since, 2011 QFI has sponsored the bi-annual Ocean For Life, a program in which students from Greater Middle Eastern and Western countries take part in field studies meant to fosters cultural understanding as well as study of the ocean ecosystem. The Ocean for Life program is a partnership among the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, The GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) Program, SCUBAnauts International and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. The program is implemented in collaboration with the National Geographic Society, American University’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking, Meridian International Center, and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.

SPOTLIGHT: Mohammed Al Muhannadi Mohammed Al Muhannadi, a junior in high school who participated in our very first exchange in the spring of 2010, has since become a leading student advocate for the environment in Qatar. In addition to the Summer of Science and Service, Mohammed, with the support of QFI, participated in Ocean for Life in 2011. After which, he returned to Qatar inspired to make a difference and motivated to get his peers involved in community service. In 2013, Mohammed organized and launched 1Earth1Ocean, an organization that aims to raise awareness in Qatar about the issues facing the environment using social media, local events, and short films. He has recruited students from schools across Qatar and united them in a mission to protect the country’s environment. Mohammed has led student excursions to Qatar’s coast, teaching his peers about the importance of the mangroves, and showing students how to use QFI’s Mapping the Mangroves app to monitor the coastal ecosystem. During COP18/CMP8, he represented the Qatari youth voice on a panel that included experts from Conservation International, the Qatar Environmental Research Institute, and other regional environmental organizations.

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STE{A}M: Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics

QFI Arabic language and culture students from Los Angeles at the ‘Aber: Expressions of Culture, Language and Identity art exhibit with SyrianAmerican hip hop artist, Omar Offendum. The exhibit at the Building Bridges Art Gallery in Santa Monica, CA featured the collaborative artwork created by the students from Qatar and the US.

Reef to Rainforest

In June 2012, 36 students from Qatar, Brazil, and the US traveled to Guanacaste, Costa Rica, to participate in QFI’s Reef to Rainforest, a weeklong environmental program, organized in partnership with the Guanacaste Country Day School. Through the lens of ecology, conservation, service, and identity, students explored the interconnectedness between the physical environment and human activity, between the classroom and the field, between the school and the local Costa Rican community. Prior to their departure, students participated in the National Geographic Photo Camp, three days of training led by professional photographers. Students learned how to use photography and video to document their experience, communicate their ideas, and view their own communities through the camera’s lens. Earth Day Qatar

QFI has organized Earth Day events in Qatar each year since 2010. We have brought young Qataris and Americans together for a daylong celebration that included student presentations, educational workshops organized by local environmental organizations, and service projects. By bringing students from different parts of the world together to learn about the environment, the events emphasized the global nature of climate change and the need to work together—across cultures—to develop solutions and tackle environmental challenges.

Pathways Projects Most of the projects described above look at the big picture. We also provide opportunities for students to delve more deeply into STE{A}M topics and to interact with professionals in the field. Our hope is that this opportunity for deeper learning will put some students on the path to university studies in STE{A}M disciplines.

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connecting cultures for global good : qatar foundation international 2009-2014

Youth Ambassadors for Science and the Environment

Launched in partnership with the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), Qatar Shell, and Conservation International (CI), the Youth Ambassadors Program helped to train youth from Qatar, the US, Brazil, and Argentina to better understand critical global environmental issues and more effectively raise environmental awareness in their own communities. In June 2012, twelve Youth Ambassadors from Qatar, the United States, and Brazil traveled to various locations in Brazil before and during the Rio+20 Sustainability Conference (the largest UN event to date). The students explored environmental issues affecting the rainforest and mapped the mangrove forest of Caravelas, a small fishing village in southern Bahia state. They learned about the environmentally sustainable operations of local fishermen and visited the Abrolhos National Marine Reserve. Afterwards the Ambassadors traveled to Rio de Janeiro, where they presented their findings at the Qatar Pavilion during the Rio+20 Conference. D.C. Film Festival/World Water Day

Students in the Lindblom/Al Wakra/Al Ieman water project mentioned above continued their scientific research throughout the year. Highly motivated students also used QFI’s online YALLAH forum and WeVideo community videoediting software to work collaboratively on films about water issues in their communities. In March, four teams of students from Qatar and Chicago travelled to Washington, D.C. and New York to present their films, talk about their experiences, and raise awareness of world water issues. In addition to the projects described above, QFI has laid the groundwork for additional pathways projects, such as a “Global Design Team” that would unite high school students with university students and faculty to create an engineering solution to a real-world problem facing a community of Syrian refugees in Jordan.

Effective Teaching QFI supports not only youth but their teachers as well. Working with the Supreme Education Council (SEC) of Qatar and other partners, we offer professional development, new resources, and grants for curriculum development. Our goal is to expand the use of effective methodologies, such as project-based, inquiry-based, and active learning. Khan Academy and Intel

QFI has partnered with Intel to translate into Arabic roughly 1,000 core math and science video modules from the acclaimed Khan Academy, and to pre-load the materials onto Intel desktops and laptops. This provides free, high-quality math and science content to teachers, students, and self-learners in Arabicspeaking countries and fosters the growth of an open participatory community that unites diverse groups of learners across the globe. OER Fellowship Program

QFI is contributing to sustainability by investing their time and money in giving us voices and making sure that the future has leaders and global citizens with the skills to improve the world. Thank you, Your Highness Sheikha Moza, for being an inspiration and giving youth the opportunity of a lifetime to bond together through a global issue and striving so diligently to give us such a great experience and education about our environment. Glizela Taino — Hawaii, USA

As Qatar pursues its goal of transforming itself into a knowledge society, QFI strongly believes that it is important to prepare teachers in Qatar to emphasize lifelong learning, which ultimately will enable students to thrive in the new knowledge economy. In partnership with ISKME, QFI launched a

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STE{A}M: Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics

one-year fellowship program for teachers in September 2013. The fellowships introduced eight math teachers from four Qatari independent schools, as well as educators from the Supreme Education Council, to a new model of teaching and learning based on the use of open educational resources (OERs). This included the use of education materials that are available for localization and adaptation, such as Khan Academy, and other math and science OERs. Over the course of the fellowship, participants developed and documented an OER project that consists of new or adapted open digital resources (e.g., videos, practice exercises, project-based lessons, and hands-on activities) aligned to Qatari teaching standards. Master Class in Science Inquiry

As a young Qatari girl, I must say that being able to represent Qatar has been a huge responsibility that just made me stronger and willing to prove to the world that there is more of Qatar than just oil, gas and a lot of desert. Thank you for being an inspiration and stay tunes for the next Qatari youth achievements, Insha’allah. Maryam Al-Nesf –Doha, Qatar

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QFI brought Dr. Saouma Boujaoude, a member of its STE{A}M Advisory Group, to Doha, Qatar in June 2013 to provide training on inquiry-based learning in the sciences to 40 specialists. Dr. Boujaoude is a distinguished professor of education as well as director of the Science and Math Education Center and the Center of Teaching and Learning at the American University of Beirut. He was appointed to the Executive Committee of the SEC in 2008.

Curriculum Development Grants QFI has also provided occasional support for the development of curricular units that can serve as the basis of classroom-to-classroom collaboration. We describe two such curriculum projects below. Midway Education Initiative

Midway, a film directed by Chris Jordan, shines a light on the massive environmental problem of the Pacific Garbage Patch by focusing on the fate of the albatross on a remote Pacific island, Midway. The albatross are unwittingly consuming plastic litter adrift on the ocean and feeding it to chicks on Midway Island, which has led to the species’ rapid decrease. The Midway Education Collaborative (MEC) aims to use the themes of the film to engage students and teachers in dialogue about the planet’s resources and how to transition to a more sustainable culture. MEC will create guidelines for discussion in six main languages, including Arabic. Project-Based Technology at Lincoln High School

Two math teachers with computer science backgrounds at Lincoln High School in Portland, Ore., a long-time partner of QFI, began work in summer 2013 on a project to design and refine a two-semester robotics program. The robotics sequence will be imbedded in a class called Project-Based Technology. The class will utilize Lego NXT robotics to familiarize students with the basic components of robots and the language Robot-C (a variant of the C programming language). Once the students are familiar with the larger concepts and themes of the technology, they will begin designing and building robots that are based on the criteria of the First Tech Challenge program. This new curriculum will include activities in the fall semester that involve collaborating with other schools to share and trade design ideas and build relationships. Lincoln High School is partnering with Al Bayan Educational Complex for Girls in Doha, as both schools follow the IB curriculum and some of the Lincoln students visited Al Bayan the previous year.


connecting cultures for global good : qatar foundation international 2009-2014

STE{A}M in Numbers, 2011-2014 Projects

2

5

9

13

Grantees

2

4

5

7

60

332

42

563

Beneficiaries

FY11

2010-11 AY

FY12

2011-12 AY

FY13

2012-13 AY

FY14

2013-14 AY

Innovation and Collaboration with the Supreme Education Council (SEC) Over the past three years, QFI has deepened its engagement with the SEC, ensuring that our projects support and align with the SEC’s Education and Training Sector Strategy for improving student learning in Qatar. Our conversations with the SEC have focused on ongoing collaboration in the following areas: • Providing youth with in-school and out-ofschool learning experiences that will facilitate the acquisition of skills and competencies critical to life in the 21st century; • Improving learning outcomes in such areas as science, mathematics, and the arts; • Guiding youth as they plan their future education and careers; • Facilitating the professional growth of school leaders and teachers; • Employing innovative and effective teaching methodologies; and • Exploiting modern technologies to support all of the above goals.

QFI projects augment the SEC’s strategy by bringing the international dimension to learning as a way to increase student motivation, teach 21st century skills, and impart critical global competencies. QFI is eager to cooperate with the SEC on additional innovations and demonstration projects. We have, for instance, proposed a pilot project to introduce “flipped classrooms” in four Qatari schools using the Khan Academy modules in math and science. The essence of the flipped model is that students watch the Khan Academy’s crystal-clear mini-lectures at home and then spend classtime actively engaged in problem-solving. This flips the traditional technique: passively listening to lectures, then attempting to apply the content of the lecture, without an instructor, to assigned problems. The 2012-13 school year saw several examples of classroom-to-classroom standards-aligned cooperation (described more fully elsewhere in this document), each of which has continued in the current academic year: • “Road to Doha 2012” Climate Change Curriculum • “Peers Educating Peers” (PEP) • Telepresence Debates • OER Commons Arabic

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connecting cultures for global good : qatar foundation international 2009-2014

YOUTH ENGAGEMENT Young people are not only the next generation of world leaders and decision-makers but can be and often are agents of change. Through our Youth Engagement (YE) projects, QFI aims to inspire action, nurture studentgenerated ideas, and encourage young people in the Americas and Qatar to come together across borders and cultures to address local and global problems.

CONTENTS

30

Academic Excellence

32

Service Learning

33

Media Literacy

34 Cross-Cultural Collaboration 35

Technology

35

Youth Engagement in Numbers

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Youth Engagement

QFI’s Youth Engagement program was established in 2011, as a result of the needs assessment among educators and principals in Qatar that revealed a need for projects that increase student motivation, expose educators to innovative student-centered pedagogies, and crosscultural collaboration.

While the substance of our other program areas corresponds to actual school classes, YE focuses on “soft skills,” such as leadership, communication, creativity, and critical thinking, which are crucially important but all too often ignored in the school curriculum. Through YE projects, QFI aims to lead students to generate their own ideas, act in their communities, and cultivate lifelong learning.

We got to learn so much from our American friends about so many things from their cultures, and we did the same with them. I remember both sides clearing up several confusions about each culture. It feels good that people get rid of the wrong image. Jawahar AlMal – Doha, Qatar

To fulfill the overarching goal of the Youth Engagement program, QFI supports Qatari, US, and Brazilian youth—and their teachers—in the following ways: • Equip youth with skills to achieve academic excellence; • Encourage and increase youth interest in community service through service learning; • Increase media literacy; • Facilitate cross-cultural collaboration and communication – virtually and in person; • Use technology to connect youth across several continents.

Academic Excellence QFI believes that students who take ownership of their own learning are much more likely to fully develop their talents and potential. Students with skills to succeed both in the classroom and outside of it are better prepared to become active participants in a globalized world. Programs supporting youth in achieving and maintaining academic excellence instill learning skills and a culture of lifelong learning. The objectives of these programs include: 1. Supporting personal and professional development in the global society to become active, responsible participants. 2. Instilling pedagogies that will result in youth taking ownership of their learning. 3. Increasing access to and success in higher education institutions. 4. Instilling excitement for learning, and the habit of self-challenge. 5. Guiding youth as they plan their future education and careers. Several programs focused on academic excellence are described below. Peers Educating Peers (PEP)

Using experiential learning techniques, QFI guides young people toward a leadership role in teaching and learning and instills a sense of agency and responsibility for one’s own learning. The Peers Educating Peers (PEP) pilot project was launched in 2011, led by the Boston Arts Academy. In PEP, students become teachers of their peers, with adults (teachers) acting as facilitators who help students succeed as educators. In November 2011, April 2012, and November 2012, and April 2014, PEP coordinators conducted professional development workshops with Qatari teachers in Doha, focusing

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connecting cultures for global good : qatar foundation international 2009-2014

QFI students from Qatar and Tucson, Arizona during the 2014 ‘Aber: What’s Your Story? Arabic language and culture trip to Doha, Qatar.

on experiential project-based learning and the incorporation of the PEP methodology into Qatari classrooms and curriculum. The full PEP curriculum and methodology has been captured in a handbook (in both Arabic and English) that assists teachers in incorporating the curriculum in their classrooms. Telepresence Debates/Global Youth For Teledebate

Public speaking and debate are important skills to possess in the 21st century. QFI is building off the strong presence of debate in Qatar to engage students from Qatar and the US in the art of debate. QFI partners with QatarDebate and utilizes C2C and Cisco TelePresence technology to introduce students to their peers overseas through a series of virtual meetings and debates. In these virtual meetings, QatarDebate staff and the president of the Urban Debate League in Washington, D.C., teach students basic debate skills: how to conduct research, marshal arguments, speak in public, and practice crosscultural communication skills. In subsequent virtual gatherings, the students debate topics that are relevant to local and global communities. In February 2014, twelve students from the US and Qatar participated together in the QatarDebates Open Tournament in Doha. Qatar Debates in Arabic

In March 2014, a debate team from Lindblom Math & Science Academy from Chicago participated in QatarDebate’s Arabic-language debate championships in Doha. The Chicago team was the only one that was not from an Arab country or a religious school in a Muslim-majority country. Education Awards

QFI offers “Education Awards” (needs- and merit-based financial aid) for program alumni who plan to deepen their knowledge of the Middle East and Arabic in their university studies. Between 2011 and 2014, seventeen Education Awards were given. Alumni who enroll in Middle East studies, Arabic programs, or a related field at accredited universities and colleges are eligible to apply for an Alumni Education Award, as are those accepted for study in any field at Hamad bin Khalifa University.

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Youth Engagement

QFI students participate in a river clean-up with the Anacostia Watershed Society.

Grants to Teachers

QFI’s commitment to instilling global competencies and skills is also expressed through support for educators who are working to advance global citizenship among youth. QFI supports teachers who in turn support youth-led learning, especially in the areas of cross-cultural collaboration and the use of technology. As part of this mandate, QFI provides travel grants for teachers. For example, QFI supported the participation of twenty teachers from the U.S., Brazil, Argentina, and Canada in the iEARN Annual Conference in Doha in July 2013. Internships and Postgraduate Fellowships

Providing substantive learning experiences to young people—both inside and outside the classroom—is at the core of QFI’s mission. In addition to our regular programming, we offer young people opportunities to gain professional or technical experience in our offices in Washington, D.C., as well as in Doha and occasionally other locations in relation to specific activities or events. Our opportunities offer valuable learning experiences outside of the classroom enabling participants to develop skills related to their academic or career interests. Aside from gaining professional experience, the students have engaged in learning activities outside of the office as well, such as conferences, academic enrichment, and the chance to attend special events in various U.S. cities. Most interns are alumni of QFI programs; however, through a partnership with Northwestern University’s Medill School, communications interns are normally recruited from the School’s Doha campus.

Service Learning Service learning promotes civic engagement, improved academic outcomes, a stronger feeling of agency, and understanding of the interconnectedness of

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connecting cultures for global good : qatar foundation international 2009-2014

people. In a sense, it is the ultimate expression of youth engagement: action addressing pressing community or global issues. Students learn how to design service projects, identify potential allies and build relationships with them and the local community, spread the word about the issue, and carry out projects that impact their communities positively. Our service-learning portfolio includes such projects as the following: Student Service Learning Grants

One of the ways QFI encourages youth to commit to their communities is to provide small-scale financial support for translating their ideas into action. QFI offers seed grants for youth-led, youth-driven community service projects. Since 2012, QFI has awarded eleven such grants to students in Qatar, the United States, and Brazil. Refugee Awareness and Clothing Drive for Syria

Beginning in March 2013 in collaboration with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Lebanon, QFI students organized an international clothing drive for Syrian refugees by collecting donations from partner schools and communities across the US and Qatar. QFI sorted the donations and shipped them to Lebanon, where UNHCR ensured that the clothes were delivered to those most in need. On YALLAH, students met with refugee advocates and became familiar with the stories of the refugees themselves. Annual National Service-Learning Conference of the National Youth Leadership Council

For the past three years, QFI has partnered with the National Youth Leadership Council to bring students to the annual National Service Learning Conference. Nearly 2,000 students and practitioners gather each year to explore how youth – along with educators, policy makers, and community leaders – can make real-world change. QFI hosts a weeklong program for QFI students from Qatar and the Americas where they engage in training on designing, preparing, and implementing a service learning project on their own. In addition, select QFI students help facilitate training or lead conference sessions.

Media Literacy

Thank you of your attention and the opportunities offered to me and to countless young people who have opened their minds to numerous questions of the world through QFI. Danilo Farias – Caravelas, Brazil

In today’s world, technology has made information omnipresent, and media literacy is now crucial to being responsibly engaged in the world: young people must not merely consume media, but develop the skills for critical media consumption as well as thoughtful media production. In many of its projects and educational trips, QFI has provided photography, videography and art training. Within YE, QFI is designing new projects that have media literacy and production at their center and that take advantage of Qatar’s deep media resources (Al-Jazeera, the Doha Film Institute, Medill School of Journalism and Communications, etc.) Cross-cultural video production focused on football/soccer

In May 2013, students from Brazil, the US, and Qatar began a five-week project to produce, with their teachers, a video focused on football (soccer). The sport

33


Youth Engagement

QFI students from Qatar and the US in Doha, Qatar for the 2013 ‘Aber: Expressions of Culture, Language and Identity trip.

served as a vehicle for students to express themselves, conduct research, and collaborate on issues of social importance, such equality, health, gender issues, and international competition. The video was showcased in a student and a teacher presentation at the 2013 iEARN Conference.

Cross-Cultural Collaboration One of QFI’s overarching goals is to foster and develop cultural competency and cross-cultural collaboration skills. The objectives of such programs include: 1. Facilitating and providing opportunities to acquire and apply skills. 2. Learning cultural competency and becoming aware of your own and others’ perspectives. 3. Teaching and fostering skills of cross-cultural communication and collaboration Cross-cultural educational trips

Whenever QFI organizes an international trip or exchange, even if the primary focus is Arabic language and culture or STE{A}M, Youth Engagement staff play a central role in ensuring that every trip includes activities, such as service learning, designed to build soft skills. Trips focused on Youth Engagement have included, for example the Model UN/Youth Assembly on Climate Change (Doha: November 2012).

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connecting cultures for global good : qatar foundation international 2009-2014

Youth Engagement in Numbers, 2011-2014 Projects

6

9

10

11

Grantees

1

12

26

2

194

191

219

296

Beneficiaries

FY11

2010-11 AY

FY12

2011-12 AY

FY13

2012-13 AY

FY14

2013-14 AY

Cross-cultural facilitation training

QFI’s commitment to student-centered programming included cross-cultural facilitation training. Soliya, a not-for-profit organization making use of the latest media and communication technologies to link students, trained eleven students from Qatar, Brazil, Argentina, and the US to serve as group facilitators. Following training, these students led student workshops at the annual National Service Learning Conference (most recently in Washington, D.C., April 2014)

Technology The YALLAH forum serves three main purposes; it is an online place: 1. To relay information and opportunities to QFI students, 2. To collaborate on projects without needing a specific classroom starting point, and 3. To maintain contact and preserve the sense of belonging to the “QFI family.�

35


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connecting cultures for global good : qatar foundation international 2009-2014

Quality Assurance, Monitoring, and Evaluation QFI has made every effort to assure the quality of its programs and to improve its projects from year to year. Even before initiating activities, QFI assesses the landscape in which the activities will take place. To this effect, QFI has assembled “Program Advisory Boards,� consisting of leading experts in the field. We have also conducted periodic needs assessments in Qatar, surveying and interviewing teachers and administrators. All of the information and expert opinions gathered in preparation inform our project design.

37


Quality Assurance, Monitoring , and Evaluation

We also require potential grantees to provide a

This program has changed the way I view life and everything around me. It gave me inspiration for something better. It showed me my responsibilities towards my culture and other cultures, towards my community and other communities. Nasser bin Marzook – Doha, Qatar

The second cohort of Youth Ambassadors from from Doha, Qatar, Chicago, Illinois and Washington, DC traveled to New York City where they participated in a Global Citizenshipthemed educational exchange surrounding the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

38

description of how they will monitor and evaluate their project, or in some cases we prescribe how they will do it. For example, in the case of our Arabic programs, for the sake of consistency and comparability, we require that teachers use an established assessment instrument, LinguaFolio, to evaluate their students (in addition to regular grades). Having learning data collected with one instrument allows us to make comparisons across schools. QFI conducts additional proficiency assessments using established instruments: the Computerized Oral Proficiency Inventory (COPI) and the ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL). The data we have collected in this way (described in a previous section) shows very strong results in QFI-supported Arabic programs. We also require that our grantees report regularly on the substantive progress of their projects as well as the expenditure of grant funds. The project reports are reviewed by both QFI staff and Advisory Group members, who then provide feedback and recommendations to the grantees. In addition to formal reporting, we monitor progress through frequent telephone conversations and regular site visits. For larger grants, such as multi-year school grants, we normally conduct two site visits per year. QFI conducts a mid-year evaluation, which consists of in-person interviews and classroom observations to assess students’ and teachers’ engagement, identify mechanisms for improvements, and evaluate each program’s success and progress. To ensure consistency and comprehensiveness in our classroom observations, we have developed assessment rubrics. We try to collect feedback not only from the project’s implementers but also from the project’s intended beneficiaries. From students, we gather feedback through pre- and post-experience surveys, designed and aligned according to project’s goals and objectives.


connecting cultures for global good : qatar foundation international 2009-2014

QFI students in front of the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar during “ ‘Aber: What’s Your Story?” Spring exchange trip.

For each physical exchange, QFI conducts a pre-trip and post-trip survey to measure the impact of the program on student learning and engagement. To move evaluation forward, QFI awarded a grant to Soliya, a not-for-profit organization specializing in facilitated online exchange programs, and MIT’s Saxelab Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab. The Saxelab and Soliya are developing and testing instruments to assess the impact of cross‐cultural virtual exchanges, something sorely missing in the field. The tools under development include measures to assess: 1. Self/other overlap; 2. The experience of respect; 3. Cross-cultural communication and collaboration; and 4. Comparative virtual and physical exchange with participating university students and professors in Soliya’s Connect Program. Generally, our assessments have shown very positive results: • Increased interest in learning and motivation among students; • Increased self-confidence of youth, especially among Qatari girls; • Attitude change – assumptions behind different cultures are being dismantled; • Increased teamwork skills; • Acquired skills specific to programming, such as debating skills, movie production, critical thinking, or facilitation skills.

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qfi.org email: info@gfi.org phone: +1.202.652.0147 FAX: +1.202.652.0194

@QFINTL fb.com/QFINTL

QFI looks back  

QFI, a US-based member of Qatar Foundation, began operations in April 2009. Now, five years on, we review our efforts to live up to our slog...

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