Conference helps American Curriculum schools in MENA region to adapt to new standards

Sat Nov 02 13:04:00 UTC 2013

The world’s largest learning company committed to assisting schools and teachers in MENA to adapt to CCSS changes. 

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Education experts from around the world have converged in Dubai for the first regional forum on the United States’ new education benchmarks, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The inaugural MENA Common Core State Conference has provided professional development to teachers at American Curriculum schools across MENA, helping them to more effectively employ the Standards in their classrooms. Hundreds of schools, leadership teams and educators gathered at the conference to share curricula and discuss best practices for implementing the CCSS.

The CCSS were developed to ensure all students in the United States and at American Curriculum schools abroad were being taught to the same standards, and to reduce discrepancy amongst the educational levels of students graduating from high school. The CCSS have been designed to provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, from kindergarten to grade 12, in English language arts and mathematics. Emphasis has been placed on making the CCSS clear and concise, to ensure parents, teachers and students have clear expectations of what is required of them.

The standards have also been designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that young people need for future success in university or the workforce. It is hoped that the CCSS will better prepare those studying under the American curriculum to succeed in a competitive, global market. This is especially important for those students in the Arab region using the American curriculum, as the economies of the region become increasingly globalised and knowledge-based.

While teachers, students and parents have largely welcomed the introduction of the Standards in American Curriculum schools, there is little doubt that establishing the CCSS in schools will have a significant impact on teachers and school leaders.

The world’s largest education company, Pearson, has a dedicated CCSS expert, tasked with helping teachers adapt to the new standards in schools that are following the American Curriculum abroad. Faye Upfield, Pearson’s Common Core Specialist, says:

“Implementing the Common Core and navigating teachers’ instructional shifts and the more rigorous expectations placed on students can be challenging for schools and teachers. Here at Pearson, we are very aware of this pressure and have therefore created a host of resources to help schools and educators navigate the common core, and ultimately allow their learners to achieve at higher levels. Our resources help with implementing and managing the CCSS in schools. In addition, we can also support American curriculum schools with curriculum and assessment options that map to the standards – making the shift to the CCSS a much easier process for American Curriculum schools in the Middle East region”.

Ms Upfield believes that equipping educators with this type of knowledge is vital to helping them employ the CCSS to the benefit of their students, and that conferences play a key role in imparting this information effectively. She says:

“This CCSS Conference will help educators in the region teach to the standards more effectively and, at the same time, give teachers new and improved instruction techniques that result in enhanced learning for all students, whatever their level. The Conference will also help educators expand their assessment options under the CCSS, and learn how to better quantify their learners’ development. The CCSS have been designed to give students the best start in life through a great education – and Pearson is committed to helping schools and teachers everywhere achieve this goal”. 
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