Two eventful months at the Khan Yunis Teacher Forum
Gaza – (A.M. Qattan Foundation – 30 January 2019):
In December 2018 and January 2019, the Khan Yunis Teacher Forum organised many events, which brought together dozens of male and female teachers. These activities were carried out in collaboration with several institutions in Khan Yunis.
The Khan Yunis Teacher Forum is one of several forums that function independently across Palestinian governorates. Receiving material and moral support from the Educational Research and Development Programme (ERDP) / A.M. Qattan Foundation, teacher forums work towards changing the stereotypical image of the teachers’ role at school and in society. To this effect, teacher forums organise regular events in respective regions.
On Saturday, 1 December 2018, in collaboration with the Abasan Girls Preparatory School, the Khan Yunis Teacher Forum organised a workshop that featured a targeted reading of Imagination and Creativity in Childhood, a book by Lev Vygotsky. The workshop was attended by 20 female teachers, who discussed the relationship between imagination and creativity, highlighting the effective role of both concepts in improving students’ levels of academic achievement.
On Thursday, 6 December 2018, the Qattan Science, Arts and Community Club made a scientific visit to the Khan Yunis Girls Secondary School in collaboration with the Al-Hajj Mohammed al-Najjar Boys Secondary School. The visit was designed to introduce events and activities of the Science Days Palestine (SDP) 2018 Festival. Discussion included many relevant themes of food, medicinal plants, and healthy traditional meals.
On Monday, 10 December 2018, the Khan Yunis Teacher Forum held an encounter, titled Towards a Research Community, in partnership with Gaza University – Southern Branch. Organised by the Qattan Research Club, the encounter brought together an audience of 47 participants, including teachers, researchers, university professors, and students.
On Thursday, 27 December 2018, the Khan Yunis Teacher Forum organised an interactive workshop on Project-Based Learning in the context of Teacher Professional Development track. Also engaging a significant number of the Forum members, the workshop targeted 25 teachers from public, private and United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) schools.
On Saturdays, 29 December 2018 and 19 January 2019, the Forum also held the 5th and 6th encounters of the Qattan Reading Club in partnership with the Public Library of the Khan Yunis Municipality. These hosted a select number of teachers, intellectuals, writers, literary figures, and pioneers of cultural and community action. The encounters were also attended by university students, members of the Youth Al Amal Rawafid Team, and Khan Yunis Family Forum.
Within the framework of the Teacher Professional Development track, the Khan Yunis Teacher Forum held two separate workshops on Action-Oriented Research on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, 2, 3 and 5 January 2019. These workshops targeted 33 female teachers from the Ahlam al-Harazin Girls Basic School and another 20 female teachers from the Suleiman al-Agha Girls Secondary School.
In addition to action-oriented planning mechanisms, both workshops discussed the concept, objectives, spheres, types, and characteristics of action-oriented research.
On Thursday, 3 January 2019, the Khan Yunis Teacher Forum also held an encounter on developing initiatives that help create a pilot project. The event was delivered in collaboration with the Um Salamah Girls Secondary School.
The encounter addressed the concept of initiatives and their positive impact on the professional development of female teachers. It showed how teachers can engage in initiatives that contribute to enhancing the educational process. An overview included types of initiative-taking, including remedial, developmental, constructive and forward-looking initiatives. Participants also discussed the criteria for successful initiatives and how these could be used to develop informed initiatives on a sound footing.
On Sunday, 13 January 2019, the Khan Yunis Teacher Forum organised an interactive workshop, titled The Mantle of the Expert in an Integrative Approach. Delivered by Bassam Salhah, teacher and expert in drama and mantle of the expert, the training targeted 47 male and female teachers from public, UNRWA and private schools.
The workshop focused on the role the human teacher plays in drama and mantle of the expert. It demonstrated how we can create a new world for children by painting and playing. Additionally, the workshop showed how children can be involved in the content through gradual engagement in taught subjects.
Members of the Khan Yunis Teacher Forum took part in An Oppressed Teacher, the first theatrical performance of the Forum Theatre in Education project. The performance was curated by the ERDP Office / Gaza on Monday, 14 January 2019.