Queen Rania Teacher Academy (QRTA)

Columbia Global Centers | Middle East

One of the Center’s first major initiatives—pre-dating the official launch in March 2009—was helping establish the Queen Rania Teacher Academy (QRTA), an independent Jordanian institute committed to advancing teacher education throughout the region. QRTA was established under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah and in partnership with Teachers College, through its relationship with the Center. QRTA is a unique institute that offers customized programs beyond simply in-service workshops for teachers or certification programs.

 

QRTA is an independent institution committed to empowering teachers with the skills, recognition, and support  necessary for them to excel in the classroom. The launch of QRTA was coupled with an inaugural annual conference: Teacher Education at a Crossroads: Strengthening Teacher Preparation: What does the Evidence Suggest? This event, co-sponsored by the World Bank and TC, brought together experts and policymakers from five continents and eleven countries within the region. Since the inaugural conference, QRTA has hosted two other major conferences for educators and policy makers in the region.
 
QRTA’s signature program is the School Networks Program, whereby it has created network programs to connect educators in core content areas. As one component of this program, QRTA in partnership with TC faculty as facilitated by the CGC | Middle East offers ongoing workshops for Jordanian teachers in science, English writing, math, and leadership, and will soon include a program on environmental education. These training programs are not one-time educational experiences; instead, they are part of a continuum of professional development programs that scaffold teachers’ knowledge and skills over time.
 

With expertise from TC, QRTA has created a scaffolded set of professional development programs through its school networks. These networks build communities in educator’s schools that reinforce and continue developing the lessons of in-service workshops throughout the school year.

 

QRTA’s programs reached over 1,000 educators in Jordan, and in the coming year, QRTA will continue development of the nation’s first-ever induction program for newly hired teachers plans, in conjunction with TC and with the support of the Center. Trainings by TC faculty also focus on preparing a cadre of local staff to be the next generation of leaders for workshops and training sessions.

 

Through the Center, QRTA has forged relationships in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Palestine, Egypt, and the UAE. In conjunction with TC and the Center, QRTA signed an agreement in September with various partners, including Azzwad, a company registered in Saudi Arabia that is developing a national teacher academy based in the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) to provide high quality education offerings starting in 2011.QRTA and TC have also joined forces with Her Majesty’s Madrasati Palestine initiative to support the improvement of teaching and learning in the classrooms of 20 Palestinian public schools in Jerusalem that are governed by the Jordanian Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs (MoAIA).

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