Point Park University School of Education Faculty Explore Best Teaching Practices with Egyptian Educators Friday, August 26, 2022
"By sharing and exchanging ideas, we have the opportunity to improve our own practice and make the experiences for our students meaningful and impactful for their development into future teachers. Opportunities like this confirm that teaching is a special profession around the world."
Though the language spoken in a U.S. classroom may differ from that of a classroom in Egypt, the goal of the teachers within them is the same across the board: creating a positive, engaging learning atmosphere through which students feel supported.
The universal language of best teaching practices was at the center of a recent meeting between Point Park University School of Education faculty and a group of educators from Egypt, made possible by GlobalPittsburgh and World Learning. The visiting group consisted of six education experts from the Ministry of Education and Technical Education and an English instructor from the International Public School of Egypt. Professors Kamryn York, Ed.D., and Christal Edmunds, Ph.D., met with the group in the University's Matt's Maker Space Lab to discuss hands-on and collaborative project-based learning, integrating technology into the classroom and effective approaches for training aspiring educators.
"We all may teach in different ways, but our goal is to best meet the needs of our students and to prepare them for the changing needs of our world," York said. "By sharing and exchanging ideas, we have the opportunity to improve our own practice and make the experiences for our students meaningful and impactful for their development into future teachers. Opportunities like this confirm that teaching is a special profession around the world."
Edmunds said the meeting provided an opportunity to reflect on "best practice" being a universal truth.
"All learners learn best when they are actively engaged in an experience, not just passively receiving information," she said. "Our role as teachers is to meticulously create these experiences daily to lead our students to academic and personal success."
Ahmed Mohamed Elhady Abdelhalim Bendary Hassan, deputy principal for Egyptian STEM Schools, found Point Park's "learning by doing" approach to training teachers compelling. The School of Education has numerous partnerships with educational institutions throughout the Pittsburgh area to provide students numerous field experiences, in addition to their student teaching placements.
Rehab Reda Hassan Fakhry, an information technology specialist, said she plans to implement several of Point Park's practices in her own teaching, such as:
- Establish a supportive learning culture. Each member of the learning community should have the feeling of connectedness.
- Employ interactive games and activities.
- Build positive relationships through communication.
- Promote class discussion and peer interaction.
- Come up with projects students can get excited about.
"The idea of continuous training and making it available online and in person on (educators') off-duty times according to their needs is very interesting and very practical," said Abouelmagd Sayed Salem Moussa, an English language supervisor. "Actually, I've recommended Point Park's programs to a number of groups of teachers to try to contact (the University) and make use of the programs, as well as myself. That's for sure."
"Many of the visiting educators worked at the policy level, and they're dedicated, much like Point Park, to continuously improving the classroom," said Abbi Kneuss, the School of Education's recruitment and retention liaison who also attended the session. "That starts with properly preparing teachers to implement new learning models while keeping their students' needs front and center. That's what we do here at Point Park. I'm glad that we were able to contribute our knowledge to the changes occurring internationally."
Explore the benefits of a Point Park education in the stories linked below:
- School of Education Students Gain Classroom and Research Experience with Open the Joy Program
- Education Alumna Amanda Ardinger '13 is an Award-Winning Special Education Teacher
- At Student Teaching Placement in Ireland, Paige Fichte '22 Explored Teaching Methods and Culture
- For Education Students, Pittsburgh Abounds with Opportunities to Explore Teaching Methods