Welcome to the College of Education (COE) website as we strategically move forward with several new initiatives. College of Education faculty, students and alumni along with faculty of other partner SQU colleges (Colleges of Science and Arts and Social Sciences) are working together toward accreditation of the Sultan Qaboos University teacher education programs. A critical component of the process is the development of the conceptual framework – a document that defines the philosophy, principles, instructional theories, professional practices, assessment theories and professional ethics that guide the programs at COE. During the October Open Day, our annual planning retreat, the latest version of the conceptual framework was reviewed. Small group sessions produced the third round of feedback from participants from several stakeholder groups including government ministries. Our plan is to get the CAEP (NCATE/TEAC) accreditation by 2015/2016. God willing.
As part of the self-study, outside evaluators have been visiting our College since February 2011. These evaluators work with departments on the structure and evaluation of the self-study projects and reports. These international experts present accreditation seminars and guide the departments towards achieving the Professional Association approval. This is one of the early stages which we want to achieve within this Academic year (2012/2013). Another milestone achieved is our expanding international collaborations. Our collaboration with Curtin University has resulted in the Seventh International Conference on Science, Mathematics & Technology Education to be held at SQU on November 4-7, 2012. The call for papers ends July 31, 2012. COE continues to serve as an international hub for knowledge generation and transfer for Oman and the Gulf.
Another example of our international collaboration is displayed in a joint PhD degree in English Language teaching that the curriculum and instruction department is working with the University of Glasgow. Students from both countries will be able to study on both campuses. The program is designed to support Vision 2020 socio-economic goals that require English communications in the fields of Medicine, Technology, Science, and Business. To fulfill these goals, English educators and researchers are needed for positions in governmental schools, higher education institutions, language centers, and in business training centers. This doctoral program, the first of its kind in the gulf region, will contribute to producing the faculty and researchers needed not only in Oman but in other gulf countries. The same department has other doctoral programs in the approval process for subject areas specialist in science education, social studies education, mathematics, and Arabic. Research on teaching and learning will be augmented by these new doctoral programs.
Building a sustainable research infrastructure is part of the COE mission. Our research generates knowledge and data for improving Omani education while we also train the next generation of researchers. Building on last year’s momentum, we continue to expand our research initiatives. We have won yet another Research Council grant last Fall and we hope to present other strategic research proposals this year.
When you see yourself in the role of an undergraduate or graduate student, faculty member or collaborator working toward excellence in education, please contact us. We look forward to working with you as we address issues and solve problems critical to the future of education in Oman, in the Gulf and around the world.
Dr. Thuwayba Al Barwani
Dean of Education