A group of 12 teachers from across America have a new perspective to add to their curriculum in the upcoming school year, after returning from Qatar as part of the Fourth Annual Teach Fellowship (Teachers Educating Across Cultures in Harmony).
An initiative of the Bilateral US-Arab Chamber of Commerce (Busacc), Teach is a cross-cultural exchange programme between educators from the US and the Arab world.
Each year, a dozen educators at the elementary, middle, high school and collegiate levels are awarded the Teach Fellowship, and travel to the Middle East/North Africa (Mena) region to gain first-hand experience they can bring back to their classrooms in the US.
The 10-day trip to Qatar and Bahrain gave participants the chance to immerse themselves in Arab culture, meeting with business, academic and government leaders, and reviewing best practices in education, teaching methodology and the classroom.
This year’s Teach Initiative to Qatar was sponsored by RasGas and ExxonMobil.
The teachers were able to take advantage of Teach’s unique access to the energy sector by visiting a fertiliser and petrochemicals plant, an oil and gas refinery, as well as the headquarters of RasGas, the world’s second largest producer of liquefied natural gas.
“The focus of this year’s Teach programme was on science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem),” Busacc president Aida Araissi said, adding: “With the impressive record of excellence Qatar’s graduates have shown in Stem, we thought it would be beneficial for the maths and science teachers in the group to experience first-hand what educators are doing in the Middle East, fostering a renewed interest in the hard sciences and engineering for their classrooms.”
After returning to the states, Teach Fellows will participate in a series of lectures at university events and civic organisations, sharing stories of their experiences and their new found impressions of the dynamics of US-Arab ties.