The Gulf Comparative Education Society (GCES) organized its third annual symposium under the sponsorship of the Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research and in collaboration with Bahrain Teachers College. Entitled ‘Global Innovation, Local Transformation: Trends & Reactions,’ the symposium was held at the Crown Plaza Hotel, Kingdom of Bahrain on Saturday March 24 and Sunday March 25, 2012. The symposium consisted of one keynote address, three panels, and four breakout sessions with a total of 45 presentations made by invited speakers as well as those who submitted abstracts. The speakers came from a wide variety of countries, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Switzerland, England, and the United States and represented different voices in the education sector, ranging from policy makers, academics and researchers, school providers and leaders, consultants, and teachers.
The purpose of this year’s GCES symposium was to identify and examine the use of global innovations in education in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries as well as the ways in which they are adapted (or not) to suit the needs of the environment. Delivering the keynote on the role of and relationship between professional and vocational education in the GCC was Dr. David Guile, Professor of Education and Work at the Institute of Education, University of LondonThe remaining panels and breakout sessions addressed the following topics:
• Education Reforms in Bahrain
• Technology & Innovation
• Student Participation in Education: Trends & Reactions
• Systems & Standards in GCC Schools
• Transforming Science Curricula
• The Use of E-portfolio in Evaluating Public Schools
• Relationships and Academic Achievement
• English Language Programs in the GCC
In addition, the symposium brought together over 200 participants working in a range of organizations across Bahrain, the Gulf states, and beyond, all of whom shared an interest in comparative education in the GCC.
Following the symposium presenters were asked if they would like to submit a 1500 – 3000 word paper on their presentation. This volume is the compilation of those who submitted papers. While it does not cover all of the presentations that were made at the symposium, presentation slides for all the presentations are available on the GCES website (www.gulfcomped.ning.com).
Dr. Ali Ibrahim - President
Dr. Hamood Al-Harthi - Vice President Samar Farah - Secretary