WISE Conference Doha Qatar – motivation & engagement

| November 2, 2011 | 0 Comments 

The second day of the World Innovation Summit for Education, (WISE) in Doha.

Today, we took part in a debate about motivating and engaging Students

The session was chaired, brilliantly, and at the last minute, by Graham Brown-Martin, a man who lives and breathes different, and some times, as he calls them, “disruptive”, methods of engaging and motivating, audiences and learners of many different kinds.

We kicked off with the remarkable, thought provoking and brilliantly quirky film from Dan Brown, called “An Open Letter to Educators”

Dan dropped out of college because, as he said, “my schooling was interfering with my education.” He makes a passionate cry for real education in this day and age.

 Whilst it might be hard to define the term “creativity”, is it not our role help build the confidence for students to become “creative”, adaptable, motivated learning individuals, rather than perpetuate things such as the rote memorization approach to learning, which it is so easy for many to slip back in to, thus losing the good will, engagement and attention, of our children.

The members of the panel included Prof. Zhu Qingshi, from South University of Science and Technology of China, who told us, last night in discussions, that there is a decline in the number of students attending university globally, and there is a tendency to teach courses and a syllabus that is out of date, therefore the students knowledge is very narrow.

The Chinese authorities asked Prof Zhu to build a new university and he set about reforming and revising the curriculum completely.

One of the most powerful, and motivating, aspects of this conference, and last year, has been the involvement of thirty leading “young global learners” who have been asking questions about many aspects of education and challenging conventional wisdom.

It was, therefore a great pleasure to be joined by one of that team, Ms. Jawhara Hassan Al-Thani, who is currently a junior at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar and is majoring in Culture and Politics. Her interests are focused on the development of national identity and the way that links fundamentally with education. She was born in Doha, but raised in Canada and returned to Doha for high school.

Jawhara spent the first part of her life in Ontario, Canada until she moved Doha. She hopes to pursue a Graduate degree in Education Development. The field of education has always interested Jawhara because she believes that ensuring the citizens of a country are well educated is “one of the most lucrative investments a government can make”.

As she puts it, “Developing ways to make education more accessible, relevant and effective especially in a time of great technological innovation is really my area of interest.” She should go far as she is a remarkable speaker and thinker, who believes that primary education is the most important element of any system, and that is where our focus of change should be aimed.

It has been a delight to meet our fourth panelist, Magdalene Storsveen, during this conference.

Magdalene is a 29-year-old English and science teacher from Lillehammer, Norway. She works at Åretta comprehensive school, a year 8 – 10 school with 400 students, and this year she is teaching several classes in English and science in addition to being a form teacher.

Magdelene is passionate about the need to engage with young students and is gaining notable and justified recognition for her abilities to relate to the disengaged young that she encounters.

Given her passion for motivating students, she feels her biggest challenge in teaching is in generating the enthusiasm for learning from “the boys at the back of the class,” by using creative methods. Magdalene considers positivity, confidence, preparation and an ability to listen and adapt as key qualities in generating this enthusiasm. Her methods have been recognized and adopted by Lillehammer College and SELL (Centre for Lifelong Learning) as the standard in good assessment practice.

You can watch a reply of the session HERE

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Leave a Reply