Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), a member of Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D), has hosted its fourth Research Outcome Seminar at Education City in Doha.
Themed ‘Education for the Future of Qatar’, the seminar saw QNRF-funded researchers share the results and benefits of their completed projects in the field of education, with the public.
By investing in cutting edge-research, QNRF is enhancing a culture that supports Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development on its mission to build Qatar’s innovation and technology capacity and help the nation develop into a hub of research excellence through QF’s science and research pillar, QF R&D.
“The Research Outcome Seminars provide a valuable glimpse into the work that QNRF is funding within Qatar in various research disciplines,” said Dr. Abdul Sattar Al-Taie, Executive Director of QNRF. “At QNRF we believe it is important to showcase the important work underway locally, to relevant beneficiaries, government and industry stakeholders, and the public, since it not only addresses, but will have a direct impact on national priority needs, helping to nurture a sustainable post-hydrocarbon society, in line with Qatar National Vision 2030,” he added.
During the event, which focused on education, Dr. Michael Romanowski, Professor of Education at Qatar University, presented his findings and analysis of Qatari educational reform. His study explored the implications of current reforms underway through the ‘Education for a New Era’ (EFNE) initiative.
By gaining insight from teachers, principals, and parents, Dr. Romanowksi analysed how EFNE is making an impact on learning in Qatar. Additionally, his research data, collected from various schools across Qatar, allows for valuable comparisons and highlights several issues that have been improved within Qatar’s school system.
“Research in the field of education is very important for any country’s future but, here in Qatar, it will allow us to find ways in which to ultimately strengthen the research culture within the local community,” said Dr. Michael Reksulak, Director of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities at QNRF. “This will essentially feed back into the education system and contribute to the transition to a knowledge-based economy,” he added.
Additionally, Dr Ziad Said, from the School of Engineering Technology at the College of the North Atlantic – Qatar presented his team’s research finding regarding Qatari students’ interest in science at school.
This joint research assessed pre-college Qatari students’ attitudes towards science, including their disposition towards pursuing it in higher education, which would ultimately lead them into science-based careers. It also identified factors that impact these interests and attitudes. The project draws from a sample of Qatari students and science teachers from grades 3 through 12. These project findings will help provide possible methods to enhance Qatari students’ interest in pursuing science majors at university.
QNRF also presented a film produced by a research team headed by Dr. Pamela Taylor, Professor of Art Education at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU); Dr. John Geldart at VCU-Qatar; and Dr. ElNour Hamad, researcher at the Doha Institute’s Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies. Following a detailed demonstration of the team’s development of an electronic assessment tool that evaluates students’ academic progress, the film presented some of the research findings.
Having worked with 11th grade students across four schools in Doha, the project has resulted in the development of a software tool that gathers and analyses data about students’ academic progress in the visual arts, reading and writing.
Additionally, the event included a dynamic panel discussion among stakeholders on the ‘Challenges for Education and Educators in Qatar’ moderated by Dr. Romanowski. It hosted Dr. Batoul Khalifa, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at Qatar University; Imran Abu Musa, Science Educational Consultant at the Supreme Education Council; and Dr. Faryal Khan, UNESCO Doha Education Program Specialist.
QNRF’s third Research Outcomes Seminar was held earlier this year and showcased research findings in Information and Communications Technology (ICT).