American University of Beirut

TAMAM wins international UNESCO-Hamdan Prize for Teacher Development

​​​​​​​​​Safa Jafari Safa, Office of Communications,​

The TAMAM project at the Education Department of the American University of Beirut was selected as a laureate of the seventh edition of the UNESCO-Hamdan Prize for Teacher Development for creating impact in the Arab region. One of three winners, TAMAM was recognized in an official ceremony at UNESCO headquarters, Paris for “enhancing the role of teachers to transform education in their communities and beyond."

Housed and supported by the 125-year-old Department of Education, the TAMAM Project for School-Based Educational Reform is a research-based program that was established in 2007 as part of a memorandum of understanding between the Arab Thought Foundation and the American University of Beirut. It operates as a research lab where university researchers work closely with educational practitioners to generate strategies that are grounded in the sociocultural contexts of the Arab region. Teachers are offered platforms to network, learn, and innovate with educators from other schools. 

Tamam transformed itself into an educational movement that spans nine Arab countries (Lebanon, Jordan, Oman, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Palestine, and Kuwait). It serves more than 600 practitioners in 70 schools, with 32 researchers from 12 different universities, 32 coaches, and policymakers. Ten out of the 12 members of TAMAM project steering team that brought TAMAM to this win are AUB alumni, all graduates of the department of Education. 

A prestigious international award in the field of education, the UNESCO-Hamdan Prize for Teacher Development supports the improvement of teaching and learning quality in achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 on education. It is offered by the Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation for Distinguished Academic Performance (Hamdan Foundation) every two years on World Teachers' Day to institutions offering innovative projects focused on teacher development that have a high potential for scalability and broad-based impact across cultural contexts. 

“For AUB, this is a unique win since it is the first time a project at its Department of Education receives such global recognition. Moreover, by winning this award, TAMAM is achieving AUB's mission of research-based service by demonstrating that research is not only a disconnected producer of academic knowledge but it can also be directed to practical impactful applications," said Dr. Rima Karami, TAMAM project Creative Director and principal investigator.

As part of its mission to serve and expand its positive impact in the region, the American University of Beirut supports the establishment of institutes of excellence around the existing research and development activities of its faculty. The strategic vision of its Department of Education has allowed TAMAM to promote the transformation of schools in the region into self-renewing institutions, with a broad based leadership capacity for change. Through partnerships with research universities, policy-makers, and community members, it works to enhance the role of schools in graduating leaders in innovation and change.

“This prize gives all those who have been involved in TAMAM precious affirmation that their journey is indeed aligned with global aspirations for the teaching profession and for humanity," said Karami upon receiving the prize in Paris on World Teachers' Day. “[This project is steered by] amazing Arab women leaders who are proud of their cultural heritage and who believe that teaching is a noble profession and that teachers ought to be the leaders of school transformation and social development."


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