American University of Beirut

Ghazi Ghaith receives education award for cooperative learning and activism

​​​​​The International Association for the Study of Cooperation in Education (IASCE), awarded AUB’s Professor of Education Ghazi Ghaith the Cooperative Learning Service and Activism Award in recognition of his research and development of professional in-service and pre-service programs.

This award acknowledges “the outstanding contributions of groups or individuals to promoting student academic improvement and democratic social processes at the local, regional, national or international level.” 

Dr. Ghaith’s journey with cooperative learning (CL) began 26 years ago following his participation in a workshop conducted by Professor Robert Slavin. “I quickly perceived in CL a potentially effective approach for the development of proficiency in English as an additional language; it helps us as well in our commitment to democratic education, peace, social justice, civic responsibility, and equal opportunities for success and inclusion for all learners,” said Ghaith. 

Professor Ghaith’s studies have contributed to verifying the theoretical relevance of CL in English as a foreign language (EFL) teaching and helped establish its efficacy as a proven instructional approach in the Lebanese EFL context and in similar multilingual contexts characterized by competitive teaching.

In a letter addressed to Ghaith, IASCE Co-President, Celeste Brody emphasized the importance of his work in the field of education: “Your work demonstrates a strong commitment to service and activism in the spirit of cooperation and democratic social processes. Your service and activism is wide and deep and has been sustained for a long time, to serve underrepresented populations and to improve the lives of many in schools throughout the Middle East.” 

In addition, Ghaith has studied the relative efficacy and the implementation challenges of all the major CL methods ranging from the concrete structural and student team approaches to the more conceptual ones of the learning together and group investigation. Specifically, Ghaith’s work has contributed significantly to a better understanding of the nuances of cooperation across cultures and how gender and aptitude impact cooperation in the Lebanese school context. He established that teachers’ beliefs, competence, attitudes, sense of teaching efficacy, and the subjective norms of the Lebanese schools influence the use of CL in EFL instruction. 

The research findings of Professor Ghaith are disseminated internationally and cited extensively. In 2010, he was recognized among the top 20 most influential professors of education in the world. This facilitated Ghaith’s efforts to design and continually update the AUB Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Diploma and MA Programs.  Over the years, Ghaith’s efforts have contributed to modernizing teaching, enhancing learning, and improving the teaching practices of many generations of pre-service and in-service EFL teachers and program implementers.

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