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Erasmus+: Workshop for Syrian refugee teachers moderated by Kazakh colleague

On Tuesday 8 March, ICLON,Leiden Univesity's graduate school of teaching, organised a workshop for Syrian refugee teachers. The workshop was moderated by Ms Assiya Alibekova, from KAZGUU University in Kazakhstan.

Together with five colleagues she was in the Netherlands for a week, in the framework of Erasmus+ staff exchange between Leiden University and three universities in Kazakhstan.

Building a curriculum

The goal of the workshop was to train, in a creative way, the fundamentals of curriculum design. Together Syrian, Kazakh and Dutch colleagues assembled a curriculum for an imaginary professional programme in higher education. Firstly, a description was generated of everything a professional does in the given profession. Based on this description, the participants jointly determined how the educational programme should be built up, regarding content and educational approach. Finally, the key principles of curriculum design were jointly summarized. With much professional pleasure, the international party of Syrian, Kazakh and Dutch colleagues tackled the varied collection of exercises during the workshop.

Train the trainer

For our Kazakh colleagues this Erasmus+ project is a ‘train-the-trainer’ exercise. Some of them had been in Leiden previously for a three-month ‘professional development training’ in the framework of the Bolashak study programme. This coming May five staff members of ICLON will travel to Kazakhstan to give three workshops, jointly with our Kazakh colleagues, about curriculum development, ICT in education and writing research proposals. For an extended description of this Erasmus+ project, please go to the website of the Central Asia Project of Leiden University.

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Mobile Educator

The Syrian teachers are taking part in The Mobile Educator project. In this project ICLON and Dutch Academic Services cooperate to help Syrian refugee teachers to professionalize their skills regarding education in the Netherlands and ‘blended learning’. The aim is to enable them to utilise their teaching competencies effectively in their new environment. The training is now in its fourth week and the participants work with enthusiasm, determination and a professional attitude. Last week they visited a number of secondary schools and this week they start with a range of specific educational design projects, including a project at the Faculty of Food & Nutrition of The Hague University of Applied Science and a project with the Leiden University Universe Awareness programme. This organization educates and inspires children, especially those from underprivileged communities, about the wonders of astronomy.

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