Research

CfBT is a knowledge-led organisation, offering our clients education expertise informed by leading-edge thinking and research.
Our methodology draws upon our knowledge of the global research-based literature relating to effective school evaluation. We bring insights from our own study of school improvement in a range of high performing countries which can be found at the following web addresses:

http://www.cfbt.com/evidenceforeducation

http://www.workingoutwhatworks.com/

From 2003-06, CfBT recruited, mobilised and managed professional teacher trainers/curriculum developers to work on a number of contracts in the State of Qatar, which CfBT managed on behalf of the Supreme Education Council. CfBT has been a key partner in the education reform and our Curriculum Standards Development team was contracted by the Supreme Education Council of Qatar to assist them in developing four related frameworks of curriculum standards in English, Arabic, mathematics and science for Grades K to 12. The contract was a key part of a wider strategy for fundamental reform of the Qatari school system.

Approach
In addition to the design and delivery of the New National Curriculum documentation, CfBT also mobilised two teams to work for the CfBT School Support Organisation (SSO) in Doha. The CfBT SSO provided support and training, particularly in the areas of school management and pedagogy, to four schools, primary and secondary, in Qatar.

The curriculum standards do not prescribe how teachers should teach, but highlight what students should know.  There are no mandated text books or assessment methods.  This autonomous, yet focused, approach to curriculum reform was developed in line with international best practice and has been employed in curriculum reform efforts all over the world (including England and Singapore).  The standards are deployed in various ways (the school decides on final delivery).

Impact
RAND Corporation Evaluation (2009) – Implementation of the K-12 Education Reform in Qatar’s Schools.  In 2005 the Supreme Education Council(SEC), in its role as overseer of the reform, asked RAND to monitor, evaluate, and report on the development and quality of the independent schools. Within its evaluation, RAND reported that the stringent curriculum standards and expectations that independent schools would develop standards-based curricula and instructional materials was a key component of reform. The transition from the Ministry’s predetermined course of study to one selected or developed by principals and teachers was not easy. However, Independent school teachers reported that they often use material developed with others in their school. The collaborative nature of curriculum development in Independent schools suggested that teachers were more active participants in the learning process of their students.

In 2013-14 we delivered a project supporting the development of a new, comprehensive and internationally bench-marked National Curriculum in Libya. We worked on behalf of UNICEF and in partnership with the Libyan Ministry of Education (MoE) to:

  • Assist the MoE and the Centre for Curriculum and Educational Research (CCER) to undertake a situational analysis of the basic education curriculum;
  • Enhance the capacities of the MoE/CCER staff; and
  • Support local experts to formulate a basic education curriculum development plan with recommendations.

Approach
The outputs were to be achieved through a series of carefully planned and targeted activities, all of which centred upon four key workshops and implementation was to be undertaken in a four-phase approach:

  • Identification of the key components of the curriculum
  • Preparation of a situational analysis of the current basic education curriculum in Libya
  • A comparative analysis of curriculum provision
  • Finalisation of a curriculum framework and a curriculum development plan

Impact
In order to successfully deliver this project our highly experienced project team used the following approach

  • Inception visit – by the team leader to understand fully our client’s requirements and capacity and the scope of the work.
  • Training programme – for key stakeholders focusing on contemporary approaches to curriculum development and helping them to identify the key components of the curriculum.
  • Review – our team supported the MoE staff to conduct a comprehensive document review of the current curriculum and assessment measures, school observation and analysis of learning outcomes, learner competencies and assessment standards.
  • Data collection – through interviews with senior Ministry of Education officers were to be interviewed with the aim of assessing the current understanding of ‘curriculum development’ and ‘curriculum development processes’ across the country.