The AMQF launched the Drama in Education Summer School (DiESS) on Tuesday, July 18, 2017, in the Jordanian city of Jerash. DiESS, organized by the AMQF Educational Research and Development Programme (ERDP) for its 11th consecutive year had 92 teachers from different areas across Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Sudan and Lebanon.
DiESS Opening Ceremony included a short video about this year’s Teaching Staff, a video about last year’s Summer School, a general presentation on the school’s programme and history. It also featured a word by Wasim Alkurdi, DiESS Academic Director who noted that the school was gradually accumulating experience with the aim of bringing about fundamental change in education in the Arab world. He added, “We don’t aspire to have teachers who master drama, but rather ones who master education in their societies. Drama, however, offers us the possibility to see the world through an imagined context that unravels reality and challenges it”.
AlKurdi also highlighted the absence of Gazan teachers from the Summer School for the second year in a row due to restrictions by the Israeli occupation. He stressed on the importance of opening alternative, remote channels of communication with Gaza to share the experience.
The Summer School has been an annual event since 2007, targeting early education teachers and educators. It is designed to be an intensive programme that includes both theoretical and practical training in the field of drama in education.
AMQF received 248 applications this year since DiESS call for applications in February 2017. Six workshops were held in Gaza and the West Bank in May to select participants and 45 people from Palestine and the Arab world were eventually chosen to join the Year 1 courses. 30 teachers have passed their requirements and joined Year 2 courses, whereas Year 3 had 17 participants. The year 3 participants will be receiving an official certificate in Drama in Education at the end of the training.
The Summer School is a structural part of a long training programme. At the end of the annual gathering, participants hand in summaries on the Summer School courses and readings recommended by ERDP. Next, participants attend the Winter Course on Research Writing; a 3-day event featuring theoretical and practical workshops to support teachers and assist them in completing their study requirements.
After the Winter Course, teachers are required to develop drama lesson plans based on the summer and winter courses. They later elaborate and implement the plan in their classes, and by the end of April of each year, their work is evaluated by the Academic Committee of the Summer School in preparation for their joining the next level course.
AMQF constantly seeks to provide up-to-date research and educational resources to participants by translating the latest internationally published books and articles on the subject of Drama in Education.
Furthermore, ERDP incessantly strives to enrich the Summer School programme by including evening workshops. This year, they feature a workshop on screenwriting, two Palestinian film screenings followed by discussion with the audience, and two workshops on planning and evaluating drama lesson plans.
AMQF DiESS teachers are of diverse backgrounds and nationalities. This year’s teaching Staff includes Al-Kurdi, Malik Al-Remawi, Vivian Tannous and Mutasem Al-Atrash from Palestine, as well as Maggie Hulson and Tim Taylor from the United Kingdom, Christine Hatton from Australia, Kostantinos Amoiropoulos from Greece in addition to Kawthar Barghouthi, Yousef Khawaja, Mohammad Khawaja and Hisham Awad as support teachers from Palestine.