On Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at a Music Appreciation event for parents and friends, Al Yasat Private School received a distinguished Kagan Pathway School of Excellence Award from Mrs. Janet Larsen Roberts, Senior Education Consultant at the Knowledge Group from Abu Dhabi University. The award recognizes increased student engagement, improved student achievement, improved students’ communication and social skills, and teacher empowerment and professional growth.
The Kagan Pathway Awards are named after Dr. Spencer and Laurie Kagan, founders of Kagan Publishing and Professional Development, one of the largest teacher training companies in the U.S. The award recognizes schools that have excelled by using the Kagan cooperative learning methodology in their daily teaching strategies. It is given to schools that demonstrate excellent progress in their path toward becoming a Kagan Model School, one in which highly engaged student interaction is a daily habit in every classroom at every grade level.
Al Yasat Private School was an elementary villa school only one year ago. Located now in Al Shamka, the school has grown from 277 students to 840 in its first three years! Nearly all students are second language learners, and approximately eighty percent of students are Emiratis. Last August teachers were trained by Ambreen Mohamed, a Kagan Certified Trainer, and the student progress verifies that their efforts to decrease teacher talk time and increase student interaction and engagement have paid off. “Our math results were amazing!” said Ms. Ambreen. “Our students from Grades 1-5 have made an average progress of 34% gains from their starting to end points. In writing, 79% of our students have progressed above the expected levels. More good news is that cooperative learning doesn’t affect just academic outcomes. It’s a holistic education methodology. We are raising students as informed citizens who are caring and who have trust, respect and integrity.”
Kagan Pathway Awards of Excellence were also given to other leaders and teachers at Al Yasat. The awards presented and those receiving recognition include: Kagan Pathway Visionary Leaders, Sultan Yousef Al Haji Hasan and Yohanna Al-Hassan (Directors); Kagan Pathway Leaders of Excellence, Jake Madden (Principal) and Ambreen Mohamed (Vice Principal – Elementary); Kagan Pathway Teachers of Excellence, Alberti Strydom, Alison Kenny, Andrew Michael, Arifa Sultana, Saiqa Zahoor, Nadine Abou Harb, Sara Al Zubi, Seher Ahmed, Sheima Al Kubeisi, and Sonia Masood.
Principal Jake Madden said, “One of the great things about the Kagan cooperative learning framework is that students start to take control of their own learning. Once they are in control, they invest more into the activities. We find the children provide more input into assigned tasks and projects. Their personal morale and self-esteem tends to grow as they contribute and share within the activities, and over time, they build more positive relationships with each other. When I observe our students in action, there’s a sense of fun. They’re developing social etiquette – they’re listening. They are confident and express their ideas without fear of retribution from their classmates.”
Janet Larsen Roberts, Senior Education Consultant of the Knowledge Group, said, “It is an honor for us to recognize the leaders of Al Yasat Private School today. We’re pleased that their teachers and leaders are transforming their teaching and student learning with Kagan Cooperative Learning. Their shift from teacher-centered teaching to studentcentered learning is truly exemplary.”
Kagan Arabian Region is an authorised franchise of Kagan Publishing and Professional Development. Kagan's publications and workshops are based on a research program conducted by Dr. Spencer Kagan, a pioneer in the cooperative learning movement. Since 1968, their mission has been to help educators create more interactive classrooms that produce smarter, more caring and cooperative students.
The Knowledge Group is the Middle East and North Africa’s leading provider of organisational and workforce development solutions. Serving clients in the public and private sector, they apply unique experience and expertise to create bespoke, dynamic solutions to meet client’s specific development requirements. Knowledge Group provides comprehensive solutions in Training & Development, Consulting, Coaching, Outsourcing, Events & Conferences, and Research.