Eileen Kennedy and Mustafa Habib.
In February 2019 UCL ran its first Arabic MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) on the Edraak platform, which provides free online learning in Arabic. One year later, we are about to launch the second run of our flagship course for teachers, Transforming Education in Challenging Environments / Educators for Change.
Our aim for this MOOC was to scale up professional development for teachers working in challenging environments, particularly those affected by conflict and mass displacement.
Teachers in such contexts can be highly dedicated professionals, but they are in short supply and may have moved into teaching from other professions. Schoolteachers in the refugee camps in Lebanon, for example, have formerly been engineers, doctors, artists, builders – people from all walks of life.
But even experienced teachers need additional support to create transformative educational environments for often very vulnerable learners. In these circumstances, no-one is better placed to advise than other professionals struggling with – and overcoming – the same challenges.