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The Teaching and Learning Forum is designed to be one of the premiere teaching and learning conferences in Qatar. Our aim is to solicit and select the most dynamic, innovative and effective presentations from the top professionals within Qatar. Aside from sharing practice, the aim of the conference is to inspire and motivate teachers to reach for the highest level of student engagement and achievement. To complement the teacher presentations, EDI invites the top international speakers and authors in the field of education to present keynote and featured presentations.

The Teaching and Learning Forum 2017 will be held on April 22, 2017 at the QNCC. It gives us pleasure to announce that Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space and Nasa’s first science specialist, will be the keynote speaker for our opening session. Our invited international speakers include Dr. Katherine Merseth and Dr. Deborah Jewell-Sherman from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Dr. Mahmoud Al Batal from the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas and Mr. Tom Schimmer.


Teaching and Learning Forum 2017

Saturday 22nd April

7:00am – 8:15am                   Registration


8:00am – 8:40am                   Poster Session One (outside Theatre Entrance)


9:00am – 10:30am                 Opening & Plenary: Dr. Mae Jemison (Theatre)


10:30am – 10:45am               Break


10:45am – 11:45am               Arabic Strand Featured Speaker: Dr. Mahmoud Al Batal

Breakout Session One


11:45am – 1:00pm                 Prayer Time & Lunch Break (Exhibition Halls 1 & 2)


12:00pm – 12:40pm               Poster Session Two (Outside Exhibition Halls 1&2)


1:00 pm – 2:00 pm                 Leadership Strand Featured Speaker: Dr. Deborah Jewell Sherman

Breakout Session Two


2:00pm – 2:15pm                   Break


2:15 pm– 3:15 pm                  Inclusive Practices Strand Featured Speaker: Mr. Tom Schimmer

Breakout Session Three


3:15 pm –3:30                         Break


3:45 pm – 4:45pm                  Closing session – Dr. Katherine Merseth


Time Function


Opening Keynote Speaker

Dr. Mae Jemison

Dr. Mae C. Jemison broke more than the sound barrier in 1992 when she climbed aboard the space shuttle Endeavour and became the first woman of color to travel into space. She was also NASA’s first Science Mission Specialist performing experiments in material science, life science and human adaptation to weightlessness. Dr. Jemison is a highly sought after speaker on issues of health care, social responsibility, technology, education and motivation. She is Founder and President of two medical technology companies and currently leading 100 year starship to assure human interstellar space travel to another star within the next century

Invited International Speakers


Dr. Katherine Merseth concentrates on charter schools, teacher education, mathematics education, and the case-method of instruction. At Harvard, she founded the Harvard Children’s Initiative, a university-wide program focusing on the needs of children as well as the School Leadership and the Teacher Education Programs at the School of Education. Internationally, she has edited two volumes of cases about classroom practice in South Africa and Chile. In addition to her Harvard doctorate, she holds a Bachelors in Mathematics from Cornell University, a Master’s in Mathematics from Boston College, and a Masters of Arts in Teaching Secondary Mathematics from Harvard.


Dr. Deborah Jewell-Sherman is a graduate of Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Urban Superintendents Program and has built a reputation over the past decade as one of the most successful urban district superintendents in the country. Prior to joining the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s faculty, Dr. Jewell- Sherman served as Superintendent of Richmond Public Schools with a track record of success that culminated in her being named Virginia Superintendent of the year 2009 by the Virginia Association of School Superintendents (VASS). During her appointment, 95 percent of Richmond’s lowest performing schools achieved full accreditation under Virginia’s Standards of Learning reform legislation. In addition, the district improved from 18 percent to 91.7 percent of all schools meeting this standard as measured by the State Department of Education (2008). Currently, Dr. Jewell Sherman serves as the Director of the Urban Superintendents Program and is the principal investigator for an initiative between the faculty of Harvard Graduate School of Education and the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. Since 2010, Dr. Jewell- Sherman has been serving as a key faculty member for HGSE’s new Doctor of Education Leadership Degree (ED.L.D).


Mahmoud Al Batal is Professor of Arabic in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. He is specialized in Applied Linguistics and teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language (TAFL) and is coauthor of “Al Kitaab” Arabic textbook series (with Kristen Brustad and Abbas Al Tonsi) published by Georgetown University Press. He has published numerous articles dealing with Arabic language pedagogy and Arabic Sociolinguistics and is developer of Aswaat Arabiyya “Arabic Voices”, a web-based project for Arabic listening materials. Dr. AlBatal holds a B.A. in Arabic language and literature from the Lebanese University, Beirut, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Arabic Linguistics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Before moving to Austin in 2007, Dr. A lBatal served on the faculty at the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and was the director of Emory College Language Center and Arthur Blank Distinguished Teaching Professor. In addition, Dr. Al Batal served as the director of the Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA), Associate Director & Chair of the Arabic Language Board in the National Middle East Language Resources Center (NMELRC), and Director of the Arabic School at Middlebury College.


Tom Schimmer is an independent education consultant from Vancouver, BC. Over the course of his career he has been a classroom teacher, school administrator, and district level leader. Tom is an internationally recognized leader and expert in the areas of assessment, grading, RTI, and educational leadership. He has delivered both keynote and workshop sessions at several national and international conferences. As well, Tom has worked directly with schools and school districts throughout Canada, the United States, Vietnam, China, Myanmar, Thailand, Japan, Qatar, India, the U.A.E., and Spain. He is the author & co-author of three books: Ten Things that Matter from Assessment to Grading (2013) and Grading from the Inside Out: Brining accuracy to student assessment through a standards-based mindset (2016), and Essential Assessment: Bringing hope efficacy, and achievement to the classroom (2017).