The new subject was introduced in line with rolling out the New School Model (NSM) to Grade 6 starting this school year.
This comes in line with ADEC’s keenness to provide educators with professional development programmes necessary to enable them to better teach curriculum and convey information to students through the most effective instruction methods.
As part of the programme, a four-day workshop was held for Abu Dhabi and Western Region teachers, while Al Ain, Al Ruwais and Al Selaa teachers will receive similar training soon.
A new subject for Grade 6 students, the Integrated Social Studies has been introduced as part of the curriculum reform. It includes History, Geography, Social Studies, National Education, Economics, Psychology, Sociology and Career Guidance.
Dr. Karima Al Mazroui, ADEC’s Curriculum Division Manager, said, “ADEC is keen to continuously develop curriculum in order to cope with our rapidly changing world. Implemented since 2010 in Cycle 1 schools and introduced this year to Grade 6, the NSM curriculum focuses on improving student critical thinking, analysis, and problem solving skills. These skills help students use information and conduct research, thus leading to broader understanding. The curriculum also aims to promote national identity through studying topics related to the UAE heritage and culture.”
She added, “National Education is not intended to drive students to memorize information. It is designed to help learners be good citizens and understand information about their beloved country, its wealth, needs and issues and student duty towards his/her country.”
The plan for offering the new curriculum involves a training programme for all social studies teachers and subject support specialists. The programme includes a workshop on how to teach the subject using attractive techniques and help individual students apply research skills and understand changes around them.
Among the topics discussed during the workshop were teaching the new subject using a student-centered approach and referring to the textbook as one of the support resources, rather than the main source for information. Teachers were also briefed on how to help student acquire life skills needed to meet the future labor market needs and be open to other cultures. The ultimate goal is to ensure that graduates achieve the highest learning outcomes and have a good understanding of life, art, history, geography and international relations.
Ms. Afra Al Muhairi, a Subject Support Specialist, said, “The new Integrated Social Studies offers several strategies that should be effectively applied by teachers in order to allow students the opportunity to develop new skills and better communicate with other cultures. The new subject teaches students how to successfully live in a multi-cultural society while being proud of their own identity and culture.” “The workshop promotes student active learning, activities and projects, and formation of teams while taking students differences into consideration,” Al Muhairi added.
Ms. Hasna Ahmed, teacher at Al Marwa School, lauded curriculum development efforts that aim to keep pace with latest instructional techniques. “I am happy that the new curriculum focuses on research and investigation through techniques that make learning enjoyable and fun for students,” she said.
Mr. Abdul Aziz Bafaraj, teacher at Al Suqoor School, said that ADEC has introduced a newly different curriculum in terms of content and teaching techniques.
“The relevant training programme significantly supports teachers in understanding the needed instructional techniques and strategies necessary to ensure that all students understand and interact with the content. What is really unique is that the new curriculum tackles topics relevant to the life of students and daily issues in addition to shedding light on some of the world’s key issues,” he concluded.
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