The COBIS ‘Innovation in Education Conference’ recently joined forces with the first ever ResearchED event in the Middle East, which brought together leading experts from the field of education, thought leaders and educational practitioners to address ways in which teachers can explore educational innovations. COBIS is the Council of British International Schools, while ResearchED is a grassroots, teacher-led organisation, led by founder Tom Bennett, an independent behaviour advisor to the UK Department for Education.

Kirsten Burnett
This sketch was drawn during Kristen’s presentation by fellow delegate Oliver Caviglioli, an information designer in the UK

The expert speakers lineup included Kirsten Burnett, an educator from Doha College who is passionate about teacher autonomy and elevating the teaching profession. Through the school’s Enhanced Leaderhip Programme, she has introduced a programme of action research, while finalising her Master of Education in Professional Practice.

Drawing on her experience of teaching in the international setting offered by Qatar, Kirsten’s work expounds on ‘Why Being an International Teacher can Drive Action Research’. Her talk focused on the introduction of Action Research into Doha College Primary this year as a means of professional development.

She said that Action Research is aimed at raising the professionalism of teachers by providing autonomy to research ‘what works’ in a classroom. It also promotes democratisation within schools because change comes from teachers.

Kirsten’s research fits into a larger framework that came into existence at Doha College this academic year. Each year group in DC Primary has collaborated to investigate a research question about either the curriculum, content knowledge, a teaching strategy, professional identity, a social justice issue, or something contextual. This first cycle started in November 2018 and will finish in June 2019, culminating in a Learning Festival on 18 June, where each team will share their research findings with the whole school.

Kirsten is not the only Doha College staff member to have shared her expertise with peers. Her colleagues, Assistant Principal Nicola Meikle and Phase Leader Derek Watson, also recently presented at EdEx Qatar about ‘using standardised assessments to personalise learning and drive school improvement’. EdEx Qatar gathers over 1,200 education leaders and decision makers from government, kindergartens, schools, universities and colleges, to discuss innovative solutions and strategies for improving public and private education delivery in Qatar.

Doha College is one of the oldest international schools in Doha. Last year, it became the first in the world to be accredited as a ‘High Performance Learning’ school. Visit to find more information about their academic programmes and curriculum.