FAS Research Talk
Emancipatory Action research: developing a contextually grounded model for school improvement
Associate Professor, Department of Education
The TAMAM project (www.tamamproject.org) is a research and development project at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. The project triggers and supports school-based initiatives for sustainable school-based improvement in the Arab region; hence, countering the dominant top-down reform approaches in this region. Through emancipatory action research, it developed a home-grown approach to effective educational reform that is grounded in the cultural context and the local practices. It also developed a dynamic and responsive model for educational change comprised of a capacity building model, a school improvement journey and a set of competencies. This model builds the leadership capacity of educators and empowers them to become lifelong learners and autonomous change agents in their context. The school improvement journey and professional competencies provide flexible principles for change, facilitating an inquiry guided process of self-renewal. TAMAM’s partnerships with ministries of education and universities establish venues for collaboration among school practitioners, researchers and policy-makers, impacting both educational policy and practice. It currently operates in 8 Arab counties and 46 schools. Presently, TAMAM is expanding its research and development activities and refining its model to focus on community partnership and development as well as student leadership for active citizenship.
Rima Karami is an Associate Professor of Educational Administration, Policy Studies and Leadership at AUB’s Department of Education. She specializes in school principalship, supervision, educational reform and organizational change. Rima is a co-principal investigator of TAMAM Project and leads its professional development activities. Funded by the Arab Thought Foundation and LORE foundation, TAMAM has the largest and longest running grant for research in education in the history of AUB. Rima is also a consultant for regional and local educational institutions and her research is published in international and local journals.