Engaging Students in Abu Dhabi

In a pilot of a student competence framework in Abu Dhabi, student engagement with 21st century skills was rated as outstanding.

Cognition Education is involved in a twenty-month project to pilot the introduction of a student competence framework (SCF) in twelve private schools in Abu Dhabi. Dr. Brian Hinchco and Selena Hinchco are working with school leaders, curriculum heads, and classroom teachers as they map the SCF to each school curriculum and introduce the competences into classroom practice. The purpose is to ensure that the students experience a wide range of 21st century skills in a systematic and structured manner. Within the first twelve months, the pilot schools achieved some impressive outcomes. Brian and Selena conducted seventy-nine lesson observations in pilot school classrooms and also interviewed students.

In all classrooms, students displayed an awareness of the SCF competences and values. They could identify the competence that was the focus of the lesson and they could list other competences they were focusing on in other subjects.

In 50% of the classrooms, students could explain how they were developing a deeper understanding of the competences. For example, they could describe the competence in practice and they could talk about the performance indicators for that competence.

Students could use real-life examples to explain why the competences were relevant to them.

Brian and Selena used a purpose-built Lesson Observation Rubric to rate the project’s impact. They rated student engagement with the competences as outstanding in over 60 percent of the classrooms.