Curriculum reform in the Arab world has been a recurrent issue in the past two decades. It has been presented as a major means for improving students’ educational outcomes and attainment. Despite numerous attempts at reform, the educational outcomes for children in the Arab world remain low particularly in the public sectors leading to a sharp increase in inequality, poverty and deprivation of large sectors of the society. This conference will unpack existing ideologies that inform current education policies in the Arab world and will engage the participants in a dialogue around the various philosophies that are driving curriculum reforms. It seeks to examine questions related to what should the next generation learn, why and how.
The conference aims to re-centre the debate around curriculum reform in the Arab world by addressing both the social, cultural, and political underpinnings of curriculum as well as the processes of curriculum development. It seeks to open a wider debate that goes beyond the technicalities of designing a curriculum to encompass normative and empirical questions that must be tackled when developing a new curriculum. At the same time, the conference will examine current debates that are subject- and discipline- specific and explore current developments from different countries around the globe.
In January and February 2021 CLS organised its first virtual regional curriculum conference under the title: Rethinking the Curriculum in the World Arab the & Lebanon: Pedagogies & Ideologies Reconciliating. The three-day conference was attended by 600 participants from 15 countries and included 70 speakers from around the world. The high number of participation and the rich discussions throughout the three days were the basis for a comprehensive Curriculum reform project which was planned and implemented by CLS and its partner Inspiration Gardens during 2021 and 2022. Funded by the Open Society Foundation.