Panelists sat around a table in discussion

The University of Birmingham Dubai is delighted to announce the successful completion of its 2nd Action Research Network Conference. This event welcomed 150 attendees, including teachers from 80 schools across the region, who gathered to share insights and advancements driven by research-informed practice.

The Action Research Network, initiated by Associate Professor Dr. Dawn England, Head of Full-Time Postgraduate Taught Programmes in the School of Education, and managed this year by Assistant Professor Phil Anderson, is a dedicated collective of teachers committed to enhancing classroom experiences through systematic research. These teachers have attended workshops hosted by the University of Birmingham Dubai, under expert guidance. This year’s conference featured a panel including Dr. Nadera Alborno from the American University in Dubai, Dr. Tiffany Lachelle-Smith from the Al Qasimi Foundation, and Emily Ellington from the University of Southampton. Additionally, the event showcased poster presentations from the university’s PGCEi students, highlighting the integration of theory and practice in teacher education.

Audience of around 30 people listening to a talk

The conference attracted a diverse group of school stakeholders, including principals, senior leaders, and policymakers, underscoring the importance of collaborative efforts in advancing education. The sessions covered a range of critical topics such as literacy, student well-being, professional development, and interventions for Emirati and Arabic learners, central to the ongoing development of educational practices in the region.

At the conclusion of the event, three awards were presented to recognise outstanding contributions. The Best Paper Award was jointly awarded to Gemma Donovan from South View School and Laura Canadillas from Jumeirah College. Gemma’s presentation evaluated the impact of targeted EAL strategies on ELL students, while Laura's was a case study of effective teaching techniques for teacher progression. The Scholarship Award went to Roua Halawani from Hartland International School for her insights on class withdrawals' impact on English language learners’ proficiency. The Best Poster Award was presented to Alizeh Bokhari from Jumeirah Primary School for her study on active vs. passive teaching techniques and their effect on intrinsic learning desire.

Partipants sat around tables in a seminar

The School of Education Department at the University of Birmingham Dubai extends its heartfelt thanks to the dedicated teachers who continually strive to improve learning experiences for their students. The journey does not end with the conference, as the university is already planning to welcome educators to the next Action Research Network cycle in October. This promises to build on the success of this year’s conference, with more opportunities for professional development, research collaboration, and sharing of best practices.

We encourage educators and teaching practitioners to stay connected and join the Action Research Network community. For more information, please visit our Action Research Network page.