|Summary: Candidates engage in professional education experiences in all unit learning programs with candidates from the broad range of diverse groups. The active participation of candidates from diverse cultures and with different experiences is solicited, valued, and promoted in classes, field experiences, and clinical practice. Candidates reflect on and analyze these experiences in ways that enhance their development and growth as professionals.|
With the exception of the B.Ed. program, candidates in the unit programs are diverse in gender and nationality. Because of Qatar’s current educational policies, the B.Ed. program admits only females. According the current education policy in Qatar, females may teach in either boys’ or girls’ primary schools; however, males may only teach in boys’ schools. Many females who would be seeking a teaching degree will not attend mixed gender classes because of religious and/or cultural constraints. For these reasons, at this time the B.Ed. program is only for females. The other programs, however, provide a rich opportunity to work with diverse candidates. Our candidates, 2008-2010, represented 21 nationalities.
In an effort to increase gender equality among the unit’s candidate population, a study has been conducted to investigate male attitudes toward teaching as a profession. Because of cultural and socialization practices in the region, females tend to be more interested than males in the teaching profession, especially in the areas of primary education. Males seem to be less interested in considering a career in teaching and seem to adopt negative attitudes towards the profession. While there is only speculation and anecdotal evidence about some of the reasons that male university students shy away from education majors, the Diversity Standard Committee designed an empirical, exploratory study to determine some of those reasons. Undergraduate male students at Qatar University were recruited to participate in focus groups as well as an open blackboard discussion about the reasons that make male students uninterested in considering teaching as a future occupation. Responses from the focus groups and Blackboard™ discussion were analyzed and used to construct a questionnaire, which was used as the basis of the exploratory study. The initial questionnaire was piloted with 22 students whose feedback was used to finalize the final version of the questionnaire. The questionnaire was administered to a random sample of 172 undergraduate male students from different majors. Findings from the study will enable us to determine the reasons for the gender differences in our teacher education programs as well as design innovative, more effective recruitment strategies.