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Programs

Programs

QFI’s Program Areas focus on interrelated issues of global importance: collaborative learning, youth engagement, and language education. These program areas feature the cross-cutting themes of technology, bridging cultures, community engagement, and partnership.

In keeping with QFI’s modus operandi of inclusivity and diversity, we have established a Program Advisory Board to strengthen and sustain our programmatic work in our Arabic Language and Culture program.

Arabic Language & Culture

QFI’s flagship Arabic Language and Culture (ALC) program provides opportunities for high school students from varied backgrounds to learn Arabic and become familiar with the Arab world’s history and culture. QFI has a unique, systematic approach to expanding the teaching of Arabic in publicly funded schools in the Americas. Since the program was established in 2009, the number of public and public charter school Arabic programs has increased by 33%, reflecting a significant demand for Arabic language instruction at the K-12 level. QFI also plays a leading role in strengthening and professionalizing the Arabic teaching profession. It does this by supporting teacher training, access to professional meetings, curriculum development, and by providing venues for collaboration both in person and online. Responding to a need for easily accessible teaching and learning materials, QFI created Al-Masdar, an online, open source website for Arabic education resources.

ALC aims to:

  • Build bridges across cultures by increasing the number of K-12 students in the Americas with a good knowledge and understanding of Arabic language and culture.
  • Increase the number and quality of Arabic programs in public and public charter schools in the United States and other countries.
  • Support the teaching of the Arabic language through grant-giving and programmatic activities.
  • Increase and professionalize the supply of highly qualified teachers of Arabic, thus raising the visibility of a growing profession, through grants, professional development and online resources.
  • Support the development and sharing of age- and level-appropriate curricula, learning materials, and assessment mechanisms for K-12 Arabic language instruction.
  • Use information technology to support and facilitate instructional delivery, school partnerships, and teacher/student collaboration.
  • Serve as a convener, networker, and relationship-builder for the various stakeholders in the global Arabic language teaching and learning community.

ALC programs and grants fall under several categories:

  • Direct support to in-school Arabic programs in the United States, Brazil, and Canada
  • Teacher professional development
  • One-time grants to develop Arabic curricula or support classroom needs
  • Scholarships for summer immersion programs for high school students
  • Student exchange programs between the United States and Qatar

Youth Engagement

Young people are not only the next generation of world leaders and decision-makers but can be and often are agents of change. Through its Youth Engagement programs, QFI aims to inspire action, cultivate student-generated ideas, inspire lifelong learning and encourage young people in the Americas and Qatar to come together across borders and cultures to address local and global problems. QFI endeavors to transmit to youth the critical competencies of global citizenship, the knowledge and skills needed to effectively:

  • Explore and study the world
  • Delve into new cultures and learn to recognize and respect other perspectives
  • Communicate one’s own ideas thoughtfully and responsibly
  • Become leaders and take positive action in their communities

While other QFI program areas focus on in-school classes, Youth Engagement focuses on ‘soft skills’ such as leadership, communication, creativity, and critical thinking, which are extremely important but all too often ignored in school curricula.

The Youth Engagement program is comprised of three main activity areas:

STE{A}M

From 2009 to 2014, QFI activities in STE{A}M—Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math have given students in the Americas and Qatar the tools and resources they need to explore and discuss important issues with each other and with educators. Through its STE{A}M projects, QFI enhanced science and math education in Qatar and the Americas by addressing the needs of both educators and students. This was done by increasing student engagement and interest in science, technology, engineering, and math—often referred to as STEM subjects—by adding a cross-cultural dimension and the {A} for arts.

STE{A}M projects supported educators and learners by:

  • Forging partnerships between schools and like-minded organizations in STE{A}M industries.
  • Using technology to connect classrooms across the globe where students are equipped with the tools needed to tackle global issues in their own communities.
  • Expanding access to high-quality educational Science and Math materials using freely available Open Educational Resources (OER).

Educational Programs, Outreach and Curricula

Platforms

Technology provides students and teachers with a means to communicate, collaborate and share experiences across geographic, cultural and social distances. QFI believes these exchanges are critical for global competencies to be born, stereotypes to be broken and new learning to occur among youth from the Americas and Middle East. Through multiple platforms and a variety of initiatives and partnerships with leaders in the field of virtual learning, QFI fosters its mission of “connecting cultures for global good”.

QFI is deeply vested in using the power of online platforms and communities to bolster physical exchanges and deepen the impact of that experience. Additionally, face-to-face initiatives are enhanced and heightened by continued virtual conversations and collaborations. Through the following platforms, QFI provides opportunities for educators and students to collaborate, to build on connections made through shared experiences, to learn from one another, and to share resources and ideas.

QFI Platforms