The History of the Faculty of Education
The Faculty of Education grew out of the School Development (SDP), which developed from the Field supervision component of the Preschool Teacher Training Diploma program (PSTD) in 1981.The PSTD program introduced the active learning approach to the preschool at a time when the preschools were perceived as miniature schools pushing down the first grade curriculum to ensure the alphabetization [PR1] of young children before they start school.
The PSTD Field Supervisor explored with preschool teachers ways to move away from rote learning to more child-centered approaches. The discussion included suggestions to introduce changes to the classroom environment, and practices that value child-initiated learning and viewed teaching as supporting the learning of young children. As the PSTD program progressed, it assisted the schools to implement the “Developmental Preschool Model" (often referred to as the Bethlehem University Model) through the SDP.
The PSTD coordinator was released for the equivalence of three credits per semester to implement the in-service work needed to facilitate the transition of the preschool to the “Developmental Preschool Model.” The work included offering consultation services to the preschool and holding workshops to:
- Assist the school in implementing enrichment and remedial education activities with the pupils;
- Assist the teachers in developing educational materials for the class;
- Assist the school in establishing a positive relationship between the parents and teachers of young children by facilitating activities to raise the awareness of both teachers and parents toward the importance of the role of adults in promoting the growth and development of young children in both the preschool and at home; and
- Assist the schools in implementing the necessary administrative decisions that support the transition into more child-centered programs.
As the work progressed more schools became involved, and schools and preschools outside the scope of the field supervision of the PSTD program began to request development. This coincided with the development of the PSTD program into the Early Childhood Programs with both the EDCT and EDPT degree. The level of involvement between the training program and the field expanded and started to encompass working with the formal educational institution (Ministry, school, and training institutes), as well as with the community starting with the family, neighborhood, and community.
The SDP was no longer sufficient to respond to the needs expressed by the field. The necessity for a more elaborate system was needed to maintain the unique relationship between the academic training program and the community it served. This brought forth the establishment of the EDC.
Merging the Two Centers
The EDC and the Science Education Center grew independently of each other, but reached a point where they had a significant overlap. In order to increase the efficiency of both centers and to build on their mutual human and material resources, and in order to avoid duplication and ensure cooperation, the two centers were merged under the name of the “Abdel Rahman Zurub – Education Development Center.”