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REAL Centre seminar with Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize Winner, Hanan Al Hroub

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On Thursday 1 December at 15:30, the Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre will welcome this year’s Global Teacher Prize winner, Hanan Al Hroub, to the University of Cambridge. 15.30-16.30: Seminar 16.30-18.00: Refreshments

University of Cambridge Pro Vice Chancellor for Institutional and International Relations, Professor Eilís Ferran, will open the event after which Hanan Al Hroub will speak about her work, notably with respect to teaching for peace. This will be followed by a panel discussion to include Philippa Lei, Director of Advocacy and Programmes at the Malala Fund, whose work champions education for adolescent girls in refugee settings, moderated by Pauline Rose, Director of the REAL Centre and Professor of International Education.

The Global Teacher Prize: Now in its second year, and widely referred to as the Nobel Prize for Teaching, the US$1 million Global Teacher Prize was set up by the Varkey Foundation to recognise an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession as well as to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society. By unearthing thousands of stories of heroes that have transformed young people’s lives, the prize hopes to bring to life the exceptional work of millions of teachers all over the world. For more information see:

Hanan Al Hroub: Hanan grew up in the Palestinian refugee camp, Bethlehem, where she was regularly exposed to acts of violence. She went into primary education after her children were left deeply traumatised by a shooting incident they witnessed on their way home from school. Her experiences in meetings and consultations to discuss her children’s behaviour, development and academic performance in the years that followed led Hanan to try to help others who, having grown up in similar circumstances, require special handling at school.

With so many troubled children in the region, Palestinian classrooms can be tense environments. Hanan embraces the slogan ‘No to Violence’ and uses a specialist approach she developed herself, detailed in her book, ‘We Play and Learn’. She focuses on developing trusting, respectful, honest and affectionate relationships with her students and emphasises the importance of literacy. She encourages her students to work together, pays close attention to individual needs and rewards positive behaviour. Her approach has led to a decline in violent behaviour in schools where this is usually a frequent occurrence; she has inspired her colleagues to review the way they teach, their classroom management strategies and the sanctions they use.

The Malala Fund: Inspired by co-founders Malala and Ziauddin Yousafzai, the Malala Fund works with partners all over the world helping to empower girls and amplify their voices; investing in local education leaders and programmes; and advocating for more resources for education and safe schools for every child. Their initiatives include investing in schools for Syrian refugee girls in Lebanon and Jordan, who are at risk of early marriage. For more information see:

This talk is part of the REAL Centre series.

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