Introduction Articulating voices of Emiratization: A personal perspective

Introduction

This book is testament to the dedication and capacity of members of the academic staff at theHigher Colleges of Technology (HCT). Many tertiary institutions are committed to a researchagenda and allowances are made for academics to conduct research and to publish it. The HCTis not a research-based institution – it is a teaching-based institution. The chapters in this bookwere written by academics with substantial loads; they are above and beyond the call of duty.The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a vibrant and exciting place. It is a place of constant changewithin a proud historical tradition. The tensions that inevitably arise in such national duality areclearly visible in the area of education.John Raven’s chapter sets the scene with a detailed analysis of economic and labor force trendsin the UAE before focusing on the all important role that education plays in regional and nationaldevelopment. His introduction to the issues involved with, and the reasons for, a change inpedagogical approaches provides a concise and highly relevant preface to the chapters thatfollow. The importance of the role of the HCT as a leader in promoting and supporting educationalEmiratization is central to this chapter.The notion of communities of practice is investigated by Khadar Ali, who describes and discussesthe role of socio-cultural theory in teacher education at the HCT. The community that Ali refersto is one that is created through the carefully planned and implemented practicum placementexperiences of education students at HCT. Ali also makes mention of the problems that canoccur when pedagogical approaches differ between those espoused at college and those usedin the school classroom.

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