Early years education in Qatar: The good practice guide in theory and practice
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Qatar’s massive education reform, Education for a New Era has dramatically shaped the educational landscape by implementing professional and curriculum standards and introducing best pedagogical practices at all levels. The current concern with Qatar’s educational reform is not so much the adopted policies but rather the implementation of these policies into classroom practices. This study examines several kindergartens in Qatar to explore the issues and concerns regarding the implementation of the Supreme Education Counsel’s The Early Years Education Good Practice Guide (GPG); a policy document providing evidence-based, needs based, culturally responsive appropriate early childhood teaching methods and materials. This research study includes focus groups with 22 kindergarten teachers/academic coordinators and classroom observations. By providing what Fullan (2000) terms an “inside, inside out and outside story”, we examine both the practices being utilized in kindergartens and obstacles that prevent teachers from implementing the GPG from the perspective of teachers and other early childhood school personnel. Finally, we provide possible recommendations regarding the implementation of the GPG.