This interview was originally published in Q Magazine’s 4th Issue
For Dr Asmaa E Al Fadala, the field of education has always been one that requires a local understanding and a global outlook. In her pursuit of educational reform, her career path has transitioned from being a physics teacher in Qatar; a science coordinator following her acquisition of a Master’s degree; to joining the RAND Policy Institute, focusing on educational research.
At Cambridge University, Dr Al Fadala explored case studies of schools in Qatar impacted by educational reform. The research earned her a PhD in Educational Leadership. Afterwards, she joined the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), an international initiative aimed at transforming education through innovation. Today, she is Director of Research at WISE, focusing on promoting innovation in education across three ‘pillars’.
“Working at WISE has taken my work a step further to reach global platforms,” she says. “For example, I have been invited to serve as an advisory member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, working on a new education strategy for the region. This has given me the opportunity not only to make my voice heard within WISE and Qatar, but also on an international level.”
Dr Al Fadala’s work is necessarily global, but also local, which allows her to incorporate lessons from her early career path. She says: “On a local level, my personal favorite WISE project thus far has been working on the Empowering Leaders of Learning (ELL) programme with schools in Qatar. ELL is designed to support school leaders with strategies and tools to improve teaching practices and student learning outcomes, encouraging educators to pursue an evidence-informed focus and to apply research on effective teaching.”