Each April, eight to ten primary school teachers from around the U.S. travel to Egypt as part of the CMES Outreach Center’s Egypt Forum program. Currently in its fifth year, the Egypt Forum is a professional development program for K-12 educators designed to build leadership skills, engage teachers in Middle East studies through firsthand experience, and assist them in applying their learning in their classrooms, schools, and communities.
Modeled on the academic approach to inquiry at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Egypt Forum places a premium on challenging teaching professionals to reflect and build on their own work and share their expertise as educators with fellow participants. Because of its relatively small cohort the Egypt Forum is able to facilitate a customized course of study for each program fellow that answers the needs of his or her specific classroom. Participants define concrete goals for applying their learning to their classroom environment, and work with program director Paul Beran to find the resources and approaches that will address their particular subject of study.