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Research Seminar Series

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START DATE 12 April 2017
END DATE 12 April 2017

Research Seminar Series 

We are pleased to invite you to our weekly Research Seminar Series today from 4pm, at Middlesex University Dubai in the Oasis Theatre, Block 16, Knowledge Park. The Research Seminar Series was launched in 2008, and has featured 200 presentations to date. The seminars provide a forum for researchers to share their work. Presenters include faculty from Middlesex University Dubai and other universities in the United Arab Emirates, as well as researchers from other global institutions. This week’s presentation is:


Real change: Authentic content for sustainable development education


Mariam Abonil

Middlesex University Dubai

Learose Pinkham

University of Vienna


A rapidly globalizing and conflicted world hastens the need for tertiary curricula to foster development of real-life problem-solving skills. Literature shows that models of learning used to achieve objectives involving awareness of sustainable development must reflect those goals through curriculum design based on authentic content. With basis in the works of Dewey and Freire, who posited both the interplay between governments and their people (Dewey, 1916) and the implication for group work in world transformation through education (Freire, 1970), a World Simulation Activity (WSA) activity was created to support the teaching of sustainability in and across educational settings. A term-long group-work exercise based on the WSA was then used to investigate facilitation of effective learning of authentic content through practical application of sustainable development goals. This qualitative study at an offshore private university in the UAE was carried out with three cohorts in a non-specialist foundation year. Preliminary findings show inclusion of this activity, along with the use of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning and student-led governance, created a knowledge-building approach to scaffolded content, contributing to wider applications of course material. Specifically, the concepts of collaboration, use of real-world research, and accountability for decision-making were observed. These observations will be discussed with regard to the incorporation of such activities into future university curricula.


Mariam’s career began as a volunteer education coordinator for educational institutions operating in conflict zones in the Middle East. For the past 10 years, she has worked at developing Peace Education curricula with different organizations in Toronto, Beirut, Bogota, and Dubai.  She has taught at universities in Toronto, Tokyo, and Dubai and currently holds a lecturing post at Middlesex University Dubai. Mariam studied Criminology and Languages at the University of Toronto.  Her qualifications include a Master of Arts degree in Education and PGCHE from Middlesex University Dubai.  Mariam’s research interests include: Sports in conflict resolution, Education in emergency situations, and Education for sustainable development.  She is the co-creator of the analog world simulation 'Inheritance' and is working towards the development of intergroup digital activities for secondary and tertiary curricula.

Learose’s education, spurred on by an innate love of language, began with a German language specialization at Universität Salzburg, and developed into a Bachelors of Linguistics and German from Ohio University. She taught with the Ohio Program of Intensive English for three years, leading her to pursue a TEFL Certificate. Learose conducted her undergraduate field thesis on noun pluralization patterns in US Virgin Islands English Creole in conjunction with the University of the Virgin Islands and the USVI Cultural Heritage Center. Upon graduation, Learose was awarded a Fulbright Grant to teach English in Germany, furthering her career in language instruction, which eventually enabled her transition to Dubai, teaching intensive English courses at the Higher Colleges of Technology. She then went on to spend 4+ years as a lecturer on the IFP at Middlesex University Dubai, where she completed the PGCHE. Currently, she is pursuing her Masters in Cognitive Linguistics at the University of Vienna, with a specialization in acquired neurological language disorders. She is the co-creator of the world simulation 'Inheritance'

If you are interested in presenting at one of our future seminars, or would like to recommend someone, please contact:

Middlesex Associates FZ LLC, Dubai Knowledge Park - Blocks 4, 16, 17 & 19
Admissions +971 (0)4 3678100

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