What does being a peer researcher mean to you?

Between March and July of 2021, Mosaik Education—in partnership with Open University and Centreity Systems—began the first phase of a peer ethnographic project investigating communicative approaches to English language teaching in crisis contexts.

Mosaik Education has been exploring communicative approaches to English teaching in refugee contexts over the last few years and our teachers continue to draw from the dogme approach in their classes. This peer ethnographic approach allowed us to further research this space while addressing some of the limitations of the methods which currently dominate research in refugee settings. The peer ethnographic methodology is seen as a form of action to reduce the historical ‘culture of silence’, in which silence has been imposed on marginalized groups as a form of oppression.

Our team worked with teachers in Jordan as peer researchers. They were trained in qualitative research methods through six workshops, gathered data through in-depth interviews with individuals selected by them from their own social networks and conducted their own data analysis process. Below we hear from some of the teachers on what it means to them to be a peer researcher.

Ekhlass Abu Allan

“Being a peer researcher is an opportunity I was looking for to practice all that I have learned when I was writing my Master’s thesis. Also, it gave me the chance to have a deeper look at all of our work as teachers and at how much we should collaborate to enrich our experiences and face challenges. When I got the offer to be a peer researcher I agreed without hesitation because I believe that research is the most effective way to develop any field of science.”

Ekhlass Abu Allan is an English Teacher. Speaking English fluently was a childhood dream because she knew it would be a key to higher education and to communicate with many nationalities. When sheI visited the UK, she got the chance to see how foreign students in the UK pick up the language in a short time. It wasn’t just the exposure but the methods that made her decide to be an English teacher. She came back to Jordan and accomplished another dream to have the official qualifications, but she believes she became a real teacher through continuous training.

Ahmed Osman

“I am someone who always wants to contribute to the educational field and give back what I have learned. I think it’s so important and I feel that it is my responsibility to share my knowledge and experiences with others.

When I heard about an open university research project, the first thought that came to my mind was that I wanted to learn some skills through participation as a peer researcher that will give me some tools to know how people perform data analysis. I knew I would learn a lot from the training or workshop. I was so excited to be a part of it.

Being part of a peer research project is an opportunity to learn from experts and peer researchers and share my experience with peer researchers, and it opens doors for more opportunities for English teachers in refugee settings, such as training and other development areas.

It means a lot to me to work with experienced people to collect the data, and as a teacher, I wanted to know other teachers’ concerns and ideas on how they would like to see the future of their teaching and how they see their roles as teachers in refugee settings, because I have experienced how important education is. Being a peer researcher gave me ideas about how I can organize my classes and time, through learning about valuable teachers’ experiences.”

Ahmed Osman is a project manager and a volunteer with Mosaic education as an English teacher, currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in sustainable development at Xavier University.

His expertise is in the field of education in disadvantaged communities, due to his work with refugees. He has developed many skills that are relevant and necessary in this field, most notably communication skills that are needed every day in the settings of his work.

He has always been passionate about helping others. After finishing his studies, he will use his knowledge and training to help marginalized communities in Africa and the Middle East.

Wajeeh Badwi

“Teaching is not an easy process and it requires all your time and effort to provide the best education to your students. In addition to that, finding new methods and techniques requires time and lots of research. Being a peer researcher extended my knowledge about the struggles that each teacher faces and allowed me to learn more about teaching from other teachers’ experiences. When I started the research, doing the interviews and collecting the data, I found out that there are challenges I had never come across. Being a peer researcher opened my eyes to a new reality that I didn’t know and scaffolded my experience from other teachers’ experiences by learning the way they solved their challenges. I love the idea of being a peer researcher and I am looking forward to starting my own research.”

Wajeeh Badwi started his career as an English Teacher six years ago. His ambition and career goals pushed him to find new methods and techniques in the field of education. He’s always looking for courses and training in the field of education. Today, he is a teacher at a high school, but in the future he aspired to be teaching at university.

Aisha Artan

“Being a peer researcher meant a lot to me, it was an amazing opportunity and experience. I felt I was part of my community, being able to contribute to my community by sharing my knowledge and understanding how to generate information. Being a peer researcher has given me new skills: I am now a better listener, communicator and more focused.”

Aisha Artan is from Somalia. She is 24 years old and married. She is an English as a second language teacher living in Jordan. She is passionate about learning new things and working with people from different backgrounds. She likes reading, dancing and walking

Only 3% of #refugees access #university. We help refugees to reach university with guidance and skills programmes that are designed with refugees