ALEXANDRIA, Virginia, March 31 /PRNewswire/ --

- ASCD Middle East is first organization of its kind to provide educators in the region with tailored professional development and capacity building

The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) announced the formation of ASCD Middle East. Sharing ASCD's mission and vision, ASCD Middle East will provide professional development and capacity building to the region's educators -- school administrators, officers of regional ministries of education, university professors, and classroom teachers, among others -- and will ensure that ASCD resources and programs are accessible and aligned with the needs of local educators.

ASCD Executive Director Gene Carter said, "I'm pleased to work with ASCD Middle East to extend our reach into a region where local educators are eager for resources and support. The importance of attaining shared understanding through education cannot be underestimated in today's global society. Sharing education best practices across borders today will help our students collaborate with people across the world to solve common problems years from now."

Joseph Ghaly, former leader of the ASCD Qatari Connected Community, is ASCD Middle East's executive director. The organization, a culmination of more than three years of work, will have offices in Qatar and Turkey.

"Educators in the Middle East are hungry for sound professional development programs that address their unique local needs," said Ghaly. "ASCD Middle East will respond by offering resources and tailored training programs for educators in their native languages."

ASCD Middle East will work to ensure all learners receive a high quality education and will promote ASCD's Whole Child Initiative (, which calls on parents, educators, policymakers, and communities to join forces to ensure all learners are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. The organization will also provide educators in the region with on-site and online professional development and training, with supported, documented evidence of learning that can be used for teacher certification. Additionally, educators will be provided with translations of ASCD books and multimedia resources; customized capacity-building to meet local curriculum, leadership, and instructional needs; and opportunities to attend local, regional, and international ASCD conferences and institutes.

"In developing professional development programs that serve the needs of teachers around the globe, ASCD is a responsible leader in the field of education and a key player in forming a better and peaceful world for future generations," said Ibrahim Betil, chair of both the Community Volunteers Foundation in Turkey, which works to empower youth, and the Enka Schools in Adapazari, Turkey, a K-12 school established to serve socio-economically disadvantaged communities.

ASCD Middle East will focus initial efforts on translating up to 20 key ASCD resources over the next year. The first book, How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms, 2nd edition (2001), will be translated in Arabic and Turkish.

In addition, ASCD Middle East will convene a conference in Istanbul, Turkey, November 8-9, 2008, with the theme, "The Whole Child: Embracing a Global Vision." Conference sessions will support educators in addressing the holistic, as well as academic, needs of every learner. Sessions will also focus on ASCD's major professional development programs: Differentiated Instruction, Understanding by Design, and What Works in Schools.

ASCD has long been committed to worldwide educators. More than 13,000 ASCD members live outside the United States and dozens of ASCD books and videos have been translated in 28 languages. ASCD collaborates with government officials and educators in Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Singapore to advance new approaches to teaching and learning.

For more information about ASCD Middle East, go to:


Founded in 1943, ASCD, a nonprofit association, is one of the largest professional development organizations for educator leaders. It provides education information services; offers cutting-edge professional development for effective learning, teaching, and leadership; and supports activities to provide educational equity for all students. ASCD's membership of more than 175,000 includes principals, teachers, superintendents, professors of education, and other educators from 119 countries. The Association also has nearly 60 affiliates throughout the world.

ASCD Middle East

ASCD Middle East was launched with the mission of creating a community for the region's educators -- school heads, officers of regional ministries of education, university professors, classroom teachers, and many others committed to the success of each learner. Our goal is to become a vibrant and diverse group, and a trusted voice influencing policy and practice. Our expertise and resources are indispensable for excellence in learning, teaching, and leadership.

Web site:

Joseph Ghaly, executive director of ASCD Middle East, +1-404-348-3486,, or Barbara Michelman, communications director of ASCD, +1-703-575-5764,