Welcome from the Director of Teaching and Learning
Welcome to the Teaching and Learning Center at the American School of Dubai.
Every new school year offers both students and teachers the wonderful opportunity to explore, question, delve into literature, create, think critically and achieve. The 2012-2013 school year promises to be an exciting one!
The primary role of the Teaching and Learning Center is to provide guidance and support for continuous student learning. We work with teacher teams and departments to fulfill the school mission. We foster dialogue around the research supporting the best practices in curriculum alignment, assessment, and instruction. Our teachers work collaboratively to share their teaching strategies, so that all students benefit from our collective expertise.
In addition to focusing on student learning, the Teaching and Learning Center supports faculty and staff in their professional learning. As members of a variety of educational organizations, we have access to the latest educational research. We subscribe to premier educational journals, share articles, explore webinars, and find conferences that keep teachers excited about their craft.
This dual role of supporting both student and professional learning makes the Teaching and Learning Center at ASD an exciting hub. This year, we hope to continue finding ways to share our learning focused work with the greater ASD community. We welcome you to revisit the website, or our center on the ASD campus, to learn even more about the American School of Dubai as a learning-focused community.
Michelle M. Kuhns, M.Ed
Director of Learning
American School of Dubai
For additional information about teaching and learning at ASD, please e-mail the
The American School of Dubai welcomes Ms. Michelle Kuhns as Director of Learning.
Michelle Kuhns assumes the position of Director of Learning at the American School of Dubai. Michelle has worked in teaching and learning both in the United States and internationally for the past twenty-five years. Initially serving as a high school English and German teacher, her professional interests led to the study of language acquisition and literacy early in her career, prompting further study in curriculum and instruction and school leadership. She has held multiple roles in schools and most recently comes from the American School of Warsaw, Poland where she served for five years as the Director of Curriculum and Professional Development. She holds a post-masters Certificate in School Administration and Supervision from John Hopkins University and M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from Lesley University, Cambridge Massachusetts. Her own love of learning has led her to explore the affects of change in schools, multiple studies on a variety of curriculum frameworks, and assessment of, for and as learning.
ASD Program Review
Systematic Program Review Cycle
In accordance with the ASD Program Review Cycle schedule, all of the school’s programs go through a constant cycle of development, implementation, monitoring, review, and adjustment. Philosophy, standards, benchmarks, instructional materials, instructional strategies, and assessment tools are reviewed. Program revision decisions are based on (1) the ASD mission; (2) strategic long-range planning and annual goals; (3) current research; (4) developmentally appropriate practices; (5) responsible consideration of current fiscal, staffing, scheduling, and facilities constraints; and (6) cost/benefits analysis.
Systematic Program Review Process
Program improvement is supported through grade level teams and organizational structures in the middle and high school departments. Regular meetings occur for professional dialog, collaboration, and facilitation of curricular work. ASD has non-student half days (Program Improvement Days) throughout the year to allow for meetings to support this work. In addition, program review committees, representing K1-Grade 12, meet intensively during the initial phase of the review process.
Curriculum Philosophies and Standards
ASD has adapted the American Education Reaches Out (AERO) standards to its math, science, social studies, and world languages programs. These standards for American overseas schools provide standards similar to American stateside criteria, thus supporting ASD’s mission to provide what is best in American education. ASD has also adopted the State of Delaware English Language Arts standards, while standards in other curricular areas are being developed based on national standards in the United States.
Vertically and horizontally aligned standards reflect what students will most likely become, know, and accomplish as a result of learning in a specific area. These include content (big idea concepts), skills, and dispositions. Specific benchmarks provide developmental performance expectations to measure a given standard at a specific grade level or in a particular course. Teachers are responsible for assisting students in meeting these standards.
The Teaching and Learning Center coordinates an extensive staff development program. We establish, publicize, and administer a school-wide program to attract large numbers of participants who seek to improve their classroom instruction skills and strategies in support of ASD education goals.