Campus: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- January 6, 2006
Cal Poly Dean Heads Education Review at Kuwait University
Bonnie Konopak, dean of Cal Poly's College of Education, is helping the Kuwait University
College of Education's efforts to attain international recognition.
Konopak, an expert in accreditation in the United States, recently traveled to Kuwait to
review the university's education program and determine whether it is ready for the new
International Recognition of Teacher Education.
While the United States has had national accreditation of teacher education for over 50 years,
the concept is new to universities abroad, Konopak said. "However, a growing number of
institutions are interested in benchmarking their programs against international standards,
following similar accreditation reviews in engineering, business and other disciplines,"
She has been a long-term member of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher
Education and serves on the Board of International Reviewers for the Center for Quality
Assurance in International Education in Washington, D.C.
As part of the process, Konopak and Abdullateef Haidar Al Hakimi, education dean from the
United Arab Emirates University, met with administrators, faculty and students at Kuwait
University, and visited a local school to observe student teachers.
"Teacher education programs in Kuwait face similar challenges as those in the United States,"
Konopak said. "Faculty stress theory-based pedagogy and the use of technology for instructional
purposes, while teacher candidates are concerned about daily routines in the classroom and
struggle with the scarcity of computers."
Konopak conducted a similar review at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates in 2003.
Contact: Carol Pendergast, Cal Poly College of Education,