Meet Our DP Coordinator

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Zaina Shihabi – Diploma Programme (DP) Coordinator

A “third-culture kid” who has had the privilege of being able to call many different places “home” throughout her life, Zaina has lived in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, the UK, Jordan, and most recently, has added Malaysia to her list of “homes away from home”. Zaina is an experienced IB DP & MYP educator, who has also taught both undergraduate and master level classes in the UK. At UCSI International School, Springhill, she is the Diploma Programme Coordinator and an English teacher.

Zaina wholeheartedly believes that excellent communication, an empathetic approach, and a willingness to understand and learn from your students are all essential to a successful learning environment. As an IB educator, she constantly strives to facilitate the development of the approaches to learning (ATL) skills in her students during lessons and through tasks – skills such as how to communicate effectively and with purpose, how to collaborate and work well with others, self-management and time management, how to research effectively, and how to think creatively and critically.

She is particularly passionate about intercultural, intertextual and interdisciplinary practices, and encouraging a critical approach to learning. She believes 21st century skills, such as critical thinking and information and media literacy are extremely important; as we are now living at a time when all forms of media have permeated our personal and professional lives, she believes it is important to include how to utilize (and be critical of) digital media within a classroom setting. Above all, she firmly believes in a largely student-centred differentiated approach, one where every student feels heard, understood, and encouraged.

Zaina holds a TESOL certification, a BA in Mass Communication, an MA in Education, a PhD (her research centered around previous and ongoing debates surrounding A Level curriculum & education policy in England), and is currently in the final stages of completing a Post-Graduate Certificate of Education, international (PGCEi) with Liverpool John Moores University in the UK.

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