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Promoting education through the arts

Professor Mohammed Al-Amri (MA Art and Design Education, 1999) can look back fondly on his time at Warwick. Building on his Bachelor of Education and Postgraduate Diploma from Sultan Qaboos University and Helwan University respectively, he reflects on his highlights from his time as a Master’s student on campus.

What are your current roles?
I’m a professor of Art & Education and Head of Curriculum & Instruction Department at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) in Oman. I’ve been part of SQU for many years, having started as an Assistant Lecturer in 1995. My current role as Head of Department is the only one in Oman that offers programmes of study for preparing teachers in school subjects. I was also a visiting scholar at Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2019.

What’s one of your proudest achievements?
Earlier this year I was honoured to receive the 2022 International Society for Education Through Art’s (InSEA) Edwin Ziegfeld Award. It’s a privilege to be among those who’ve been selected for such a great award.

What does this award mean to you?
This award honours those who, like the InSEA first president Edwin Ziegfield, are forging new pathways in art education. InSEA’s purpose is to encourage creative education through arts, design, and craft across the world. To be recognised alongside other leaders, such as Deborah Smith-Shank, Timo Jokela, and Josip Roca, is an accolade I’m immensely proud of.

Do you have any fond memories from Warwick?
I had excellent memories of the pre-sessional English summer programme into my viva art studio, and I still remember the date being 29 September 1999. My professors were so kind in including international students like me. I stayed in halls of residence with fellow students from different countries, including the UK, Italy, Turkey, Greece, and Oman. We would go everywhere together, and each weekend two of us would volunteer to cook a traditional dish that we would sit down and eat together.

What did you take away from your time here?
I studied under distinguished Professors such as Richard Yeomans, John Baldacchino, and Sir Ken Robinson. These experiences provided me with a remarkable breadth and depth in reading literature on art education and a vision for art and teaching art education in a broader manner. I must thank Warwick for opening wider doors for the future of art education.

What advice would you offer a first year studying education and the arts?
Live in the moment of your studies, and work hard to achieve what you came to do. Remember that you have been accepted into one of the most distinguished universities in the UK. Take advantage of your time here, as this is the chance to build your knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Don’t look beneath your feet but look up at the sky and aim for the moon.

What is next for you?
I'm so happy with what I have already achieved locally, regionally, and internationally. I'm looking for more international opportunities in research, teaching, and serving societies worldwide. I’d like to exchange experiences and funded research projects and write more books in both the Arabic and English languages.

Mohammed speaking at a UNESCO podium