Associate Professor in Assessment and School Evaluation Division


Ph.D. in Policy and Management, The University of Melbourne, Australia


Dr. Rida Blaik-Hourani earned her Ph.D. in Policy and Management from The University of Melbourne, Australia. Dr. Blaik Hourani has taught and authored diverse courses in various disciplines at the higher education level. She is registered in the Schools Board School Teacher in Victoria, Australia and she is certified in assessing vocational achievement. Her professional expertise are in education leadership, school management, policy, school reforms, school evaluation, school improvement, educational equity and social justice and building capacities.

Dr. Blaik Hourani has worked on several educational projects with MoE Bahrain and UAE, pertaining to: curriculum improvement, constructing and reviewing programs, setting performance standards framework and enhancing quality assurance, within schools and higher education institutions. Dr. Blaik Hourani is also interested in curriculum innovation and has been involved in authoring and revising social studies curriculum and pedagogies. Moreover, she has constructed, facilitated and implemented educational projects relevant to building capacities; this includes teachers and school principal’s pre-service and in-service preparation and training.

Dr. Blaik Hourani has worked as Division Head for Arts and Humanities, Educational Leadership and Assessment and School Evaluation. Her research focus is on policy and leadership, school management, educational reforms and innovation, peace education, educational equity and social justice. Dr. Blaik Hourani has been engaged in teaching and authoring courses at the B.Ed., M.Ed., Doctoral and PGD programs for Arts and Humanities, Educational Leadership and Assessment & School Evaluation Divisions. She has also constructed concentration tracks for the B.Ed. and M.Ed. Programs, supervised in-service and pre-service teachers’ research projects, practicum, and internships at the B.Ed., PGD and M.Ed. levels.

Dr. Blaik Hourani has chaired and acted on several committees, including the Research Committee, Human Ethics Committee and Academic Graduate sub-committee. Last but not least Dr. Blaik Hourani is affiliated to the International Baccalaureate Exam Board, Association for Teachers Education in Europe, International Study for Leadership Development in Higher Education (ISLDHE).


Articles in Peer-Reviewed Research Journals

Blaik Hourani, R., Litz, (2018). Aligning professional development, school self-evaluation and principals’ performance standards: A UAE case study. School Leadership & Management. https://doi.org/10.1080/13632434.2018.1479848.

Blaik Hourani, R., & Litz, D. (2018a). Juvenile Education in Abu Dhabi: Insights from and implications of school policies for educational equity. Journal of Correctional Education, 69(2), 33-58.

Litz, D., & Blaik Hourani, R. (2018). Diagnosing the Abu Dhabi Education System: Past Achievements, Current Strengths and Future Challenges. (Prepared for the Sultan bin Zayed Culture and Media Centre Symposium on Developing Education in the United Arab Emirates).

Blaik Hourani, R. (2017). A call for unitary history textbook design in a post-conflict era: The case of Lebanon: The History Teacher. 50 (2), 16-36. The Society for History Education, California.

Blaik Hourani, R. & Litz, D. (2016). Perceptions of school-evaluation process: The case of Abu Dhabi. School Leadership & Management, 36 (3), 247-270. Manuscript 10.1080/13632434.2016.1247046. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13632434.2016.1247046.

Blaik Hourani, R., Stringer, P. (2015). Professional development: Perceptions of benefits for principals. International Journal of Leadership in Education, Routledge. 18(3), 305-339. DOI: 10.1080/13603124.2014.904003.

Blaik Hourani, R., Stringer, P. (2015). Designing professional development in a context of change: The case of Abu Dhabi. Professional Development in Education, Routledge, 41(5), 777-805. DOI: 10.1080/19415257.2014.938356.

Blaik Hourani, R. (2015). Performance Standards: Insights and Challenges of Pre-service Teachers. Journal of Teacher Education and Educators, 4(2), 137-165. http://jtee.org/document/issue8/MAKALE%201.pdf.

Blaik Hourani, R. (2015). Folktales, Children’s Literature and National Identity in the United Arab Emirates. Looking Glass: New Perspectives on Children’s Literature, 18 1. http://www.lib.latrobe.edu.au/ojs/index.php/tlg.

Stringer, P. & Blaik Hourani, R. (2015). Transformation of roles and responsibilities of principals in times of change. Educational Management, Administration & Leadership, Sage. DOI: 10.1177/0123456789123456, 1-23.

Baker, F. & Blaik Hourani, R. (2014). The nature of parental involvement in the city of Abu Dhabi a context of change: Nurturing mutually responsive practice. Emerald: Education Business and Society Contemporary Middle Eastern Issue, 17(4). DOI: 10.1108/EBS-05-2014-0023.

Blaik Hourani, R., Stringer, P. & Baker, F. (2012).Constraints and subsequent limitations to parental involvement in primary schools in Abu Dhabi: Stakeholders’ perspective. School Community Journal, 22 (2): 131-160.

Blaik Hourani, R. (2012). Pre-service teachers’ reflection: Perception, preparedness and challenges. Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, Routledge, Taylor and Francis, 14 (1): 12-30.

Stringer P. & Blaik Hourani, R. (2012). School-home relations. A school management perspective. Educational Research for Policy and Practice: Springer, 12 (2): 149- 174. DOI: 10.1007/s10671-012-9134-0.

Blaik Hourani, R. (2011). Constructivism and revitalizing social studies. The History Teacher, 44 (2): 227-249.

Blaik Hourani, R. (2011). Postcolonialism and ethnicity: Does it matter to history teaching? Social Identities, Routledge, 17(5): 655-679.

Books, Chapters in Books and Other

Book Chapters:

Litz, D., & Blaik Hourani, R. (in press, 2020). Transformational Leadership and Change in Education in R. Papa (Ed.), [Oxford] Encyclopaedia of educational administration. New York, New York: Oxford University Press.

Litz, D., & Blaik Hourani, R. (in press, 2019). Diagnosing the Abu Dhabi Education System: Past Achievements, Current Strengths and Future Challenges. Sh. Zayed Bin Sultan Culture and Media Center (SZBCMC).

Litz, D. & Blaik Hourani, R. (2016). Leveraging Social Capital in Schools for Systemic Education Reform. Developing Educational Capital in Times of Change: The Experience of Abu Dhabi (115-142), Springer Publishers.

Blaik Hourani, R., Diallo, I. & Said, A. (2011). Teaching and Learning in the Arab World. Teaching in the Gulf countries: arguments for the deconstruction of the educational model, (pp. 335-352): New York. Peter Lang International Academic Publishers.

Blaik Hourani, R. (2010). What Palestine Do We Teach? The History Curriculum for Palestinian Arabs, 1861-1999: Germany and U.S.A. Lambert Academic Publishing.

Research reports and other publications

Dr. Rida Blaik Hourani is the author of 3 children literature pieces. These stories stem from UAE folktales/ Arabian Gulf Countries and aim at educating children in terms of differentiating between fact and fiction and social rituals and religious practices. The stories entitled:

  • Hemarat Al Qayleh
  • Um Al Souf Wa Leef
  • Um Dways and Bu Diryan
  • Nabta Mumayaza Li Munasabah Saaedah