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12 March 2013  
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Education News from Around the World

  Learning and Teaching 
  • Some Chinese schools will limit homework
    Some primary and high schools in China are working to adjust to a new policy, to take effect 19 March, that limits the amount of homework students can be assigned, eliminates midterm exams and bans the use of exam rankings, among other things. However, it's unclear if such regulations -- which have been adopted elsewhere in China -- will help to reduce students' burden, as parents step in to assign homework and more emphasis is placed on after-school programmes. Global Times (China) (10 Mar.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • England's "studio schools" blur the line between school, work
    Sixteen "studio schools" have opened in England, offering high-school students a full academic and vocational curriculum, as well as the opportunity to work with local employers. The schools, which each enrol about 300 students, are open year-round and run on a typical work-day schedule. The schools target a variety of careers and have support from Hilton Hotels, Michelin and IKEA. The Deseret News (Salt Lake City) (11 Mar.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Resources for teaching UK students about Easter
    This blog post offers several resources to help teachers in the United Kingdom address Easter in the classroom. Among the resources are links to information about the origins of the religious holiday, lesson plans and activities for primary-school students, and information and a teacher's guide regarding The Big Eggsibition, a large-scale egg-decorating contest that raises money for a UK charity. The Guardian (London) (11 Mar.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Professional Leadership 
  • New Zealand schools seek to recruit more male teachers
    Some New Zealand schools report a shortage of male teachers -- with at least one school saying it has no male teachers on staff. Officials say they have the greatest challenges in recruiting men to teach at the primary level. "Quality teachers are the most important rather than gender," said Associate Dean of Teacher Education Bev Cooper. "However, it is valuable to have a range of teachers so students may relate to them. Different students relate to different teaching styles and personality," she added. Bay of Plenty Times (New Zealand) (09 Mar.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Australia to assess teachers' suitability for the job
    Under new standards announced Monday for teachers in Australia, applicants could be assessed based on their suitability for the profession as seen in "interviews, demonstrated values and aptitude, and a written statement". The approach, which has the support of universities, is intended to ensure that teachers have the "passion" and "personal capacity" for the job, School Education Minister Peter Garrett said. The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) (12 Mar.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Regional Spotlight 
ASCD Worldwide Edition SmartBrief highlights education practices and policies in specific regions to give readers more in-depth insight into that country or region's education system. This edition focuses on Thailand.

  • Thailand to install high-speed Internet in schools
    Thailand has signed an agreement that will connect 27,231 schools nationwide through a Wi-Fi network as part of the government's One Tablet Per Child initiative. Next year, plans call for expanding the network to include 43,258 schools. Officials say the project will give students access to high-speed Internet using government-provided technology. FutureGov.Asia (Singapore) (11 Mar.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Thailand to cut 200 instructional hours from schools' calendar
    In Thailand, officials plan to reduce instructional time and reform school curriculum to include a focus on project-based learning. Officials say they are about six months away from finalising details of the plan. Currently, secondary-school students in Thailand have about 1,200 instructional hours each school year, and primary-school students have about 1,000. Officials say plans call for cutting 200 instructional hours from the calendar, freeing up more of students' time for extracurricular activities. The Nation (Bangkok) (11 Mar.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Reform and Research 
  • Other News
  ASCD News 
  • Making teacher observation matter
    "In the high-stakes world of teacher evaluation, we must remind ourselves that the most important aim of observation and evaluation is not rating teachers, but strengthening teaching and learning," writes ASCD EDge community member Laurie McCullough. In her ASCD Forum-themed post, McCullough joins the conversation around how best to define and measure teacher and principal effectiveness, and she shares her take on the essential elements of classroom observation. Read on.
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  • Many opportunities to connect with your favorite education authors
    Visit to delve into the work of your favorite education authors and listen to in-depth author talks. If you're planning a book study or want to learn how to relate an author's message to your situation, take advantage of our free study guides. And if you'd like to browse our lineup of author talks and book signing happening at this weekend's ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show, stop by the Inservice blog. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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True merit, like a river, the deeper it is, the less noise it makes."
--Edward Frederick Lindley Wood,
British politician

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