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29 January 2013  
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Education News from Around the World

  Learning and Teaching 
  • What the US can learn from China about education technology
    Students in China are more likely than US students to report that their teachers are more technology-savvy than they are and that students spend more time using technology in school, according to a recent survey by Dell. The survey also finds that schools in China are more likely to use technology for training, in student collaboration and across the curriculum, while US schools are focused more on research and special assignments. The Huffington Post (28 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Instability plagues schools in Afghanistan
    In a volatile province in Afghanistan, the headmaster of a school in Marja says the school has been opened and closed several times as the Taliban came into and left power. Such volatility, Abdul Aziz said, has affected the school's ability to recruit teachers and secure resources. Despite these challenges, however, schools province-wide are reporting an uptick in enrolment. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (28 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Implementing A District-Wide Science Success
Veteran education leader Mike Dillon has helped his school district continue on a steady path of success in science. The Smithsonian’s Science and Technology Concepts program and kits, available through Carolina Biological, have ensured that an entire district maintains a culture of high academic achievement. Read the case study.
  Professional Leadership 
  • Study: Teacher preparation in Belgium needs improvement
    A recent study finds that teacher preparation in Belgium is lacking, with many future educators showing deficiencies in basic concepts related to geography, politics, history and other topics. Limburg Catholic University College, which tested 1,000 students at eight teaching colleges, now intends to conduct further research, hoping to establish how teacher preparation can be improved. The Guardian (London) (23 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  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 Australia.

  • Australia urged to build confidence in education system
    A recent study showing that students from higher socioeconomic backgrounds in Australia are more likely than their peers from disadvantaged backgrounds to believe in the value of education has sparked calls for officials to build confidence in the country's education system. According to the study -- which divided responses by students' socioeconomic status -- 88.3% of students in the top quarter rejected the claim that school did not prepare them well for adult life, while just 75.8% of students in the lowest quarter disagreed with the claim. The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) (23 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • New Australian school caters to aboriginal students
    An urban primary school enroling only aboriginal students in Australia is set to open this week and is believed to be the first of its kind. The opening of the school is intended to fill what is believed to be a void in the education of aboriginal children in the area. The school, which will enrol 17 students to start, was developed -- along with its curriculum -- over the past two years. The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) (29 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Reform and Research 
  • England begins review of education for top students
    Sir Michael Wilshaw, head of Ofsted in England, is seeking a review of how well schools are meeting the needs of top students. The announcement follows recent data showing that many students were unprepared to enrol in elite universities. The report is expected to be released in the spring. BBC (27 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Education reform could cut costs in Ontario, Canada
    A proposal by Ontario's Tories would significantly reform education in the Canadian province, ending all-day kindergarten programmes, cutting support staff, increasing class sizes and requiring additional standardised testing for students. The 25-page "Paths to Prosperity: Preparing Students for the Challenges of the 21st Century" was released last week. Ottawa Citizen (Ontario) (27 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Traditional history instruction doesn't work. "Why Won't You Just Tell Us the Answer?" shows teachers how to move beyond just lectures and textbooks toward a more question-centered approach that fosters historical thinking and leaves a lasting impact. Includes 6 sample American history units. Preview the entire book online!

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  ASCD News 
  • Side-by-side superheroes
    "Inquiry, like artistry may be acquired best through informal yet intense collaboration between novices and experts," psychology educator Susan Engel writes. In today's guest Inservice post, Engel recounts an impromptu drawing session between her 25-year-old son, an artist, and Ike, her 5-year-old nephew. They sat side-by-side drawing and discussing the Hulk, and Engel shows just how much Ike's drawing abilities evolved over the course of that morning. Zeroing in on the potential of informal learning, Engel points to implications for educational practice. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • PD days or PLCs for teachers?
    In a recent blog post, ASCD EDge community member Asha Singh walks readers through a typical professional-development day -- registration, getting to know you games, and a presentation that doesn't meet her interest. There is room for improvement here, writes Asha, as she delves into the many positive attributes of professional learning communities. Teachers in PLCs "accomplish more, they are more informed, they discover new and better methods to reach students and in the end both teachers and students benefit." Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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We have more ability than willpower, and it is often an excuse to ourselves that we imagine that things are impossible."
--François de la Rochefoucauld,
French writer

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