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18 December 2012  
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Education News from Around the World

  Learning and Teaching 
  • Philosophy curriculum seen as boosting UK school's success
    Educators at a primary school in London are attributing the school's recent success on national exams, in part, to its philosophy curriculum. As part of their philosophy lessons, children are asked to define success, and recently were asked, "If you feel successful will you be successful in life?" The school's headmistress says the philosophy lessons are not a panacea but are part of the school's overall culture of success. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (13 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Australian schools use iPads to help students communicate
    At two schools in Australia, students with disabilities are using iPad devices to better communicate and participate in classroom lessons. The Gowrie Primary School is using the technology in its special-education classrooms as part of a programme piloted at Canberra's Malkara School. Educators say the students, who have verbal difficulties, have used the devices to create stories and express themselves. Already, the students have improved their communication skills, as well as their literacy and numeracy abilities. ABC (Australia) (18 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • International school in US raises the bar for students
    The International Community School in Decatur, Ga., was once billed as a school for refugee children, and now is boasting success despite the challenge of educating 270 students from 30 countries. Students at the International Baccalaureate school are expected to be proficient in English, and reading and maths are practiced daily. "If the kids see that you are invested in them, then they become invested in you, they become invested in what they do in class, because they realise that you care about them," said soccer coach and fifth-grade teacher Drew Whitelegg. CNN/Schools of Thought blog (13 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Professional Leadership 
  • Teachers in Australia prepare for industrial action
    Australia's teachers union and government officials have yet to reach a deal over compensation for educators in Victoria state, and as the end of the school term approaches on Friday both sides are still far apart. The union has said it intends to begin industrial action if an agreement is not reached, which could lead to the elimination of some extracurricular offerings such as camps and musicals. Teachers also would not write comments on students' report cards, it was reported. The West Australian/Australian Associated Press (16 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • UK educator finds inspiration in improving schools in Brazil
    Phil Hawkins, a former science teacher and deputy head in the United Kingdom, now is working with a charity to improve education in Brazil. In this blog post he writes about his decision go into teaching and says it was driven by his desire to make a difference. "Teaching in a poorer culture changes your perspective on your normal job," he writes. "It relights your fire, gives you a different perspective." The Guardian (London)/Teacher Network Blog (16 Dec.) 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 Scotland.

  • Scotland seeks to make music education more accessible
    The government in Scotland will make a £1 million investment in musical instruments for the country's schools and examine fees that are charged to students for taking music exams. The moves are part of an effort to make music education more accessible to students. "Currently, there are too many children being put off taking up music because of the cost of the instrument," Minister for Learning Alasdair Allan said. BBC (16 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study will explore why Scotland struggles with language education
    Following research showing that Scotland is behind other nations in linguistics, a new committee will evaluate language instruction in the country's primary schools. Among the committee's goals will be to evaluate the feasibility of a government proposal to begin teaching foreign languages earlier in primary school. BBC (14 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Reform and Research 
  • India school leaders discuss education reform
    Changes to the operation of schools in India and parents' involvement in education were discussed during the recent National Forum of School Leaders. At the event, IT czar NR Narayana Murthy, said parents should have a role in the operation of schools "and even assess teachers' performance. They should also be given a chance to have a say in teachers' increments." The Times of India (16 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  ASCD News 
  • Take part in ASCD's live 2013 Virtual Conference wherever you are
    The second-ever ASCD Virtual Conference will run concurrent with ASCD's 68th Annual Conference and Exhibit Show on 16 to 18 March. Virtual attendees will take part in more than 20 live streaming sessions, engage presenters in Q&A, and watch special conference interviews. Speakers include Freeman A. Hrabowski III, one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World; retired Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor; and leading voices from the education community. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Throughout December and January: Whole child and common core
    "The Common Core Standards and a whole child approach are not opposites, and they do not and should not have to be in opposition," writes Whole Child Programs project manager Klea Scharberg. In a recent Whole Child Blog post, Scharberg points to free resources that educators can take advantage of as they work to implement a whole child approach to education and the new standards. And she discusses what content blog readers can expect to find posted this winter. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience."
--Robert Fulghum,
American author

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