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24 January 2013  
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Education News from Around the World

  Learning and Teaching 
  • Lights, camera, literature: How a UK teacher uses film
    There are many films that are based on or inspired by literature that can become useful tools in classroom lessons, suggests Adwoa Oforiwa, an experienced educator in the United Kingdom. In this blog post, she writes that films often can help to engage students in lessons, excite them about learning and offer new details about characters and novels. The charity she works for, Filmclub, now also has created educational resources to help teachers use film in the classroom, she writes. The Guardian (London)/Teacher Network blog (23 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • IPads are becoming more common in New Zealand's schools
    A school in New Zealand is requiring all Year 9 students to use iPads while a government committee is recommending all students and teachers have access to a tablet or laptop computer. "I think it's both beneficial at a social and economic level because if we can ensure that New Zealand students are the most digitally literate in the world then they will have more opportunities both at an education level, but also at a job level," said committee chairperson and National MP Nikki Kaye. Stuff (New Zealand)/Waikato Times (19 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Narrative-based history curriculum is proposed in UK
    A team of academics and teachers in England will propose a history curriculum to state academies and private schools they say is an improvement upon the national curriculum. The curriculum, published by the History Curriculum Association, begins in early grades with lessons about dinosaurs and includes 2,000 years of British and world history. The national curriculum focuses more on broad themes, rather than the narrative of history. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (18 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 
  • Teachers in France oppose change to school schedule
    Plans are under way in France to lengthen the school week by adding a half day of classes on Wednesdays, when schools currently are not in session, while shortening the school days during the rest of the week. However, teachers protested this week over the change, saying they are concerned the additional day would be a burden. Officials say they believe the plan will help improve education in the country, which has one of the shortest school years -- but longest school days -- in Europe. AsiaOne News/Agence France-Presse (22 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • New policy leads to increased teacher retirements in Japan
    Retirement packages for teachers in Japan will be reduced beginning next month, leading to an increase in the number of teachers retiring before the new system takes effect. The Saitama Prefectural Board of Education, which learned that 100 teachers planned to leave by the end of the month, has been recruiting part-time educators to fill the vacancies, and officials say they also have asked teachers to continue working through the end of the school year. The Mainichi (Japan) (23 Jan.) 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 China.

  • China seeks to improve rigour of physical education
    The Chinese government is urging schools to do more to improve physical education, following evidence that the country's youth are struggling physically. Sun Yunxiao, deputy director of China Youth and Children Research Center in Beijing, attributes the decline to the country's focus on academic testing. Lou Linjun, a former physical-education teacher in Hangzhou, agreed, saying it is not uncommon for exercise yards at schools to be empty. ABC News/The Associated Press (22 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • China sets a high bar for education goals
    To reach its education goals, China will need to "improve quality and creativity," rather than solely focus on producing a large number of college graduates, says Gerard A. Postiglione, professor of education at the University of Hong Kong and the director of its Wah Ching Center of Research on Education in China. Already the country has shown much dedication -- financially and in policy -- to promoting education and the results are beginning to demonstrate that commitment, he writes. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/Room for Debate (21 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

The language you use in the classroom can change students' lives. In Opening Minds Peter Johnston (author of the groundbreaking Choice Words) shows how words can shape students' learning, their sense of self, and their social, emotional, and moral development. Preview the entire book online!

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  Reform and Research 
  • Time is running out for education reforms in Australia
    Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced plans to implement education reforms in 2014. However, officials say they need the details of her proposals as soon as possible to budget enough money to effectively carry them out. The details are expected to be completed by March or April, officials say. The Age (Melbourne, Australia) (20 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  ASCD News 
  • How to create and use rubrics for formative assessment and grading
    Rubrics have the power to support and enhance classroom instruction and student learning, but they are often misunderstood and misused. Susan M. Brookhart's new book, "How to Create and Use Rubrics for Formative Assessment and Grading," is a comprehensive guide for writing effective rubrics and selecting wisely from those already available. This resource also breaks down key differences between various kinds of rubrics and explains when each type should be used. Read sample chapters.
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  • Strengthen your PD programme with an ASCD institutional membership
    ASCD institutional membership is available to any school or district interested in creating or strengthening its professional development programme. The institutional membership offers educators group access to professional learning tools, publications, online research archives, and more. Learn about the specific member benefits associated with this type of ASCD membership and find out how you can use it to grow your professional learning community. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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An exaggeration is a truth that has lost its temper."
--Kahlil Gibran,
Lebanese-American artist, poet and writer

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