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12 February 2013  
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Education News from Around the World

  Learning and Teaching 
  • Estonia schools add high-tech maths lessons
    In Estonia, 30 schools soon will begin using computer-based maths through a pilot programme in which students will be taught the real-world applications for the subject. The teaching method also focuses less on doing sums and more on the use of computers for computation. Supporters say that, in many cases, schools are hitting roadblocks in teaching students to do computations by hand, but this teaching method assumes that students can use computers for such calculations. The Wall Street Journal/TechEurope (11 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Why arts teachers may be experts in project-based learning
    Core-subject teachers should consider looking to arts teachers for ideas on how to do project-based learning, Canadian educator Brenda Sherry writes in this blog post. Arts teachers, who spend most of their class time guiding students in the creation of solo or group projects, have expertise in setting up a classroom environment where students feel safe to collaborate. "Routines are established that teach students how to cooperate; how to lead sometimes, and how to be led by peers other times," Sherry writes. Powerful Learning Practice/Voices from the Learning Revolution blog (08 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Talking robot goes to the head of the class in Japan
    A communication robot named Robovie will go to school alongside fifth-graders in an elementary school in Japan as part of a 14-month research programme. Through the programme, researchers will discover how robots interact with humans. The robot enroled on 5 Feb., programmed to recognise the faces and voices of students and teachers. The Japan Daily Press (07 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Rubrics. Test questions. Tiering assessments. Grading effort. Redos. Report cards. In his thoroughly revised edition of Fair Isn't Always Equal, Rick Wormeli provides a thorough guide for teachers and administrators to tackle challenging and controversial assessment and grading practices in the differentiated classroom. Preview the entire book!
  Professional Leadership 
  • Germany is poised to welcome new Education Minister
    Germany's government is expected to name Johanna Wanka as the country's new Minister of Education and Research, following the resignation of Annette Schavan from the post. Wanka is known for her support of universities and elite schools, as well as her background in education and research. Officials say she also shares some similarities with her predecessor, including her reputation as a conservative and competent leader. Deutsche Welle (Germany) (10 Feb.) 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 England.

  • Should STEM include lessons in psychology?
    Amid concern that fewer girls than boys are thriving in science, technology, engineering and maths fields, Marc Smith, a chartered psychologist and teacher in England, suggests that schools engage female students in psychology -- a science in which they excel at a higher rate than their male peers, he writes. However, A-level psychology has been rejected as a facilitating subject, leading fewer female students to enrol in higher education and be engaged in STEM study, he notes. The Guardian (London)/Teacher Network blog (08 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • New geography curriculum takes shape in England
    England's new geography curriculum, which was released last week, does not mention the European Union -- a move that officials say was intended to reflect the EU's role as a political and economic entity. Under the current curriculum, which will be replaced in 2014, primary- and secondary-school students learn about the European Union as part of geography lessons. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (07 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • UK educators tout benefits of technology in gifted education
    Some educators who recently participated in an online chat about using technology in gifted education say they think a variety of technologies can allow students to collaborate and personalise their education. Reporter Matthew Jenkin shares educators' views in this blog post. One educator emphasised all the free technology that can enhance gifted education, including Edmodo, Google Drive and social-networking sites. The Guardian (London) (09 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Reform and Research 
  • France faces backlash over plan to extend school week
    Teachers, parents and city governments in France are protesting plans to add a half day of school for most students on Wednesday -- which typically is a day off -- and shorten the school day the remainder of the week. At issue, they say, is that the plan, crafted without their input, does not address the root of issues with the country's education system. "The difficulties facing our students and our schools need pedagogical responses," said S├ębastien Sihr, general secretary of France's national union of primary schoolteachers. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (11 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  ASCD News 
  • Planning for Chicago?
    If you're heading to ASCD's 2013 Annual Conference and Exhibit Show in Chicago next month, look out for ASCD's conference app, which debuts on 6 March. Available for a range of Web-enabled devices, the app can help attendees create a personal agenda, access exhibitor listings, and view the floor plan. Read ASCD's recent press release to learn more and access veteran conference goers' tips for first timers. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Your institutional membership is waiting
    ASCD institutional memberships are available for schools and districts. Intended to help you create or strengthen a professional-development programme, the ASCD institutional membership offers group access to professional-learning tools, publications, online research archives and more. Learn about specific member benefits and how to use the institutional membership to grow a professional-learning community on LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry."
--Lyman Abbott,
American theologian, author and editor

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