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05 March 2013  
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Education News from Around the World

  Learning and Teaching 
  • US, Finland team up for research projects on STEM education
    With an eye toward improving science, technology, engineering and maths education in grades K-12, educators in the US and Finland will begin working together as part of a £2.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation. One component of this new project involves the analysis of student performance in a massive online open course taught through Florida State University and the University of Helsinki. The partnerships also will explore the roles games and video can play in the future of STEM learning. Education Week/Curriculum Matters blog (28 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • French students perform better when not competing with peers
    A recent study of students in France finds that students perform better on tests if they are told the exams are intended to help them learn -- rather than as a tool to compare their performance with their peers. Researchers from Clermont Universite in France found, when told their science exam scores would not be compared with their classmates' performance, female students scored 4% worse and male students' scores dropped by 10%. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (01 Mar.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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 
  • Australian state mulls best practices for professional development
    Kate O'Donnell, chief executive of the Institute of Teachers in New South Wales, Australia, says that leading countries have chosen to raise class sizes to allow more time for teachers' professional development. "It's not about saying make the class sizes bigger so teachers can have less contact time but, rather, to make sure in the teaching day there is time allowed for teachers to do something else other than be physically in front of their students, which is ultimately where we want them to be at their best," she said. The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) (03 Mar.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • South Africa seeks to train more classroom teachers
    An effort is under way in Mpumalanga, South Africa, to train more classroom teachers, with plans to open four teacher-training colleges. There is a particular focus on preparing teachers to teach African languages, Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande said. Nzimande also said that ongoing efforts to train more teachers have been successful, and the system is now expected to produce an additional 14,000 teachers by 2014. Sowetan (South Africa) (27 Feb.) 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 China.

  • Ministry of Education directs China's schools to be frugal
    China's Ministry of Education is seeking to curb wasteful spending, in part, by directing schools to cut back on ribbon-cutting ceremonies, celebrations and forums and avoid the construction of luxury facilities and amenities. The ministry also is promoting energy conservation and encouraging students to waste less food in school cafeterias. (China) (27 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Reform and Research 
  • Singapore study: Incentive program helps children get more exercise
    Participation in an incentive-based outdoor intervention yielded modest improvements in children's physical activity, researchers from Singapore found. Despite helping children meet activity goals, the intervention did not improve BMI or boost the overall health of the participants. The findings appear in the Journal of Pediatrics. Reuters (01 Mar.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News

A must-have book for primary teachers just got better. In the revised edition of Reading with Meaning, Debbie Miller adds new planning and assessment tools, updated "go-to" children's book titles, and FAQs. Follow Debbie through an entire school year as she models the kind of decision-making increasingly demanded by new standards. Preview the entire book!

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  ASCD News 
  • PD: Targeted, ongoing, and an opportunity to develop teacher leaders
    In a recent post, ASCD EDge community member Patrice Bucci blogs about the many changes occurring in the professional development space. "Delivery models are evolving" and "teachers are rapidly becoming consumers of their own professional development," she points out. In her post, Bucci offers tips on how to navigate this new PD landscape and what to focus on as you do. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • No Kid Hungry starts with breakfast
    Research shows that the "simple act of feeding kids a healthy school breakfast has the potential for a dramatic impact on their academic, health, and economic futures," writes Kumar Chandran. In a guest Whole Child Blog post, Chandran, who works for the No Kid Hungry Center for Best Practices, explains how big a difference eating a healthy breakfast really makes for students. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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