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15 January 2013  
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Education News from Around the World

  Learning and Teaching 
  • Swedish students learn academic lessons through gaming
    Teachers at a school in Sweden have made the computer game Minecraft a mandatory part of classroom lessons. The game allows students to work on city planning, environmental issues and other issues in a virtual environment. Educators say the game is a fun way for students to learn academic lessons, and they plan to continue using the 3D game in the future. The Local (Sweden) (09 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • N. Ireland makes strides in educating students
    Officials in Northern Ireland are pointing to an investment in teachers and a revised primary-school curriculum for the country's recent success in international rankings. On the International Maths and Science Study and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, the country outperformed all other English-speaking countries. "The revised primary curriculum was designed to create independent learners," Minister of Education in Northern Ireland John O'Dowd said. "The aim was to create a curriculum flexible enough to allow for individual circumstances." The Irish Times (Dublin) (15 Jan.) 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 
  • Education adviser offers insight into education in China
    In this interview, Sir Michael Barber, chief education adviser of Pearson and former chief adviser in education for the government in the United Kingdom, gives his impression of education in China. Among his observations after a visit to schools in Beijing are the country's focus on the development of its teachers. He also describes the benefits of China's attitude toward education, which includes a historical belief that hard work will result in achievement. People's Daily (China) (11 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • "It felt exactly right to me," UK educator writes of teaching
    In this blog post, Sean O'Sullivan, head of Frank Wise School in the United Kingdom, writes about how he fell in love with teaching -- by accident. While studying for a degree in psychology, he entered the classroom to learn about educational psychology. What was supposed to be a temporary, five-year stint became his passion. "It felt exactly right to me," he writes. "All my thoughts of giving up teaching just disappeared." The Guardian (London) (13 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 Saudi Arabia.

  • Most Saudi students seeking college in US receive language training
    The number of students from Saudi Arabia studying at US colleges has increased nearly sevenfold since 2006, according to the Virginia-based agency Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission to the United States, which provides scholarships to Saudi students. Officials there note that language training is a step most students must complete before being admitted to a college. While universities generally welcome the infusion of cash, some skeptics say tighter restrictions are needed. USA Today (15 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Saudi Arabian foundation develops education partnership
    A new partnership between Kwara, Nigeria, and the International Islamic Foundation of the World Muslim League in Saudi Arabia is to help develop special-needs and technical education. Plans call for an International Vocational Centre, in which students would learn to become entrepreneurs. The Guardian (Nigeria) (14 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  Reform and Research 
  • How to avoid divisive battles over schools in England
    Plans in England to alter schools and feeder patterns have drawn criticism from parents, the community and others, says writer Tom Clark. Now, some are suggesting that local communities take a greater role in helping to plan schools -- preventing much of the turmoil that can follow top-down directives. While opinions will always differ, debates can become less divisive if all parties are involved from the start, Clark suggests. The Guardian (London) (14 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASCD News 
  • Describe the best school principal you've ever known
    Educational Leadership is collecting reader responses for April's Tell Me About column, and we want to hear from you. In 200 words or less, tell us a story about what the best school principal you've ever known did to make him or herself memorable. The submission deadline is 1 Feb. and select responses will be featured in the upcoming issue on "The Principalship." Submit your story. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 6 teacher courses that bring differentiated instruction to life
    In her ASCD book EdSpeak, Diane Ravitch defines DI as a form of instruction that seeks to "maximize each student's growth by recognizing that students have different ways of learning, different interests, and different ways of responding to instruction." To support your efforts in this area, ASCD offers a variety of interactive, in-depth, self-paced PD Online courses. Browse courses.
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--John Montagu,
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