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11 December 2012  
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Education News from Around the World

  Learning and Teaching 
  • Rankings show Asian countries excel in science, maths
    A group of Asian countries -- including Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea -- continues to dominate international rankings in maths, science and reading, according to results from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study and the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study. The results also show that England is among the most improved in maths and Northern Ireland also is performing strongly. BBC (11 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Educator: UK programme inspires love of reading in students
    Lucy Bakewell, a school librarian and teaching assistant at a primary school in the United Kingdom that prioritises reading instruction, has adopted the Chatterbooks programme. The goal of the programme, for primary-school students, is to inspire them to become lifelong readers through reading groups. Educators say they already have seen improvement in students' reading skills and their attitudes toward reading since adopting the programme. The Guardian (London)/Teacher Network blog (07 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Professional Leadership 
  • Keep teaching simple, traditional, UK teachers say
    At The Guardian's Innovation in Education conference on Thursday, teachers in the United Kingdom offered their ideas for the future of the profession. Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, questioned whether schools should return to informal collaboration, rather than "managed collaboration," and others sought to include students in curriculum decisions and adopt an "evidence-based" approach to instruction. The Guardian (London) (10 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Bermuda focuses on professional development for teachers
    An effort is under way in Bermuda to improve professional development for maths and science teachers, following reports that students are struggling in those areas. The effort, led by the Bermuda Education Network, seeks to pool resources for professional development and to offer training seminars and conferences. The Royal Gazette (Bermuda) (06 Dec.) 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 New Zealand.

  • New Zealand's students perform better if they like their teachers
    A recent report from New Zealand's Education Review Office finds that the relationship between students and secondary-school teachers is of "critical importance" to academic achievement. "Students' views of a subject area, specifically the way this was taught, were strongly linked to their feelings about the teacher," the report said. "Students valued teachers who could connect with their world view. They particularly appreciated it when teachers made learning interesting, understood and enjoyed them as teenagers, and had a sense of humour." Stuff (New Zealand) (10 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Students in New Zealand have input in new school buildings
    In New Zealand, the Ministry of Education recently polled students about what they want in new, modern school buildings. Among the items on students' wish lists were iPads, rather than desktop computers, and classrooms that include beanbags and cushions on the floor. Officials say students' ideas, some of which were submitted in drawings, will be given to architects charged with designing new schools. Stuff (New Zealand) (10 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Reform and Research 
  • Should students' weight be recorded on report cards?
    At a recent conference, professor David Penington suggested that Australian schools include students' weight on their report cards as part of an effort to combat obesity. Penington, a former vice-chancellor of Melbourne University and dean of medicine, said the inclusion of such data could lead teachers and parents to discuss students' diet and fitness routines. Critics, however, say it could lead to bullying or depression. The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) (07 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASCD News 
  • Giveaway: Classroom Instruction That Works DVD series
    ASCD and Edutopia have partnered to give away a copy of the Classroom Instruction That Works DVD series, released earlier this year. The three 50-minute DVDs show how one district is using the nine instructional strategies that have shown to raise student achievement. You'll join Ceri B. Dean, coauthor of Classroom Instruction That Works, 2nd Edition, and a group of elementary, middle, and high-school educators as they put the strategies of the Classroom Instruction That Works framework to work. Find out how you can enter to win in a new Whole Child Blog post. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Solving the "play" problem
    "To truly be creative, we need to have the opportunity to think outside the box, and that requires time and exposure to unique and new experiences (as opposed to the same old routines)," writes ASCD EDge community member Fred Ende. In his recent post, Ende discusses our always-on lifestyle, expressing concern that "hyper-scheduling" leaves students with little opportunity to engage in unstructured play and deep observation. Offering support, he shares tips for reacquainting learners with innovation, creativity and play. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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If you can talk brilliantly about a problem, it can create the consoling illusion that it has been mastered."
--Stanley Kubrick,
American filmmaker

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