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13 December 2012  
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Education News from Around the World

  Learning and Teaching 
  • Scottish teacher suggests 10 books to use in the classroom
    In this blog post, Sally Law, the principal teacher of English at Marr College in Troon, Scotland, recommends 10 works of literature that she believes teachers should use in the classroom. Among them are "The Changeling" by Robin Jenkins, "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens and "Julius Caesar" by William Shakespeare, which Law writes will always be relevant because of its focus on politics. The Guardian (London)/Teacher Network blog (11 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Facebook page is designed for English learners in Middle East
    A Facebook page maintained by the British Council, which seeks to teach English-language skills to students in the Middle East and North Africa, has more than 1 million "likes." However, officials say the challenge will be in translating the popularity of the page into learners. Some say the initiative relies largely on the quality of the materials accessible to students through the site. The Guardian (London) (11 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Canadian board adopts high-school yoga curriculum
    Public-school trustees in Alberta, Canada, have voted to implement a yoga curriculum developed in Calgary at a high school in Edmonton. Supporters say such courses could offer an alternative to physical-education courses and promote healthy living. "The program is designed to allow students to experience the benefits of increased flexibility, strength, focus and concentration," the Calgary course description states. The Edmonton Journal (Alberta) (10 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Professional Leadership 
  • Support for teachers common among high-performing countries
    In Australia, experts are looking for the cause of poor international academic rankings. Some are pointing to teacher quality, especially in primary schools, and school funding also has been cited. The chief executive of the Australian Centre for Education Research, Professor Geoff Masters, said high-performing countries, including Finland and Singapore, have a "very high focus on teaching, implementing highly effective practices, experimenting in their teaching, making sure teachers themselves are experts in the subjects they teach." The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) (13 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 United Arab Emirates.

  • Abu Dhabi to require new tests for teachers
    In Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, some teachers will undergo testing in English, maths and science, and the results of those tests will be used to determine professional-development needs. The Cambridge Placement Tests, to be administered online, will gauge whether teachers are ready to teach in bilingual classrooms, in part by assessing teachers' skills in reading, listening and language. The National (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) (10 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Male students lag behind in the United Arab Emirates, tests show
    In the United Arab Emirates, female students are outperforming their male peers, according to results of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study. A report based on the TIMSS results, as well as results from the Progress in International Literacy Reading Study tests, finds a growing achievement gap among male and female students in the country, with a majority of boys not meeting standards in reading, maths and science. The National (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) (13 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Reform and Research 
  • Indonesia seeks to use ICT-based education in schools
    During the International Symposium on Open, Distance and E-Learning, officials in Indonesia announced plans to use ICT-based education in schools. Under the plan, information and communication technology would be rolled out in 100,000 schools nationwide by 2014. "Indonesia is an archipelagic country with 13,000 islands, but we are optimistic that we can provide the best education to all school-age students despite any geographical obstacles," professor Taufik Hanafi said. The Jakarta Post (Indonesia)/Bali Daily (05 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASCD News 
  • Are we preparing students for life?
    Many educators would say the goal of education is to prepare students for life, but are we effectively doing that, asks ASCD EDge community member Tom Whitby. In a recent blog post, Whitby points out contradictions and realities of our time -- a rapidly changing world and textbooks that simply cannot keep pace. He emphasizes that, "We cannot continue on the current path of education if we want to prepare our children for their future." Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Lincoln: Lawyer, legislator, president, model for today's educators
    Steven Spielberg's recent film turns the public eye toward President Lincoln, a powerful leader. And in his leadership style lie lessons for every administrator and teacher leader, explain authors of "Learning from Lincoln: Leadership Practices for School Success," Harvey Alvy and Pam Robbins. ASCD Communications Specialist Julia Liapidova caught up with Alvy and Robbins for an Inservice interview, in which the authors discuss what educators can learn from Lincoln and delve into key ideas from the book. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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