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20 November 2012  
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Education News from Around the World

  Learning and Teaching 
  • What England can learn from Brazil about education
    Officials in England are drawing criticism over a proposed curriculum that focuses less on art, design, music, drama and dance -- all but eliminating creativity in schools -- says Victoria & Albert Museum Chief Martin Roth. That proposal goes against the method at several schools in Brazil that give students a greater say in what they are learning. Teachers, also, are referred to as "mentors," who help shape lessons along with students. The Guardian (London) (19 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • England to require foreign-language instruction
    Beginning in 2014, all primary schools in England will offer at least one foreign-language option for students ages 7 to 11. Potential choices include French, German, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, Latin and ancient Greek. Officials hope earlier exposure to language education will result in more students learning classical languages, which can boost students' knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (17 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Qatar initiative to help educate millions of children
    The Educate a Child initiative announced last week that it would contribute to the more than $150 million slated to be spent in 17 countries over the next three to seven years to bring schooling to 61 million children worldwide. "Right across the world, because of disaster, because of poverty, children are being denied a chance to change their destinies. We can change this, and because we can, we must," said Sheika Moza bint Nasser, wife of the emir of Qatar, who is partnering with agencies including the United Nations refugee agency and UNESCO. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (18 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Professional Leadership 
  • Will cyberbullying cause UK teachers to quit?
    In the United Kingdom, the head teachers' union says that cyberbullying is having an increasing effect on teachers, especially attacks by parents. Eventually, one head teacher said, teachers will leave the profession if the attacks persist. "Teachers, like most adults, do understand the difference between comments and fair criticism, and you know we're happy to deal with those type of complaints from parents, but protracted campaigns of abuse is not something I think we should be expected to ignore," Bernadette Hunter, of the union, said. BBC (15 Nov.) 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 Australia.

  • Australian schools consider options for limited technology funds
    The government of Australia in 2007 started distributing computers to students in grades 9 to 12 and now those devices are reaching the end of their life spans. Now, a report expected to be released today finds that some schools are allowing students to bring their own technology to school. "Educators ... are concerned with schools' ability to continue providing computing devices to students should, as it seems likely, funding models for one-to-one student programs be withdrawn in 2013-2014," Joseph Sweeney, of Intelligent Business Research Services, writes in the report. The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) (20 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • New South Wales plans cuts to education funding
    Despite a recent protest, officials in New South Wales are moving forward with plans to cut the state's education spending by £1.1 billion. However, school support staff, parents and supporters are protesting the cuts, which will affect school staffing. "The rollout of a planned 1800 job cuts in education has begun, with school learning support officers among the first to lose their jobs or have work hours cut," the Public Service Association of NSW said. The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)/Australian Associated Press (18 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  Reform and Research 
  • Schools in England approve free-breakfast trial
    Officials in Blackpool, England, have approved a plan to offer free breakfasts to all primary-school students to help prevent student hunger. The breakfasts will be served during a three-month pilot programme, and could be expanded to all secondary schools if it is effective. The goal, officials say, is to improve students' attendance, achievement and classroom behaviour. BBC (19 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASCD News 
  • Whole Child Podcast episode on fair and effective teacher evaluation
    A recent Whole Child Blog post poses the following question: "If the ultimate goal of teacher evaluation is to improve student performance, what should evaluators be looking for?" Answers are in the latest episode of the Whole Child Podcast, centered on the topic of fair and effective teacher evaluation. Download the podcast to hear from National Association for Music Education's Mike Blakeslee, McREL's Bryan Goodwin, and Superintendent and Educational Leadership contributor Cindy Weber. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • "We meet in very unique spaces that don't have traditional walls"
    In a short video clip on the ASCD website (7th from the left), educator and 2013 Annual Conference presenter Tiffany Della Vedova discusses her experience creating a blended learning environment and teaching and leading online. Find out how she engages students located more than 1,000 miles away using Google Chat, Skype, Facebook and Pinterest, and how else she makes the blended experience work.
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  Editor's Note 
  • ASCD Worldwide Edition SmartBrief will not publish Thursday
    In observance of Thanksgiving in the US, ASCD Worldwide Edition SmartBrief will not be published Thursday, 22 Nov. Publication will resume Tuesday, 27 Nov. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend."
--Albert Camus,
French author, journalist and philosopher

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