UK schools consider ways to help ease students' stress | Inspiring students to read for pleasure | Should the US revamp PD after China's model?
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11 June 2014
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UK schools consider ways to help ease students' stress
More schools in the UK are integrating mindfulness practices to reduce anxiety and improve achievement among students. Katherine Weare, emeritus professor at the universities of Exeter and Southampton's mood disorder centre and an advocate for mindfulness in education, suggests that teachers periodically ask students to stop what they are doing and focus on what their minds and bodies are doing. The Guardian (London)/Teacher Network blog (03 Jun.)
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Inspiring students to read for pleasure
It can be difficult to encourage students to read for pleasure once they get home, but in this blog post, several educators from the UK share their success stories. Among the approaches, they said, are setting up reading competitions and promoting reading as an escape. The educators also suggest demonstrating that teachers read books outside of school, integrating reading in school surroundings, reading to students and integrating all types of books, including comics and e-books. The Guardian (London)/Teacher Network blog (03 Jun.)
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Professional Development
Should the US revamp PD after China's model?
China map
Teachers in some top-performing countries, such as China, are given more time for professional development and planning -- specifically collaborative planning -- than their peers in the US, according to research by Leslie W. Grant, a professor and author. Grant said she found collaborative planning in China is part of each day, not set aside for a specific day. "In China, PD is much more integrated into teachers' daily work -– they're planning together, they're observing one another, and it's more of a collaborative process," Grant said. eSchool News (free registration) (09 Jun.)
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Leadership and Governance
Opinion: Global challenges remain for girls in education
In many countries, girls still face many barriers to education, former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard writes in this commentary. Here, she discusses the importance of educating girls worldwide and what it will take for the statistics to improve. "Getting more girls a good education requires an approach that harnesses the collective efforts of developing nations, donor nations, multilateral organizations, NGOs, private-sector institutions," she writes. The Guardian (London) (09 Jun.)
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Programme integrates GIS into maths, science
Twelve schools in the United Arab Emirates have been testing a programme this year, which integrates geographic information systems into the maths and science curricula. The programme, intended to improve students' digital skills and further inquiry-based learning, is expected to be used in all Grade 6 classrooms in Abu Dhabi next year. The National (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) (08 Jun.)
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Interest Area Spotlight
Skype helps connect students in UK, Brazil
Some students at a school in the UK recently joined their peers in a school in Brazil online via Skype. The online chat was part of a larger celebration of Brazilian culture at the UK school, where students took part in games, dances and other correspondence activities with their sister school. The Journal (Newcastle, England) (06 Jun.)
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Teaching assistant certificate workshop soon
Research indicates the benefits to students of having well-trained teaching assistants. ECIS in conjunction with Northampton University has developed a two-day workshop for TAs. This workshop provides a very strong initial grounding in the skills that will support teaching assistants in their role. We have a workshop planned at the American School of The Hague 24-25 October. For more information, visit our website. For applications, contact Darlene Fisher at
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If you aren't already a part of the leading professional development and networking association for international schools, what are you waiting for? Join us today! For information on how you, your school or your organisation could benefit from a relationship with ECIS, email
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-- Biz Stone,
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Founded in 1965, ECIS is a global membership organisation that provides professional development opportunities and consultancy services to its members who are comprised of international schools, individuals and educational organisations.
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