Is IB curriculum at odds with traditional lessons in China? | 5 memorisation tips from a world memory champion | Australian prep school combines yoga, storytelling
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23 April 2014
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Is IB curriculum at odds with traditional lessons in China?
In Shanghai, China, 11 public schools and 10 private schools will begin offering traditional Chinese education and the International Baccalaureate diploma. The classes will begin in September, but the IB curriculum could be challenging for students in China, who are more accustomed to straightforward lessons, one educator said. "For example, the math in the IB curriculum includes case studies that don't have a fixed direction. That requires students to search for documents and materials either by using computers or in libraries," Ma Feng at Shanghai High School said. CCTV International (China) (21 Apr.)
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5 memorisation tips from a world memory champion
Eight-time World Memory Champion, Dominic O'Brien, co-founded memory workshops to boost young people's motivation to learn and teach students powerful memory techniques. O'Brien in this blog post shares five memorisation strategies, including assigning a picture code to numbers to recall numerical information. "For example, 2 is shaped like a swan, and 9 resembles a balloon and string," he explains. "To remember that Queen Victoria had nine children, imagine her holding a balloon and string." O'Brien's blog (21 Apr.)
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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 Development
Australian school uses feedback, collaboration to improve teaching, learning
A high school in Australia has adopted a culture of collaboration to help develop a "community of learning", educator Darcy Moore writes. The strategy includes a focus on providing timely, constructive feedback for teachers and students. In this commentary, Moore notes that teachers are inviting colleagues into their classrooms and taking other steps to work together to improve teaching and learning. Educators also are working to provide individual feedback for students. Australian Teacher Magazine online (22 Apr.)
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Leadership and Governance
UK leader seeks to introduce Latin, Greek into state schools
Ian Bauckham, president of the UK Association of School and College Leaders, which represents secondary heads, is urging state schools to teach Latin and Ancient Greek to help bridge the gap between state schools and private institutions. Such languages, he says, are the foundation for learning other languages and will help put students on the path to success. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (20 Apr.)
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Inside the push to make coding a core curriculum
Getting an early grasp on the basics of coding is increasingly being seen as a new intuitive learning exercise that can give high-school students a leg up in the digital economy. One former Goldman Sachs technical analyst is taking this theory to the next level. Michelle Sun hopes her Hong Kong-based First Code Academy will serve as a model for expanding coding curriculum. "We want to bring coding education to all pre-university students," she said. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)/Digits blog (17 Apr.)
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Interest Area Spotlight
Why UK schools should aim to interest students in foreign languages
Interest and enrolment in university-level foreign-language programs in the UK are plummeting, writes Katrin Kohl, vice chair of the Faculty of Modern Languages at the University of Oxford. Programs focusing on functional foreign-language skills are growing, however, Kohl writes. While such an approach might work for adults and college students, Kohl calls for more emphasis in primary schools on the types of language programs that will engage young learners and help develop the next generation of linguists. The Guardian (London) (16 Apr.)
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International Ideas Bulletin Spring edition available now
The current issue of International Ideas Bulletin, the official magazine for admissions professionals edited by the ECIS admissions committee, is available for download now. Get your copy today!
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Introducing the ECIS IILP
The ECIS International Individual Learning Plan (IILP) is a document that was created to record how we support individual students with learning difficulties at international schools. Many of us have come from systems in North America, the UK or Australia where IEPs are mandated by law and are often many pages long, often filled with legal jargon and technical checklists. The ECIS IILP is a plan that relays important information on how a student learns and sets goals and objectives for students to achieve. Find out more online.
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Editor's Note
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Check out this week's posts on SmartBlog on Education. Want to join our blogger community? View our submission guidelines to learn how. Engage. Innovate. Discuss.
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We are not makers of history. We are made by history."
-- Martin Luther King Jr.,
American civil rights activist
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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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