Students vie for limited spots in Melbourne's selective high schools | Should students use calculators on exams? | China proposes removal of English-language test from college-entrance exam
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21 May 2014
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Students vie for limited spots in Melbourne's selective high schools
Selective-entry government high schools in Melbourne, Australia, report a record number of student applications for a limited number of slots. Fewer than 1 in 3 of the 3,206 applicants -- a 4% increase from last year -- will fill the 941 available slots. Students must pass a demanding battery of tests administered over three hours to be considered for admission. The Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia) (tiered subscription model) (19 May.)
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Should students use calculators on exams?
England is banning students from using calculators on maths exams this year with the goal of ensuring students have proper maths skills before they pick up a calculator. However, three maths experts from universities in the UK have criticized the decision, saying the country is going in the wrong direction. "On the whole, the use of calculators as an integral mathematical tool has been shown to be beneficial, particularly in the development of mathematical problem solving," said Anne Watson, emeritus professor of mathematics education at Oxford University. BBC (13 May.)
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Professional Development
Former UK film editor explains why he became a teacher
Anthony Shallow gave up his career as an editor in the film industry to become a teacher at Peter Symonds College in the UK, calling it "more satisfying." In this article, he writes that he sometimes misses the creativity of his old job, but that teaching media studies is fulfilling. "But there's a lot of scope to be creative in teaching. The creation of resources and the way you interact and teach your lessons is very individual and you have freedom to try out new ideas," Shallow writes. The Guardian (London) (18 May.)
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Leadership and Governance
Teachers in British Columbia, Canada, announce plans to strike
Teachers in British Columbia, Canada, are planning a series of rotating strikes next week after government officials Friday threatened to cut their wages by 5% because of an ongoing stalemate over a new contract agreement. The announcement came just days after the government offered teachers a six-year agreement, along with a signing bonus, in place of a 10-year deal the teachers' union had called "unfair and unreasonable". The two sides are at odds over several issues, including class sizes and the number of available specialist educators to work individually with students. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (tiered subscription model) (16 May.), The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (tiered subscription model) (20 May.)
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Japanese schools teach students responsible Internet use
Schools across Japan are teaching students how to use the Internet responsibly, hoping the lessons will prevent them from posting inappropriate content or using it for academic cheating. "As issues about plagiarism in academic papers have created great controversy, it's necessary to ensure that minors learn not only to protect themselves from dangers on the Internet but also to have a sense of responsibility for their own actions," Kazuhiro Sumi of Saga University said. The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun (17 May.)
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Interest Area Spotlight
Connecting classrooms improves student engagement at rural Canadian middle school
A middle school in the isolated province of Nunavat, Canada, is using videoconferencing technology to connect students to peers in other classrooms and experts across the country and the world. The technology, paid for by Cisco's Connected North program, has improved the interest and attendance of the impoverished students at Aqsarniit Middle School in Iqaluit by exposing them to the larger world, principal Don Peters said. "If students aren’t engaged, they won’t come to school," he said. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (tiered subscription model) (13 May.)
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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 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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A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit."
-- Arnold Glasow,
American businessman and writer
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About ECIS
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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