Why the diversity of London's schools may be their strength | Free curriculum based on activist's memoir is under development | UK headmistress seeks overhaul of language lessons
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19 November 2014
ECIS SmartBrief
ECIS: the source for international education

Learning and Teaching
Why the diversity of London's schools may be their strength
Students in London outperform their peers throughout the country -- a trend professor Simon Burgess attributes to the diversity of the city's schools. In this commentary, he writes that the children of immigrants are more likely to have a drive to succeed and that London should be proud of "sustaining a large, successful and reasonably integrated multi-ethnic school system containing pupils from every country in the world and speaking more than 300 languages..." The Atlantic online (17 Nov.)
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Free curriculum based on activist's memoir is under development
A free curriculum on human rights based on Nobel Peace Prize recipient and global women's education activist Malala Yousafzai's memoir is under development and aims to teach boys and girls about education. George Washington University, The Malala Fund and the publisher of the book "I Am Malala" soon will release an online college version and plan for the high-school version to launch next year. The Associated Press (13 Nov.)
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Other News
Professional Development
New Zealand reports lack of male primary-school teachers
Fewer than one-fifth of primary-school teachers in New Zealand are male, new data show, and some students may go through primary school never having a male teacher. While some say the lack of male teachers may be starting to affect male students, the Ministry of Education asserts that it is the quality of the teacher that matters -- not the teacher's gender. The New Zealand Herald (17 Nov.)
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Other News
Leadership and Governance
Education reforms in Ireland centre on school-based assessments
A proposal to overhaul Ireland's Junior Cert exams and involve secondary-school teachers in the assessment of their students' performance could have broad implications for teaching and learning in Ireland, according to this article. Some teachers say the rule change could harm the objectivity of the marking process. Others welcome the change, noting that it would contribute to a system of regular student feedback. The Irish Times (Dublin) (14 Nov.)
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Liberia uses technology to continue lessons amid school closures
As the Ebola crisis has forced schools throughout Liberia to close, officials have responded by using technology to ensure that lessons continue. That includes broadcasting lessons via radio and having students and families use mobile applications and the Internet to access resources and lessons. Forbes (13 Nov.)
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Interest Area Spotlight
Educators share ways to spark student interest in languages
Magic, iPads and playground games can help engage young students in language learning, according to educators who shared these -- and other -- ideas during a recent conference. The use of magic, in particular, can help bring fun to language lessons, one educator said. Nottingham Post (U.K.) (11 Nov.)
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ECIS November conference – this week
The days are fast approaching until the ECIS Annual Conference in Nice which takes place later this week. Don't miss out! Registration is still open on our website Conference Registration. If you are registered for the conference already, stop by and meet us at the ECIS Registration desk.
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Turn the Page challenge
Donate the most mother tongue books and win the challenge! ECIS partners with Who I Am to challenge schools and institutions to help Turn the Page on children's illiteracy by donating mother tongue books for children who do not have access to literature in their first language. All books go to build the first children's mother tongue library in a city center for impoverished children with 100 titles in 28 languages. Find the video online at Turn the Page.
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Editor's Note
Cast your vote for the 2014 Educators' Choice Content Award
SmartBlog on Education this year launched a monthly Editor's Choice Content Award, which recognizes content written by educators, for educators. Our editors selected the two best original content pieces each month. Now we need your input! Cast your vote for the 2014 Educators' Choice Content Award by Dec. 10. Winners will be announced in mid-December. Vote now!
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When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stone-cutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before."
-- Jacob Riis,
Danish-American social reformer
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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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