Japanese teacher integrates English in chemistry lessons | Japan to dispatch volunteers to teach language lessons in other countries | UK coalition of headteachers offers advice for improving education
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14 May 2014
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Japanese teacher integrates English in chemistry lessons
A high school in Japan is taking a unique approach to teaching chemistry that includes teaching students the English words and meanings for chemical compounds. "The key here is to utilize words that students are familiar with," said Toshihiko Fukuta, the chemistry teacher who developed the method. "If we simply force students to take on the dry and boring task of rote memorization, their comprehension will suffer." The Mainichi (Japan) (11 May.)
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Professional Development
UK coalition of headteachers offers advice for improving education
The Headteachers' Roundtable in the UK has released its suggestions of 10 ways to improve education. The group, comprised of 11 principals, suggests, among other things, that there be a greater focus on professional development, a College of Teaching with compulsory membership, a national baccalaureate encompassing both technical and academic education and giving all schools the same level of autonomy. Forbes (07 May.)
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Leadership and Governance
UK targets STEM shortage with eye toward youth
The UK is redoubling its effort to bolster the ranks of science and technology graduates in the nation, which has seen a sharp decline in top-level students pursuing science, technology, engineering and math fields. Among the efforts, the government is looking to help expand youth apprenticeships and employment opportunities through partnerships with tech firms including Cisco, Capgemini and IBM. IT PRO (London) (08 May.)
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Changing the world with "hashtag activism"
The abduction last month of nearly 300 Nigerian girls has lead to the spread worldwide of the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. The writers of this blog post describe a lesson in which students are asked to consider the effectiveness of so-called hashtag activism. By prompting students to explore this question, teachers can engage their classrooms in designing social media campaigns for issues they care about, they write, both researching the humanitarian crisis in Nigeria, and then learning more about social media activism and the role it plays in creating positive change. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/The Learning Network blog (09 May.)
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2 US educators use social media to teach science from Ecuador
A pair of Wyoming educators are working with fifth-graders worldwide through social media to teach scientific inquiry through the Biodiversity Project. Stationed with scientists in Ecuador, Laurie Graves and Lamont Clabaugh use Skype, Twitter and a website to guide students' collecting, analysing and cataloging insects while collaborating with educators via social media. "Professionally it is a great opportunity to network with other teachers and stay ahead of the learning curve and it's a great way to bring hands-on learning into my classroom and get the students excited about science," Clabaugh said. The Sheridan Press (Wyo.) (09 May.)
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Interest Area Spotlight
Study: Fluency trumps pronunciation in nonnative English speakers
Fluency in individuals whose first language is not English may shape native speakers' perceptions of how well those individuals speak the language, regardless of their pronunciation, according to a Purdue University study. Fewer pauses and restarts allow listeners to focus on the sounds the speaker is making, the research shows. "These findings could mean a new approach for second-language instruction and assessment, but more study is needed and we are taking a closer look at the difference fluency makes," Alexander Francis, an associate professor at Purdue, said. PhysOrg.com (09 May.)
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November proposal deadline extended
ECIS will be hosting its Annual Conference in Nice 19-23 November. Our theme is "Inspiring Education." We are currently accepting speaker proposals for the conference. Find out more about the conference and submit your proposal. The deadline is 18 May.
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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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Editor's Note
Have you visited SmartBlog on Education?
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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You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world."
-- Lucille Ball,
American comedian and actress
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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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