New Zealand school focuses on global learning | Artists, teachers design creative approaches to traditional lessons in Canadian programme | China seeks to make vocational education world class in 6 years
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25 June 2014
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New Zealand school focuses on global learning
After spending two years teaching at an International Baccalaureate school in Italy, Tonnie Uiterwijk, a principal in New Zealand, returned to a local school with the desire to expose students to different languages and cultures. Uiterwijk plans to roll out changes that emphasize language learning, interpersonal skills and parental involvement. Stuff (New Zealand)/Nelson Mail (20 Jun.)
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Artists, teachers design creative approaches to traditional lessons in Canadian programme
Using drama, music and visual arts, the Learning Through the Arts Youth Empowerment Program is aimed at offering creative ways for teaching core subjects to some students in grades 6 to 9 in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. The programme pairs local artists with teachers to develop creative approaches to lessons, such as a break-dancing contest to explore the food chain. "It's a different way to reach kids," said Hazel "Issapaakii" Derange, who helped develop some elements of the programme, "and there are kids who badly need that." The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (tiered subscription model) (20 Jun.)
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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
Tips to help new school leaders make the transition
New members of school management teams should listen more than they talk, according to assistant headteacher Emma Kell. In this blog post, she also suggests that new leaders ease the transition by building relationships and balancing confidence with humility, and that they avoid starting sentences with "In my last school ..." The Guardian (London)/Teacher Network/Career Advice Hub blog (18 Jun.)
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Leadership and Governance
Ireland announces overhaul of teacher training
Ireland's minister for education, RuairĂ­ Quinn, recently announced a new Institute of Education -- a secular university that will merge Catholic and Protestant teaching schools. In making the announcement, Quinn also noted that studying religious education could help boost job prospects. "I think the teachers will make their own career [choices] but the more qualifications you have to be equipped to teach in any school seems to me to make sense," he said. The Irish Times (Dublin) (21 Jun.)
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Other News
Twitter sparks creativity, collaboration in UK schools
Twitter has the potential to open new doors for creativity and collaboration in schools, writes Kim O'Brien, executive editor of Educate Magazine. In this commentary, she shares how several schools in the UK are using the social media tool effectively, including a primary school in Liverpool that uses Twitter to post photos and other information about what students are learning. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (19 Jun.)
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Interest Area Spotlight
Australian state looks to boost interest in foreign languages
Officials in New South Wales, Australia, are planning to overhaul the way foreign languages are taught in schools with the goal of increasing interest in language instruction. Among other things, plans call for all primary-school students to be taught at least one language and for schools to partner with community language colleges. The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) (20 Jun.)
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Join our network of international education
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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Check out the ECIS Individual Learning Plan
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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Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design."
-- Charles Eames,
American designer
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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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