Alberta, Canada, schools plan shift to discovery learning method | Australian educator: Tips on understanding, teaching students who are gifted | To be a good headteacher, be a good teacher first, UK leader says
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05 March 2014
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Alberta, Canada, schools plan shift to discovery learning method
Alberta, Canada, schools are planning an overhaul of their curriculum that includes a shift to "discovery learning" -- also known as inquiry-based learning and experiential learning -- as part of an effort to grow "engaged thinkers", "ethical citizens" and "entrepreneurial spirits". Under the teaching method, students are allowed to explore the curriculum on their own, without teachers giving them the information. Some critics, however, say an overhaul from the province's traditional -- and successful -- curriculum is misguided. National Post (Canada) (28 Feb.)
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Australian educator: Tips on understanding, teaching students who are gifted
Ann Stanley, a leading teacher currently on leave from Koonung Secondary College in Australia, in this commentary lists the 10 questions she most often is asked about students who are gifted and talented -- sometimes a difficult subgroup of students for teachers to engage, she writes. Among other things, Stanley addresses why some students who are gifted actually may struggle in school. She also lists characteristics that students who are gifted often exhibit and offers tips on how to better meet the needs of such students. Australian Teacher Magazine online (28 Feb.)
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Professional Development
To be a good headteacher, be a good teacher first, UK leader says
Phil Mellen, headteacher of an academy school in the UK, in this Q-and-A suggests that principals' styles of leadership should change depending on the school they are in. He also notes that, to be good headteachers, educators should first be good teachers. They also should be hardworking, understand data and work well with people, he says. The Guardian (London)/Teacher Network/School Leadership and Management Hub blog (02 Mar.)
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Leadership and Governance
Report: England's academies, free schools seek equity in admissions
In England, more academies and free schools are taking steps to ensure more students have access to admission. Such schools are adopting lotteries, ballots and banding arrangements to promote equity, according to a recent report compiled by the London School of Economics for the education charity The Sutton Trust. The Independent (London) (tiered subscription model) (27 Feb.)
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Independent school in New Zealand adopts BYOD programme
This year, the independent Saint Paul's Collegiate School in New Zealand is replacing traditional textbooks with high-tech options under a bring-your-own-device programme. For the BYOD programme, the school is recommending that students use iPads. In a recent lesson, Year 9 students used their iPads to create images and instructional videos about their science lessons. Teacher Hannah Munn said the devices allow for more interactive lessons. Stuff (New Zealand) (28 Feb.)
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Interest Area Spotlight
Teachers need training to execute role under blended learning
The role of the teacher changes when blended learning is implemented and, as a result, educators will require guidance and training to properly execute their new responsibilities in a self-paced, blended learning environment, asserts Peter West, director of eLearning at Saint Stephen's College in Australia. West in this commentary advocates for training that is both practical and theoretical and is practiced in a classroom setting. "Support should be ongoing to ensure that the benefits of this style of learning are experienced by all," he adds. eSchool News (free registration) (28 Feb.)
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Thanks to NutKase for sponsoring water bottles at Leadership Conference
We want to thank NutKase Accessories, a leading provider of stylish, yet functional iPad, tablet and notebook cases, for generously offering to supply water bottles for all participants at the April Leadership Conference. Come check out their exciting array of new products -- including NutKase for the iPad mini! Meet their founders in Seville.
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Introducing a new Coaching Post-Conference Institute
This year, at our April Leadership Conference in Seville (24-26 April), we are launching a special, new Coaching Post-Conference Institute (27 April). ECIS will be asking experienced and retired heads of schools who have worked outside their country of origin in a variety of geographical areas, to take on some training to become coaches and mentors with well-known trainer Steve Barkley. The ECIS coaches and mentors will be focusing on supporting heads in their leadership roles and in a variety of challenging circumstances, or potentially simply as mentors helping their school leaders with their professional development. Those interested may indicate their interest by contacting Darlene Fisher at
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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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The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star."
-- Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin,
French lawyer and epicure
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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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