Educator: Don't forget about girls who fall behind in school | Teacher in Australia empowers his students with inquiry project | Collaboration boosts achievement in Canadian school division
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07 May 2014
ECIS SmartBrief
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Learning and Teaching
Educator: Don't forget about girls who fall behind in school
In this commentary, Lola Okolosie, an English teacher and writer, calls attention to an achievement gap among some populations of female students in the UK. While data show girls generally outperform boys, Okolosie writes that a closer look reveals a disparity among girls from some specific populations, including girls from low-income households and Gypsy and Roma girls. "Just as our national anxiety over boys' achievement has led us to consider how it will affect their adult lives, we should think about the cost to girls who fail to do well in our schools," she writes. The Guardian (London) (02 May.)
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Teacher in Australia empowers his students with inquiry project
A teacher at a primary school in Australia follows the standard school curriculum for the first three terms of the year and then, in the fourth term, allows students to take control of their learning by assigning an inquiry-based project. For example, last year, instead of introducing topics or teaching a certain theme each week, Michael Nicolaides aimed to make maths lessons meaningful and fun by using a project related to the Royal Melbourne Show. Australian Teacher Magazine online (02 May.)
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Professional Development
Collaboration boosts achievement in Canadian school division
Educators in a rural division in Manitoba, Canada, credit collaboration and resource-sharing for the leap in its graduation rate from 50% to 92% in five years. Among the changes were regular meetings to analyze student data, and floating "success" coaches who work with students needing extra help in small groups during class, at lunch or at home. "The biggest thing we've looked at is the needs of the students," said Janet Martell, Lakeshore School Division's superintendent. Winnipeg Free Press (Manitoba) (tiered subscription model) (03 May.)
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Leadership and Governance
England to conduct yearlong review of teacher training
To improve the quality of teacher training in England, Education Secretary Michael Gove recently announced a plan to review initial teacher-training courses by the end of the year. The goal is to use evidence-based approaches to determine effective practises for training teachers and to provide more transparency for training programmes. Teacher training has been a continued focus for Gove, who has been openly skeptical of university-based training. The Guardian (London)/Teacher Network blog (01 May.)
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Other News
Student e-mails no longer will be scanned by Google
Student Gmail accounts no longer will be scanned for data, Google announced, after concerns were raised that the practise may have been violating federal law. Google Apps for Education has about 30 million users and e-mail through this system previously was scanned, though Google said it was not used for advertising purposes. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)/Digits blog (30 Apr.)
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Other News
Interest Area Spotlight
Study: Noneducational online games could harm speech development
Young children who play noneducational games on touch-screen devices may present lower scores in speech development benchmarks, according to a recent study. The study from Cohen Children's Medical Center in New York found that playing games, such as "Angry Birds" or "Fruit Ninja," resulted in lower scores in speech tests for both understanding of language and speaking. "Technology can never replace a parent's interaction with his or her child," said Ruth Milanaik, chief investigator of the study. "Just talking to your child is the best way to encourage learning." The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (03 May.)
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November proposal form online now
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.
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We can often endure an extra pound of pain far more easily than we can suffer the withdrawal of an ounce of accustomed pleasure."
-- Sydney Harris,
American journalist
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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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