Australian students learn about Japanese history, language | Canadian students create films to highlight social justice issues | England establishes college for teaching, leadership
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28 May 2014
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Australian students learn about Japanese history, language
Year 3 students at a school in Australia recently studied the World War II bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, including Japanese history, culture and language through lessons that included books, drawing and songs. Japanese language teacher Alison Von Dietze said, "I'm trying to teach them not just the history of Japan but a bit of empathy, holistic skills that run across the curriculum, so they can realise how the war would affect somebody of their own age but in that time in Japan." Australian Teacher Magazine online (22 May.)
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Canadian students create films to highlight social justice issues
Nearly 180 students in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, are exploring social justice issues for a series of five-minute documentaries they are producing that will debut this fall. The students studied documentary styles and did research before selecting a subject. The young filmmakers will interview experts on topics -- from poverty to the environment to local history -- before they edit their films in a school-based studio. "We wanted kids to learn more about their city, their country and the issues around them," said Bill Hughey, a Grade 6 language teacher. The Hamilton Spectator (Ontario) (23 May.)
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Professional Development
England establishes college for teaching, leadership
A group of "outstanding" schools in England are joining the National College for Teaching and Leadership. The schools will take a lead role in recruiting and training new teachers, as well as identifying potential leaders and offering guidance to other schools. The goal, officials said, is to improve teaching practices across all schools in the region. The Press (York, England) (27 May.)
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Leadership and Governance
Is England moving toward an all-academy school system?
Headteachers in England are being told that every state-funded school in the country could become an academy school within the next two to three years. However, that claim is being disputed by a spokesman for the Department of Education, who said, "There is no target for the number of academies, either in this parliament or the next." The Guardian (London) (26 May.)
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International educators offer advice on integrating technology in schools
Educators shared their tips and best practices at a recent conference in South Africa on how to best integrate technology in the classroom. Among the suggestions offered by an educator whose school pioneered the use of iPod Touches was to integrate the technology into all aspects of schooling. Abdul Chohan, director at Essa Academy, said the technology is "wrapped in the DNA of our learning". The devices, Chohan said, also allowed teaching and learning to be more personalised and helped direct professional-development efforts. (South Africa) (27 May.)
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Interest Area Spotlight
How English-language lessons are tapping into Hong Kong students' creative sides
In Hong Kong's primary and secondary schools, teachers are beginning to tap into students' creativity and imagination with English-language lessons, asserts Perry Bayer, a committee member of the Native-English Speaking Teachers Association. The change, Bayer writes in this commentary, coincided with a new English curriculum, which was adopted in the 2009-10 academic year that includes lessons in short stories, poetry and songs, drama and popular culture. South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) (free registration) (27 May.)
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