Singapore scores highest in PISA problem-solving exam | Canadian schools model maths courses after China's | Schools in Canada take fresh approach to grading
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09 April 2014
ECIS SmartBrief
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Learning and Teaching
Singapore scores highest in PISA problem-solving exam
Students in Singapore ranked the highest overall in problem-solving on a new Programme for International Student Assessment, or PISA, exam -- a sign the country is on the right track in education, according to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. This marks the second time PISA has evaluated problem-solving, and officials said the tests reflected a change in education from a focus on routine skills to more complex challenges. The Vancouver Sun (British Columbia) (02 Apr.), (Singapore) (01 Apr.)
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Canadian schools model maths courses after China's
China's -- and particularly Shanghai's -- success on recent international maths exams have officials in Canada and elsewhere considering how they can best improve their own maths curricula. The provinces of Alberta and Ontario in Canada already are introducing more drills to model their maths courses after China's. Among other things, educators say that schools in Shanghai seek to connect maths lessons to life, science, technology, the economy and more in order to apply classroom lessons to the real world. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (tiered subscription model) (04 Apr.)
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Other News
Professional Development
Israel, US teachers work together to improve teaching, learning
Schools in Israel and the US are participating in the Partnership 2Gether program, in which teachers from both countries work to improve education. A delegation of educators from Israel recently visited Florida, but officials said the partnership extends year-round when educators share curricula and connect students for educational activities. Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) (07 Apr.)
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Leadership and Governance
Data: 12% of England's primary schools now are academies
In England, about 1,983 primary schools have been awarded academy status -- with data showing that 570 primary schools have been removed from local control and turned into academies over the past four years. In some other cases, top-performing primary schools have been rewarded with academy status, which comes with additional autonomy for educators. Overall, 12% of England's primary schools now are academies. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (07 Apr.)
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Other News
Competition helps students in different countries develop robotics skills
Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar recently hosted the 10th annual Botball Educational Robotics Programme, in which about 200 students from 22 schools across the region participated. The students -- from countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Egypt and Libya -- were asked to develop technologies to demonstrate various activities that would be needed for a robot, called "Botguy," to be able to re-acclimate to Earth's gravity. Gulf News (United Arab Emirates) (07 Apr.)
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Interest Area Spotlight
UK schools look within to grow leadership
As schools in England face a shortage of headteachers, some schools are filling those positions by developing internal pathways to leadership -- growing their own headteachers from existing staff. Schools that are taking this approach increasingly are empowering educators to take on more responsibility and take the lead for certain projects within the school. They also are adopting a practice common in the business world and focusing on succession planning. The Guardian (London)/Teacher Network/Career advice hub blog (07 Apr.)
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Rosetta Stone signs on as a Principal Sponsor of the Leadership Conference
Rosetta Stone, a long-standing ECIS Affiliate Member and international provider of language-learning software, has generously signed on to be a Principal Sponsor of the Leadership Conference, 24-26 April in Seville. Come and try out Rosetta Stone software for yourself at stand 21. Jan van den Beld, a linguist and leading expert in mobile technology for international schools, will be on hand to answer your Rosetta Stone questions.
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International Ideas Bulletin Spring edition available now
The current issue of International Ideas Bulletin, the official magazine for admissions professionals edited by the ECIS admissions committee, is available for download now. Get your copy today!
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Editor's Note
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If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error."
-- John Kenneth Galbraith,
Canadian-American economist
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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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