Should UK schools teach happiness? | Similar genes influence children's reading, mathematical abilities | Cayman Islands studies UK's academy system as possible educational model
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16 July 2014
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Learning and Teaching
Should UK schools teach happiness?
To improve the mental health of students in the UK, a recent study suggests schools adopt a "whole school approach" to address their emotional health. Researchers also suggested that schools establish classes where teachers can interact with students, find out how they are feeling and what can be done to increase their happiness. The Independent (London) (tiered subscription model) (08 Jul.)
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Similar genes influence children's reading, mathematical abilities
A UK study in the journal Nature Communications found that children's reading skills were influenced by the same genetic variations responsible for their mathematical ability. "Heritability does not imply that anything is set in stone -- it just means it may take more effort from parents, schools and teachers to bring the child up to speed," study author Robert Plomin said. Science World Report (08 Jul.), BBC (08 Jul.)
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Other News
Professional Development
Teachers from US, Canada share ideas on literacy across subjects at "unconference"
More than 350 teachers from 20 US states and Canada recently exchanged ideas and resources about teaching literacy across all subjects and grades during an "unconference" in Michigan called nErDcampMI. Styled like Edcamps, program attendees met informally and determined the topics for the teacher-directed professional development. (Michigan) (free registration) (09 Jul.)
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Leadership and Governance
Recommendations would set higher bar for Australia's teachers
Standardized test taking
The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership is proposing that students working toward becoming classroom teachers be required to pass a national test of literacy and math skills, as well as undergo classroom observations. The Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia) (tiered subscription model) (10 Jul.)
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New Zealand schools model authentic learning through real-time Twitter chats
Once a week, students in New Zealand participate in Kidsedchatnz, a teacher-moderated Twitter discussion of various topics that leads to authentic learning for students, teacher Stephen Baker writes in this blog post. Baker also includes tips for establishing schoolwide Twitter chats, including setting up a blog to post topics and questions, and designating student experts who can help their peers with the tweeting. Media blog (10 Jul.)
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Other News
Interest Area Spotlight
Teachers in UAE learn benefits of play-based learning
The Emirates College for Advanced Education is offering courses that teach educators in the United Arab Emirates the benefits of play-based learning and how best to incorporate play into the national curriculum. Experts say that play is an important part of children's holistic development. The National (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) (14 Jul.)
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Editor's Note
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Check out the latest 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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Love can do much, but duty more."
-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
German writer and scientist
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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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