Does autonomy of academies result in better behaviour? | Shanghai students rank highest on international financial-literacy test | Should student evaluations be used to rate teachers' skills?
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30 July 2014
ECIS SmartBrief
ECIS: the source for international education

Learning and Teaching
Does autonomy of academies result in better behaviour?
British academies and free schools report better student behaviour than authority schools, according to a recent analysis. Officials credit increased autonomy at such schools that gives educators the freedom to focus more on behaviour and adopt a "no-excuses" policy. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (27 Jul.)
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Shanghai students rank highest on international financial-literacy test
Students in Shanghai ranked highest in an assessment of their financial-literacy skills, according to recent testing affiliated with the Programme for International Student Assessment. However, officials are urging caution when viewing the results of the assessments as they are optional and not taken by many other high-performing areas, such as Finland, Japan or Singapore. Shanghai Daily (China) (28 Jul.)
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Other News
Professional Development
Japanese teacher finds success in US-style maths lessons
A Japanese educator became a well-respected and successful maths teacher after adopting US-style approaches that focus less on rote memorisation and more on dynamic, student-led learning. However, as the US moves from new maths to the Common Core State Standards, the success of US-style maths teaching in Japan has led to debate over whether teacher preparation is the reason why the US is not more of an international leader in maths. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (27 Jul.)
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Leadership and Governance
Study: US principals more often describe students as disadvantaged
An international study finds that principals in the US are more likely than their counterparts in other countries to describe their students as disadvantaged. The study, conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, points to a potential expectations problem for students in the US, where students from low-income backgrounds often perform worse than their more affluent peers, as they are expected to do. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/The Upshot blog (23 Jul.)
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Other News
Why UK teachers should not fear Big Data
While some educators in the UK are skeptical over the use of technology in the classroom when it comes to student data, Charlie Harrington, director of business development at an education-technology company, debunks five common myths about the practice in this blog post. Among them are the beliefs that firms will sell students' data or that Big Data will make teachers obsolete. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (24 Jul.)
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Interest Area Spotlight
New Zealand works to engage more top students in digital technology
Officials in New Zealand are considering changes to technology education following data that show a decline in the quality of science education in the country. At issue, some say, is that students associate digital technology with other courses, such as metalwork and sewing, making it a low priority for otherwise high-achieving students interested in the sciences. Stuff (New Zealand)/Fairfax NZ News (29 Jul.)
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Richard Herbert to become computer science teacher
Richard Herbert, ECIS IT manager, left the organisation this week after nine years of loyal service in order to begin his career as computer science teacher for Eggar’s School in Alton. Richard earned a full scholarship from the prestigious BCS (The Chartered Institute for IT) to undertake teacher training. The programme is administered through University of Southampton. Eggar's School is the second-highest achieving school in Hampshire. We congratulate Richard for this incredible accomplishment. He can be contacted at
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Register now for the SISG Diploma Module 1
SISG (Sustainable International School Governance) Diploma Module 1 is designed to challenge thinking and to provide the tools for board members, school owners and administrators to build on their existing knowledge and strengths to further the sustainable success and effectiveness of their schools. There will be a focus in this Module (17-19 Oct.) on strategic planning, the principles of outstanding governance, and crises management. Registration details can be found on our website.
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Editor's Note
Have you visited SmartBlog on Education?
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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To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk."
-- Thomas Edison,
American inventor
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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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