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10 January 2012  
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Education News from Around the World

  Learning and Teaching 
  • Which countries are models for computer-science education?
    As England seeks to improve computer-science instruction, countries such as Scotland, South Korea and Israel are considered pioneers in teaching the subject. In Scotland, the use of technology is widespread, and in some secondary schools computing is taught across the curriculum. In South Korea, students as young as 12 are taught basic computing concepts, such as simple algorithms and programming. The Guardian (London) (10 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Students benefit from 3D technology in international study
    The test scores of students placed in classes that used 3D images improved by an average of 17% compared with 8% in those placed in regular classes, according to the report The 3D in Education White Paper. In a sample of 740 students in seven countries, including the United Kingdom, research showed that students, ages 10 and 11, in 3D classes had higher concentration levels and were faster in learning new concepts. The Daily Mail (London) (06 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Nonprofit OLPC designs tablet for students in developing countries
    The nonprofit technology group One Laptop Per Child is introducing a new, inexpensive tablet computer for students in developing countries. The XO 3.0 tablet can be powered with hand cranks, or with solar or other energy sources, and is designed to withstand extreme weather conditions. Mashable (08 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Some Indian states consider adding chess to the curriculum
    Adding chess to the curriculum in some parts of India would improve students' cognitive skills, several supporters say. Some advocates add that the game also could help relieve stress among students and should be given the same consideration as outdoor games. However, before schools begin teaching students to play chess, teachers should be trained, officials say. The Times of India (06 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Professional Leadership 
  • Canadian principal suggests goals for education leaders in 2012
    An elementary-school principal in Calgary, Alberta, shares 10 leadership lessons she hopes to apply this year. Among them are the importance of communication, teaching strategies and backing up ideas with research. Lori Cullen also writes about the value of listening, following up and being kind. Leaders also reserve the right to change their minds if the situation warrants it, she writes. Cullen's blog (06 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • England plans to eliminate regulator of teaching profession
    A plan in England would eliminate the General Teaching Council for England, the official regulator of the teaching profession. Some head teachers' leaders say a new system of assigning more responsibility to individual schools would create hurdles for schools in addressing struggling teachers. However, government officials say the current system also is ineffective -- citing the low number of teachers who have been fired in the past decade. The Telegraph (London) (06 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Regional Spotlight: Ontario, Canada 
ASCD Worldwide Edition SmartBrief highlights education practices and policies in specific regions to give readers more in-depth insight into that country or region's education system. This edition focuses on Israel.

  • Blogging benefits socially inept teens in Israeli study
    Teens who expressed social anxiety and distress in dealing with peers reported improved social skills after 10 weeks of blogging, an Israeli study found. In the journal Psychological Services, researchers noted that these teens became more self confident and more emotionally comfortable with social scenarios, and had improved self-esteem. (06 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Israel's students fall behind many in developed countries
    Some critics say Israeli's low-performing schools could end a history of advances in science and technology and harm the country's economy. Israel's students perform below those from most other countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and some critics say many students are likely to graduate without basic skills. "A generation is growing up in Israel that does not know how to count," said Daniel Schechtman, recipient of the Nobel Prize in chemistry. The Washington Post (06 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  Reform and Research 
  • Inuit father creates technology to teach native language
    Hoping to teach his daughter Iqaluit, Qajaaq Ellsworth developed an online game and application. Ilinniarnaqsivuq, which translates to Time for School, will be geared toward introducing young children to the language. Soon, the game should be available to the public, and it also helps children learn about shapes, syllables and colors in English and Inuinnaqtun. "Eventually, we'd like to adapt the tool to a kindergarten and other classroom settings," Ellsworth said. (09 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • S. Korean educators at odds over discipline policy
    In Seoul, South Korea, a law that bans corporal punishment in schools and encourages respect among students has led to an increase in violence in schools, according to the Korean Federation of Teachers' Associations. The teachers say that at schools where the so-called students rights' ordinance has been in place for two years, teachers are restricted in how they can discipline students. Supporters, however, say the new law eventually will help curb violence in schools. The Korea Herald (Seoul) (05 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  ASCD News 
  • New publication supports development of healthy schools across Canada
    ASCD's Healthy School Communities program has developed a new resource for schools in Canada at any stage of developing wellness programs. This Canadian second edition of the "Creating a Healthy School Using the Healthy School Report Card" publication offers schools a strategy for developing effective teaching and learning environments and building school cultures that address student and staff health and well-being. Full of new research, standards and examples of best practices, this action tool enables educators to independently evaluate their school's needs and use the collected data to develop a school improvement plan. Learn more and discover other HSC publications and resources. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Double take: Research alert
    Educational Leadership's December/January "Double Take" column examines important research studies, statistics and innovations from the world of education. Improve your understanding of the condition of U.S. states' education funding, learn more about India's new $35 tablet computer intended to help lift students out of poverty, and find out what online-based philanthropies you can turn to for financial assistance under "where to go when your budget says no." Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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When liberty destroys order the hunger for order will destroy liberty."
--William Durant,
American writer, historian and philosopher

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