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Virtual Study Abroad Fair: Feb. 25

CollegeWeekLive and the U. S. Department of State have combined to set up the online Virtual Study Abroad Fair from noon to 8 p.m. Eastern time online. Universities and schools from around the country will be discussing their programs.

What are the truths and myths of global top performing school systems?

Here is an interesting article from BBC News by the OECD director of education: “Seven big myths about top performing school systems.” I’m wondering if debunking these myths might lead to some truths (which I guess at this point would be hypotheses):

1. Talented teachers and school leaders can help students of all socioeconomic strata.

2. Education funds would be more effectively spent on classrooms and the people in them than anywhere else: competitive salaries, professional development, planning time.

3. All students can excel together.

4. Teach for depth, not breadth.

5. The liberal arts and sciences are still at the heart of a good education.

6. Hard work works.

Anybody know of studies that have tested these hypotheses?

Global education on YouTube

A couple of useful videos I came on across on YouTube (through other TGC particpants’ Pinterest boards): Here’s a thorough introduction to global education .

Here is a short promotion of using digital tools in education.

PBHS International Summit: Dec. 8-11, 2014

I have quite a few materials to gather on the International Summit held at Pompano Beach High School last December. We were very fortunate to welcome my friend Maya Menon from Bangalore, India; Jerzy Waligora and Anna Krzeminska-Kaczynska from Krakow, Poland; and Aurelie LeMelinaidre from Plaudren, France. When I have time (ha ha ha ha), I’ll put together a more formal report and send it to IREX.

Fortunately, some very talented journalism students wrote articles for our online newspaper: here, here, and here. The event happened right as we were going to press; however, you can see a photo and a short description on the back page here.

PwC focuses on growing business in India

PricewaterhouseCoopers , a global business consulting firm, has provided a page with interesting infographics and keys to understanding business in India: “Through the Looking Glass: What Successful Businesses find in India.” The company will be launching called “The Future of India: The Winning Leap” on Monday, Nov. 24, at 1:30 a.m. Eastern standard time (0630 Greenwich Main Time, noon India Standard Time).

Around the world: Education reforms in South Asia, Singapore, Sierra Leone and Ireland

Minnesota Public Radio posts a column by Nsikan Akpan connecting Malala Yousafzai’s Nobel Peace Prize to a discussion of successes and failures in expanding educational opportunities for girls and for the poor around the world, mainly in South Asia. (But the United States gets an F: “No Child Left Behind has not worked. In fact, it’s failed.” Read it here. What do you think?

My last post linked to an article about Finland; another country often raised as an ideal system is Singapore. Cathie Norris and Elliot Soloway post a dialogue on THE Journal about education in Singapore. The page is a bit of a promotion for their newsletter, but the information they provide is interesting and worth looking in to: “Singapore‚Äôs MasterPlan 3 explicitly states that pedagogy must move from direct instruction, with its focus on content testing, to inquiry-based ….” Read it here.

Probably the view of Africa by most Americans imagines it as disconnected and isolated from the modern world, and the portrayal of the Ebola crisis isn’t helping change that view. This article might: Silicon Republic reports on schools in Sierra Leone using various forms of distance learning to keep children learning if they attend schools closed due to the outbreak of the deadly virus. Read it here.

One of the things that stuck with me from the presentations at our Broward Global Education Symposium in March was the importance of students learning the so-called “soft skills” of teamwork, empathy, and grit, along with the Common Core standards and technology skills. Here’s an article from the Irish Times about a movement at primary schools in Ireland to help students develop those “soft” skills. To supplement this piece, here is an article from the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development about how to set up collaborative learning in your classroom.

What would Finland do?

CNN has finally jumped on the Finland bandwagon with its report on how the structure of education there contributes to its excellent international results. If you’re not familiar with this story or would like a refresher, the link is here.


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