working together so learners can flourish

Archive for March, 2015

Interesting Reads

Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with ‘topics’ as country reforms its education system

“For years, Finland has been the by-word for a successful education system, perched at the top of international league tables for literacy and numeracy. Only far eastern countries such as Singapore and China outperform the Nordic nation in the influential Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings. Politicians and education experts from around the world – including the UK – have made pilgrimages to Helsinki in the hope of identifying and replicating the secret of its success.

Which makes it all the more remarkable that Finland is about to embark on one of the most radical education reform programmes ever undertaken by a nation state – scrapping traditional “teaching by subject” in favour of “teaching by topic” . . . ”

Don’t Become a Teacher, Advises Award-Winner Nancie Atwell    

nancie-atwell “An influential language arts teacher who recently won a $1 million international teaching prize has some surprising advice for young people considering joining the profession: Don’t.”

The 10 questions to ask before you start your one-to-one program

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Purposeful Schools by Ed Noot, Executive Director of the Society of Christian Schools in British Columbia

“Rohintin Mistry’s landmark novel, A Fine Balance, tells the story of four strangers thrust together who struggle to establish interpersonal equilibrium in the midst of social and political upheaval. The novel tells a compelling tale of survival in the midst of unspeakable hardship.

Christian schools also need to seek the fine balance, sometimes in the midst of hardship. This delicate equilibrium can be elusive. Our schools need to find balance in:

the desire for extensive educational programs/facilities and the need to keep tuition affordable
the desire for academic excellence and the need to care for and serve all of God’s children
the acquisition of skills and the fostering of imagination
competition and cooperation
Ministry curriculum and the biblical narrative
efficient governance and community orientation
covenantal faithfulness and evangelical opportunities
the list could go on …”

Owning Learning by Darren Spksma, Director of Learning at SCSBC

“If Christian schools are designed to assist parents in transforming image bearers into closer reflections of Christ, teachers must empower students to be active participants in reflecting on and consciously living with choice. For students and teachers alike, focusing on learning as a way of life, and being able to make choices in this area creates a sense of ownership. John Hattie, is his book Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning, shares results of an extensive study with evidence that concludes “that the greatest effects on student learning occur when teachers become learners of their own teaching, and when students become their own teachers.”2 A school seeking to fully realize its mission is one that ensures that teacher and student learning include opportunities for ownership and choice. . . . ”

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