October 2013 Archives

Pasi Sahlberg explores a central role play has inside and outside the school context as a foundation for positive child development.

Pak Tee Ng discusses how two secondary education admission policy changes are raising questions about fair assessments and holistic education. As Ng states, "On one hand, we send signals to broaden the definition of success. On the other hand, we may have inadvertently set up more areas for competition." As he further explains, "education reform is seldom, if ever, merely an education issue. It is deeply entwined with societal culture... The debate is a process of national soul searching about what education really means to us as a society."

Maria Helena Guimarães de Castro discusses key challenges facing secondary education in Brazil.

Alma Harris opens the last blog week with a discussion about what it takes to scale up system-wide reform. She writes, "Looking at those countries that have achieved successful reform at scale, the two success criteria are firstly, adequate time and secondly, fidelity of implementation." As she concludes, "Scaling up has to involve more than the spread of new materials, new ideas, or new strategies; it must also involve the spread of underlying beliefs, norms, and principles. This takes time, resilience, determination, and persistence."

Helen Janc Malone introduces the final blog week with a theme "whole system change."

Lorna Earl argues for collective professional accountability in the teaching profession, whereby educators feel a sense of moral purpose to make a positive difference in students' lives.

Rukmini Banerji and Madhav Chavan offer a compelling case for the use of literacy and numeracy assessments as tools to understand progress and gaps in student learning in India.

Elena Lenskaya offers a sobering lesson in the unintended consequences of standardized testing--teaching to the test and learning to the test.

Patrick Griffin makes a case for 21st century skills as a necessary component in student learning. He argues that technology has fundamentally changed how students learn and interact with information, and that education systems needs to transform to meet the demands of today's society.

Barry McGaw discusses the implementation of a national curriculum, customized student testing, and an online school assessment tool designed to stimulate system-wide improvement in Australia.

Helen Janc Malone introduces this week's blog theme, "accountability and assessment systems." She writes that at the heart of the current accountability debate is a fundamental question, What is the purpose of all the collected assessment data? Are they an end game or a starting point to educational change? And, should the focus be on external accountability or, should we refocus attention on professional responsibility and internal accountability? How do we have both?

Silvina Gvirtz and Esteban Torre offer an overview of the state of the Latin American educational systems and the countries' efforts to improve education as a vehicle for educational justice.

In this must-read post, Jonathan D. Jansen describes the contours of the University of the Free State's "first generation students" (1G) academic program designed to uplift students out of poverty through college preparatory education.

Sherry L. Deckman discusses the art of crafting a critically insightful question when negotiating issues of diversity, be they racial, cultural, linguistic, economic, or beyond.

Amanda Datnow notes that in order to help low-income students succeed and graduate from college at higher rates, we need to focus both on student and institutional assets and to listen to the students' voices about what supports they need to graduate from college.

Mel Ainscow explains that efforts to foster greater equity within education systems must start with the sharing of expertise, within and between schools.

Helen Janc Malone introduces the theme for this week - equity and educational justice.

Gabriel Cámara discusses the power of tutorial networks in changing instructional practice and shaping national elementary and middle-grades education policy in Mexico.

Ann Lieberman shares international examples of education policies designed to connect teachers to the supports they need in their daily practice.

Stephen Anderson discusses conditions that promote high quality teaching on a large scale.

James Spillane discusses the importance of diagnosis and design in leading and managing instructional improvement.

Louise Stoll reflects on how taking a stand-up comedy course helped her improve her instructional practice. She challenges us to be open to new ideas and try experiences that push us and challenge our thinking. And, she reminds us to practice new skills and keep refining them.

Helen Janc Malone introduces the second blog week focused on improving practice.

Dennis Shirley discusses how infusion of technology exposes how little control educators have over teaching and learning. Shirley calls for "mindful teaching with technology," conversations within and across the teaching profession about when and how we should use new technologies or avoid them altogether.

Yong Zhao examines the Chinese struggle with students' academic overload and the two important lessons American education reformers can draw from the Chinese test-oriented culture.

Andy Hargreaves addresses four lessons of international benchmarking that are practical and desirable for the U.S. education reform.

Andreas Schleicher, who oversees the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) at OECD, discusses the impact PISA has had on education policy and what we have learned about high performing systems.


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