Thursday, 16 January 2014

What's the buzz in education at the moment?

One thing I believe it is important for educators and especially school leaders to do, is to stay abreast of current educational thinking and trends. There are many ways of doing this- readings and conferences are two examples. Another way is by joining professional organisations. Bradbury School is a member of several, one of these being ASCD ( formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) which is a global educational organisation committed to developing and delivering innovative programs, products, and services that empower educators to support the success of each learner.

Each week, I receive an email (ASCD Worldwide Edition SmartBrief) telling me what is news in education around the world. These are some headlines from a recent one, which I thought I would share with you:
  • Should England model its schools after China's?
  • India's longer school hours face backlash
  • How students' happiness affects achievement
  • Classical music may improve children's concentration, listening skills
  • Australian schools adopt inquiry-based science curriculum
  • UK to study how students' brains work
  • Australian state considers shifting to online exams

It is always interesting to see what is making headlines in education around the world! I use the Smartbrief to do a quick measure and comparison with what is being developed/researched/proposed to what we do here at Bradbury! For example, we have an inquiry approach to science (tick), we use an online approach for most of our standardised exams (tick) we know that a happy student is one who learns and it is important to us that all of our students are happy (tick) but what about the findings on classical music to improve concentration and listening skills? (further consideration needed here!)

In this way, I hope that our approach reflects our desire to be current and to be a school that is always moving forward through an ongoing process of self review and reflection- a skill, interestingly, that we encourage in our students.

The following are some pictures of our Year 4 students enjoying working with our Artist in Residence this afternoon, creating wonderful clay heads.

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