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Wednesday, 29 January 2020


“They would make fine servants,” wrote Christopher Columbus of the Taíno people he encountered following his 1492 transatlantic journey in search of the Far East. “With 50 men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”

In eschewing the federal Columbus Day holiday, Maine joined Florida, Hawaii, Alaska, Vermont, South Dakota, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C. in favoring celebrations that recognize each region’s indigenous populations.

Above, Fiona Hilley agreed to pose as Christopher Columbus when a crew member onboard a replica of the explorer’s flagship Santa Maria offered her the chance. Antics ensued. Read more here.

By Proserpina Dhlamini-Fisher
Taking time off from schools is something I have done several times in my career and have enjoyed immensely. I was saddened to realize that my friend did not feel comfortable taking time away, fearing that recruiters would judge my friend harshly for this protracted absence. ..more
By Julia Serrano
This year, one of my goals was to promote mindfulness activities in our community. I embarked on this journey thinking it was just breathing, meditation, & anti-stress practice, but in becoming familiar with the movement I ended up redefining my approach to teaching. ..more
By Matt Brady
An imagined conversation among a school’s leadership team reconvening for 2019/2020, discussing tech integration—or taking old systems and tacking on the latest tech, taking as many shortcuts as possible, and then assuming everything will work just fine. ..more
As teachers look to transition to competency-based learning, one of the major shifts they’ll have to make is moving from grading to feedback. In this ..more
Christ Church Episcopal School aligns GOA’s programming to meet its mission in three ways: creating pathways for students to engage in online learning ..more
GOA Executive Director Michael Nachbar identifies the trends and topics that deserve our attention this year. ..more
How might we leverage competency-based learning, meaningful relationships, and thoughtful instructional design to develop lifelong learning skills? ..more
Our most popular articles on competency-based learning, professional development, global online learning, and more! ..more
By Dave Krocker
I do believe it is incumbent upon school leaders to place faith in our students’ and community’s ability to handle something new. Tell them you believe in them, that you trust them, and that you want them to have joyful opportunities and make positive memories of their high school experience. ..more
By Dallin Bywater
Staff children often are given more attention, have unique social standing, and at times are treated differently when it comes to privileges and discipline at school. If you have taught a colleague’s child before, you likely would agree. ..more
By Vicky Placeres
This year, the elementary school at Uruguayan American School adopted the Math In Focus program, based on the Singapore Math Approach for Grades 1–5. This program emphasizes collaboration, discussion, the use of models, and multiple problem-solving strategies. ..more
Editor Meadow Dibble talks with Lydia Okutoro-Sack, who has just wrapped up her third year in Chennai, India teaching English to Grade 6 students. Lydia's previous position was in Kuwait, where she also taught middle school English for three years. ..more
By Sue Easton
Just about every day on my Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn feed, I find an article about the importance of Social and Emotional (SEL) teaching and learning in our K–12 schools. The research seems conclusive: SEL teaching and learning is not an add-on, but a vital component of a balanced K–12 curriculum to ensure student achievement and, ultimately, the development of healthy, successful citizens. ..more
By Bambi Betts
Thirty years ago, the vision was simple and compelling: create practical training opportunities for practicing and aspiring principals in international schools. The PTC has stayed true to that vision over the course of three decades. ..more
By Martin Walsh, TIE columnist
Things felt a little different this year. Early application numbers and results were equally competitive but less consistent. Unlike past years that saw big gains in everyone’s early numbers, this year was more of a mixed bag. ..more
By Martin Walsh, TIE columnist
Overwhelmed by the cost of attending college, depressed by admit rates that have been on a downward slide for the last decade, and discouraged by a byzantine application process and less than transparent evaluation rubric, a growing number of parents and students are looking for alternative pathways. ..more
By Martin Walsh
Nearly one million college students from other countries study in the United States, or roughly 5 percent of the nation’s total enrollment. California colleges host about 150,000 of them; that’s more than any other state. As such, a close analysis of last year’s University of California admission decisions will provide counselors with the data needed to guide the senior class. ..more
By Gordon Eldridge, TIE Columnist
Human beings have a natural tendency to overlook evidence that conflicts with their current understanding--this is often referred to as “my side bias.” Could varying the instructional framing of an activity encourage students to actively consider information that conflicts with their own positions? ..more
By Gordon Eldridge, TIE Columnist
If a student can transfer something they have learned to a new context, they are more likely to be able to take their learning out of the classroom and make use of it in the world beyond school. The trouble is, so much research suggests that students rarely transfer their school learning to new contexts. ..more
By Gordon Eldridge, TIE Columnist
Collaborative group work has been shown to improve both learning and motivational outcomes. Deciding when to use collaborative learning structures is not always easy, however. A study conducted at the J.W. Goethe University of Frankfurt/Main may give some guidance. ..more
By Kim Marshall, TIE columnist
In this Learning Forward article, consultant/instructional coach Sarah Young defines culturally responsive coaching: it addresses differences between the coach, the teacher, and students; the role of social identity; and the social-political context in which the teacher is working. ..more
By Kim Marshall, TIE columnist
"My ‘may I ask you a question?’ soon became my shorthand for ‘may I have some space to wonder about these things that fascinate me?’ If the teacher was in a good mood, this sometimes opened up new learning for everyone in the room." ..more
By Kim Marshall, TIE columnist
Quinn and Stewart note that many white educators are uncomfortable discussing race in their classrooms but are increasingly called upon to do so because race has been a hot topic in recent years, and incidents of racial harassment in schools have spiked since 2016. ..more