An official part of Finland’s centennial celebrations, HundrED is a Finnish-born project researching global innovations in education, and helping to disseminate this best practice. The organisation has offices in both Helsinki and London, where the teams are working to find 100 innovations in Finland locally and 100 innovations from around the world.
During my years as a UK school leader, I’ve seen how education is becoming increasingly data-driven. We have inspections, reports, league tables, audits and internal data constantly flowing within schools. It can feel at times as if we are to be consumed by data. However, good teachers are constantly striving to improve, and they know that it is reliable data which is often key to improvement. Without data we have no proper sense of how we are doing now, and without an objective assessment of how things are, planning future improvements can be wasted.
Thirty head teachers from Lithuania visited a Birmingham school to learn how to provide pupils with a top education, in an event organised by the British Council. The visit to Rockwood Academy in Alum Rock was part of a Government drive to build relationships with Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. During their six-day stay in the UK, the head teachers visited five schools and learned about how the British education system works.
Everyone who knows me know that I love to teach (hence the Twitter name) and I love to travel. When the opportunity came up for me to take part in the British Council Connecting Classrooms programme, I did not hesitate!
My dream of teaching abroad in some capacity started at the age of 17, if not earlier, as I sat in an assembly watching images of school pupils in Africa and seeing how little they had. The speaker showed children talking about how much they wanted to go to school, teachers talking about doing their best and enjoying teaching the children, but knowing that they hadn’t had sufficient training to be able to help their pupils more.
WorldStrides have launched a new range of joint educational tours, Shared Perspectives, to six destinations: Costa Rica, Ecuador and the Galapagos, Peru, Japan, Vietnam and China. With just six students, teachers are eligible to join and travel for free on one of their standard inclusive itineraries. With offices in a wide range of locations, WorldStrides is able to combine students from around the globe into one multicultural international experience. In addition to only needing six students, prices are fixed regardless of student numbers.
Take a look at part 1 of Jude's journey here.
Visit - “Better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.” – Asian proverb
The opportunity to be in China for a block of time, and the chance to learn and discover new places, meant that any freedom we had for rest or recreation was largely taken up with maximising every moment to go somewhere or to absorb the culture. While there were the planned visits to the Great Wall, The Temple of Heaven, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Summer Palace, there were other opportunities to take the metro to some of the absolutely wonderful markets and ornate temples.
“You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so…get on your way!” – Dr Seuss
The opportunity to be immersed in the language and culture of another country provides a valuable opportunity for increasing cultural awareness first-hand, interacting with native speakers and developing new perspectives. A little over a year ago, I left Scotland to spend two full weeks in China with a group of Scottish teachers. Our group was composed of Primary and Secondary teachers. We were all heading to the Beijing Language and Culture University to learn Mandarin, enhance our understanding of Chinese culture and gain new ideas we could bring back to our own work contexts.
I’ve always felt that good teachers are evident all the time, even outside of their classroom. It’s never a surprise, therefore, when I meet someone and can see immediately, even when they are not teaching, that they are or would make a good teacher. There is something about good teachers as human beings in general; how they interact, how they listen to people, how they give their time and eye contact to others, how they care about pupils’ wellbeing and potential.
Although I’m quite handy when it comes to pub quizzes, geography has always been a bit of a blind spot. So when the initial email came in from the Learning Adventure Resources Network, I wasn’t exactly sure where Malaysia was. My only immediate reference point was the Willis Hall play (and film) The Long, the Short and the Tall, which didn’t seem entirely appropriate – but a quick look at the atlas showed that I’d instinctively placed the country in the right part of the world (good start) – even if I’d been a little confused as to its physical relationships with its neighbours.