Academic primary school
Council of Christian School Boards (30 May 2012)
One percent of Dutch primary schools have a status of “academic schools.” These schools have contracted with research departments to establish research activities in their schools which are cooperatively implemented by primary school teachers and researchers. The results of this research are expected to directly benefit the quality of teaching and learning in these schools, as the schools enrolled in the program share data with one another. The Department of Education sponsors these activities as a means to improve the quality of elementary education.
Language training program to be extended
The Ministry of Education (25 May 2012)
Since the 2006-2007 school year, students with a first language other than German have participated in language training courses at school. These courses have been offered to groups of more than eight (8) students for eleven (11) hours per week. For this purpose, the Government has provided 440 posts, equivalent to 9,500 hours of work and costing €23.9 million (approx. $30 million). Because evaluations have indicated the program’s positive impact, the Austrian government will invest a further €47.8 million (approx. $60 million) in the project up to 2014.
A new strategy for lower secondary school
Ministry of Education (15 May 2012)
For the first time in 40 years, the Ministry of Education has released a white paper on strategies for developing lower secondary education in Norway. The aim is to enhance motivation and learning outcomes for all students. The strategy plan runs from school year 2012/13 through 2016/17.
The curricula for the following eight new electives will be ready in June:
– stage and performance
– media and information
– production of goods and services
– physical activity and health
– design and redesign
– practical research
– practical technology
– international cooperation
Students: Help chart the future of B.C. education
British Columbia’s Ministry of Education (30 March 2012)
The newly launched EdChat program “offers an informal way for small groups of students to gather in person or online, discuss British Columbia’s Education Plan and share their vision for the future of education. Participants work within the five themes of the plan: personalized learning for every student, quality teaching and learning, flexibility and choice, high standards and learning empowered by technology.” (Find EdChat’s “Face to Face Tool Kits” here.) When speaking with members of BC Student Voice, Minister of Education George Abbott said he hopes to hear from students because they “have the greatest stake in our education system and we want to hear from them about what we are doing well, what we can improve and what they would like to see done differently. By participating in EdChats or joining the discussion online, students have a chance to be actively involved in the decisions that affect their future.”
The new national teaching guidelines for middle schools
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (unspecified)
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology announced that the new guidelines for middle school will be effective this month. This follows the implementation of new guidelines at the elementary level last year. The new guidelines have four major aspects. First is to increase rigor in the curriculum. This will be promoted by the second aspect of the reform: to increase weekly instructional hours by 10% in language arts, social studies, mathematics, science, physical education and foreign languages. The third aspect of reform is to place emphasis on teaching basic knowledge and skills, improve the ability to apply them, and to increase student motivation. The last aspect is to promote collaboration between schools, homes, and communities.