Members of the International Bureau of Education recently participated in the 3rd International Workshop on Curriculum Innovation and Reform: Changing Assessment to Improve Learning Outcomes, organised by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop). The International Workshop drew on lessons from current work conducted by Cedefop and other research and international organisations on the implications of approaches to the design and implementation of curriculum and assessment policies and practices.
I have attached links to some of the event presentations which I found particularly interesting.
Education stands at a historic point in time where the best of what we know about effective teaching is merging with exciting potentials offered by new technologies, tools, and learning designs. The result is a revolutionary new direction for educational practice.
Choose from more than 140 sessions and spend two and a half days exploring how educators around the world are revolutionising learning. Whether your role is in the classroom or systemwide, this is your chance to learn about effective new programs and practices and join with colleagues in advancing a positive agenda for the future.
The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) will hold a summer conference in St. Louis, United States, from July 1-3, 2012, on Revolutionising the Way We Teach and Learn. Drawing from 150,000 members and an international network of schools, the leading experts on research-based, classroom-proven approaches will lead the conference. They will provide in-depth analyses on 11 topics, including: achieving equity in education, effective teacher supervision and professional development, teaching and technology, and bullying prevention. For more information or to register for the conference, please see the ASCD website link below.
Inclusive education is a growing concern that informs and challenges educational reform processes around the world. Inclusive education stands on the recognition that education is a human right that supports a broader view and more comprehensive strategy of Education for All. It is essential to move forward from conceptual and theoretical debates towards adopting practical, comprehensive guidance materials which focus on schools, classrooms, and the interactions between teachers and learners. A principal environment for inclusion is at the school level. As social institutions, schools closely interact with cultural and societal practices and play a crucial role in engaging society towards inclusion.
While significant progress has been made toward inclusive education systems, there is still much to accomplish to ensure that all pupils and students are learning effectively. Little information emerged out of the national reports presented at the 48th session of the International Conference on Education about the daily practices in school and how schools can become more inclusive. Schools should have access to successful examples and inspiring lessons from good practices and gain a better understanding of how barriers to learning have been addressed elsewhere. Policymakers also need this important information to establish priorities for reforming education systems.
The Gulf Arab States Educational Research Center (GASERC) and the IBE jointly launched an 18-month project that aims to develop a resource pack entitled “Inclusive Schools”.
The main objectives to consider in producing the resource pack are:
- to promote awareness of inclusive schools among specialists and practitioners;
- to enhance the capacities of curriculum developers in the field of curriculum design, content selection and organization, diversification of teaching and learning resources to meet different needs of students; and
- to develop school-level assessment from the perspective and goals of inclusive education in the Arab states.
The project will identify and disseminate lessons from outstanding practices in different regions to provide policymakers, schools, teachers, and other stakeholders with concrete evidence and relevant examples of inclusive education.
The resource pack would consist of an inclusive education policy framework, an analysis of international developments in relation to inclusive education, and guides for the development of inclusive schools and classrooms. The policy framework is currently being developed; the analysis of international developments and practices will be completed around summer 2012, and the guides are expected to be ready by December 2012 – early 2013. All of the materials will then be presented at a seminar of representatives from each of the seven countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen).
The Evidence Informed Policy and Practice in Education in Europe (EIPPEE) is a two-year project which aims to increase the use of evidence to inform decision-making in education policy and practices across Europe. The network also provides a series of free online and face-to-face courses to help people working in education to explore and evaluate practices, using findings from research. For more information and to view the EIPPEE’s first newsletter, please visit their website at http://eippee.com/cms/.
As the third and final week of the annual e-forum draws to a close, members of the Community of Practice on Curriculum Development are discussing the following questions:
1. What are the potential learning outcomes of a curriculum that addresses socio-cultural diversity? What kinds of knowledge, skills and core competencies should be assessed?
2. What kinds of assessment tools could be used? What should be the criteria used for assessment?
3. How can assessment support the learning process and improve the well-being of all students?
I’ll be writing a post next week to draw the concluding issues together.
I have just completed my registration for the UNESCO-IBE annual forum; this year it will address Socio-Cultural Diversity through the Curriculum. The event takes place over three weeks (21 November – 9 December) and each week, delegates are asked to focus on a specific question – which is open for debate and discussion. This is a great opportunity to explore strategies and pedagogy in curriculum design with experts from around the world.
- Week 1 – What diversity aspects should be included in the curriculum?
- Week 2 – How could teachers develop a curriculum that addresses socio-cultural diversity?
- Week 3 – How should student’s learning be assessed in light of their diverse needs?
Given that Scottish education is currently going through the process of curricular reform, I will be writing one or two papers based on these questions – from my perspective in Scotland. Although some issues will be locally based, some aspects will apply to boththe regional and international landscape.
I’ll post updates on my blog as it happens…
The 2011 edition of the Global Education Digest, published by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), presents a wide range of indicators on the extent to which girls and boys are enrolling in and completing secondary education. To enrich policy debates, the report also examines the human and financial resources that go into this level of education.
The International Bureau of Education (IBE) contributed to this edition of the Digest supporting the verification of information on the duration of compulsory education (about 110 country cases checked). The IBE also contributed to the proposed new definition of compulsory education for the UIS Education Surveys, ISCED (International Standard Classification of Education) questionnaire and related glossary that will be used in 2012. The purpose of this initiative has been to identify inconsistencies across existing databases, enhance the quality and reliability of information provided through different sources, and improve data collection.
Building on this fruitful collaboration, at the beginning of 2012 IBE and UIS will launch a Global Survey on Instructional Time. This survey is expected to result in a standardised global database and improve the extent to which reliable data on instructional time is available for policy development, educational reform and research.
The International Bureau of Education is calling for preliminary responses to questions for its 5th annual e-forum, on the theme: Addressing Socio-Cultural Diversity through the Curriculum, which will be held between 21 November and 9 December, 2011. The e-forum, which is organised around a forthcoming discussion paper and series of weekly questions, provides a unique opportunity among the Community of Practice members for inter-regional, multi-lingual and open discourse, with the support and facilitation of international experts. Participants can contribute in all 6 UN languages.
More details to follow…