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FINLAND’S GROUND-BREAKING TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAM FOR SAUDI ARABIA

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We had the distinct pleasure of meeting Ilkka Kurkela from the University of Helsinki (HI) back in March at the Global Teacher Prize event in Dubai. The University of Helsinki is amongst the 20 best universities in Europe and within the top 100 universities in the world. Ilkka is the head of Customized Education Programs of HI+ which focuses on continuing education. We reached out to him for this interview after reading in the news about the ground-breaking training the University is providing to the country of Saudi Arabia tooling it’s local teachers with Methodologies and skillsets from the very best educators of Finland.  Finland is continuously ranked as having one of the best [...]

Is a Professional Coach a Better Teacher?

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Ever since I got certified as a Co-Active coach I realize that my approach to human interaction has transformed completely. Whether I’m talking to my husband, my students, my kids or my clients I am much more conscious and deliberate about the quality and the intentions behind my communication. The benefits have been enormous, from getting along better with my husband to coaching my kids through their tiny disasters to getting through to my third year university students in a way that their reviews include my class changing their lives. In fact, I realize that having a coaching arsenal in my toolbox is one of the most important skills I’ve ever acquired when it comes to teaching and [...]

These Two Words can change a Child’s Life

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According to Adam M. Grant and Francesco Gino in a series of studies published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Grant & Gino, 2010) you have a 66% percent chance of receiving more when you say, “Thank you”. In the study 69 participants were asked to provide feedback to a fictitious student called ‘Eric’ on his cover letter for a job application. After sending their feedback through by email, they got a reply from Eric asking for more help with another cover letter. The twist is that half of them got a thankful reply from Eric and the other half a neutral reply. While only 32% of participants receiving, the neutral email helped with the second letter, [...]

Why were schools started…do you know?

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Very few people know the history of school. Nor do they know the real reason schools were established in the first place. Here’s a short history of schools in the U.S. from the documentary Class Dismissed ClassDismissedMovie.com. Features interviews of John Taylor Gatto, Laurie A. Couture and discusses Horace Mann and Johann Fichte’s influence on today’s public school system and how the Prussian model of education & military findings were instrumental to the origins of school.

Scandinavia’s No Shoes in Classroom Policy Improves Behavior and Grades

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Have you ever noticed how not having your shoes on causes you to act differently? For decades in northern Europe, children have left their shoes at the school door due to snow, ice, or slush. And then something interesting started happening. They behaved noticeably more calmly, they were more focused than their peers with shoes on, they acted more kindly to their classmates, and schools reaped the benefits of reduced cleaning bills and wear-and-tear on furniture. Now academics are calling on teachers in the UK to apply similar “shoeless techniques” to give children the best possible chance of performing in their exams. Imagine that! Experts are claiming that having children with no [...]

Growing a Professional Athlete into Adulthood

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This is an exclusive interruption  We are super excited to bring to you our interview below with Diane Henderson, mom of a budding athlete Joshua Allan Ho. What sport were you good at as a child but no longer play or participate in. What happened? Did teenage-hood take over and you got distracted? Was it just a passing phase? Was it an injury that stopped you dead in our tracks? Was it taking away from school-work and your parents stepped in and took sport away? The reality is most of us probably would have never make it as a professional athlete but then again…how would we know if we never made the effort? Even today, pay attention to how we dissuade youngsters who say they want [...]

Right side of the brain school report card?

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Accountancy firm Ernst and Young in 2015 removed degree classification from the entry criteria for its hiring programmes. They found “no evidence” that success at university was correlated with achievement at the workplace. Laszlo Bock, Google’s former Senior Vice-President of People Operations for the last decade, has said that while good grades don’t hurt, they’re “worthless as a criteria for hiring.” He said that hirers should be “less concerned about grades and transcripts and more interested in how you think.? Both companies, and many more who have followed their lead, are saying loud and clear to educators “your education model [...]

A rural Indian School setting the standard for education globally

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One of the most interesting talking points that came out of the Global Teacher Prize and Global Education and Skills Forum 2017 (GESF) held in Dubai, UAE, last month, was that education – the way we know it and has come to be – is massively broken. Instead of a collective pat on the back for the world’s teachers, school principals, education ministers and everyone else involved, this was a time of reckoning. The overwhelming message is that we need to teach our kids to be more inclusive. Only then will they have even the slightest chance of succeeding in the redefined world we live in and become true global citizens. Surprisingly, the clarion call came from Andreas Schleicher, director [...]

Homeschooling Part 3- A Teenage Daughter

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This is an exclusive interruption  We continue our home-schooling series with the story of another set of amazing parents taking education into their own hands as the best option for their child. As the first set of youths in our home-schooling feature, I also had the distinct pleasure of meeting this home-schooled young lady at one of our Business Bootcamp for youths in January 2017. To be honest, she stood out. She was super confident in what she wanted to do as a business, she displayed incredible poise and she had mad confidence. The younger females latched on to her immediately. There was nothing about her that would have suggested to me or any of the other youths attending [...]

Three Moves that can be Game-Changing for Education

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This article originally appeared modified in the Khaleej Times. At the UAE Education Public Policy Forum this past month, hosted by the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government, the room voted in majority and sent the following message to the present Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Education: Public education quality should be the same as private education; It is the schools who are responsible for educating youths to fit the job market; The curriculum being taught is primarily to blame for students not being prepared for the workforce. We live in a world where an Uber self-driving car will soon drive by us on highways. The innovation highway of the transportation sector should be on [...]