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What’s it really like to volunteer in Ethiopia?

Posted by Eteach Blogger on Sep 4, 2012 in Teaching Abroad

VSO is the world’s leading independent international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries. In the first of a series of case studies in which we catch up with VSO volunteers, we learn about Patricia Gilhooley’s year in Western Ethiopia working as a continuous professional development (CPD) adviser.

Inspiring creativity in the classroom

More than half of the world’s out-of-school children live in just 15 countries, and nearly three million of them are in Ethiopia. Pupils are frequently passive recipients of knowledge, which can often be ineffective at engaging students to think critically and creatively. Tackling traditional ‘chalk and talk’ methods of teaching is a major challenge. VSO volunteer Patricia Gilhooley spent her year encouraging the use of active learning methods in several primary schools and a teacher training college.

VSO volunteers like Patricia work through the Ministry of Education and at a senior level in teacher training colleges across Ethiopia to help engage students to think critically and creatively.

Here she tells us about her experiences. Read more…

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Alternative strategies to boost behaviour and concentration

Posted by Education News on Aug 2, 2012 in Teaching Abroad

You may be sceptical about ‘alternative health’ strategies, but if they achieve positive results, could they be worth trying anyway? This week we share with you a video about Juan, a teacher in Quito, Ecuador, who enables five-year-olds to use simple ‘tapping techniques’ in the classroom, which appear to boost concentration, raise self-esteem and improve behaviour. He says the results are impressive – so what’s not to like?

Read more…

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A life changing experience volunteering with VSO

Posted by Eteach Blogger on Jul 20, 2012 in Charity

VSO is the world’s leading independent international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries. So far 40,000 VSO volunteers of 94 nationalities have made a difference in 90 countries. Eteach caught up with Emily Lomax, Head of UK Volunteering at VSO, to learn more about the organisation, about current volunteering opportunities, and about the enormous benefits of volunteering for both communities and volunteers. Read more…

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Reading gap between boys and girls is widening again

Posted by Education News on Jul 5, 2012 in In the News

Girls enjoy reading more than boys and receive more encouragement from their parents, according to a new report. But although the reading gap is widening, there is no strategy to tackle it, the BBC reports.

The report from the All-Party Literacy Group Commission found that although there had been improvements in boys’ reading, some boys find it ‘nerdish’. In 2011, only 80% of boys reached the expected reading level at 11 compared with 88% of girls, 14 year-old girls outstripped boys by 12%, and 59% of boys achieved an A-C in English compared to 73% of girls.

The report estimates that the girls have been outperforming boys in literacy for up to 60 years, so the reading gap is nothing new. It suggests that the interplay of the school system, the home environment and gender identity damage boys’ reading and Commission chairman Gavin Barwell MP called for specific action to tackle the issue.

Read more…

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Teachers divided about pupil behaviour. Do they use too much carrot, not enough stick?

Posted by Education News on Jul 5, 2012 in In the News

New research on pupil behaviour shows that while most teachers’ views are increasingly positive, one in four is unhappy with standards in their school. Many teachers believe that poor behaviour is driving their colleagues out of the profession, the Huffington Post reports.

The latest report into pupil behaviour from the National Foundation for Educational Research found that although 76% of the 1600 teachers surveyed described behaviour as ‘good’ or ‘very good’, 6% overall believe that it is poor or very poor – 5% in primary schools but 8% in secondaries.   And 60% of teachers believed bad behaviour drove teachers away from the classroom.

Just over a fifth of maintained schools inspected by Ofsted between January and March this year were rated just ‘satisfactory’ or ‘inadequate’ over pupil behaviour and safety.

Read more…

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