Category: Teaching

How emotional intelligence improves cross-cultural classroom communication

“Emotional Intelligence covers five major areas and serves as a gateway to educational and career success”

Educators need keen emotional intelligence (EI) to manage the ups and downs of classroom life. Their ability to control and respond positively to their feelings enables them to act as role models for their students. This principle remains true even when cultural constructs throw up communication roadblocks.

International educators face barriers of both verbal and non-verbal language with their students. Exercising EI lets them check their immediate responses to external stimuli. It allows them to step back and consider the learner’s perspective and prevents them from making snap judgments.

This awareness gives them the requisite mental pause to reflect on the cultural influences on behaviour.

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Your ABCs are still the building blocks of a STEM powered future

“We must recognise the power of STEM learning and its potential to equip our children with the skills they will undoubtedly need in the future”

STEM is a real buzz word in the education sector at the moment and it seems to be its answer to everything.

Many educators and policymakers increasingly argue that more and more areas of education should focus on STEM, to future-proof our kids for a world that seems to be ever more technology-driven.

But what does STEM actually mean, and is it really the answer to everything?

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. These are the top-line subjects that make up the acronym, but a wide range of specific academic disciplines such as Chemistry, Astronomy, Statistics, Biology, Electrical Engineering and Psychology all fall under STEM.

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The most important job in the world

“Collectively, we need to tackle the learning crisis for the one in two children being failed as they never even learn the basics”

Teaching is the most important job in the world. The quality of any nation’s education cannot exceed the quality of its educators. Each teacher has the opportunity to shape and impact tens of thousands of young lives over the course of their career. It is not unusual to hear someone reflect on a favourite teacher from their school days or to ascribe their success in life to the advice or guidance given by a teacher.

Yet, in many low and middle-income countries teaching is an extremely difficult profession. Once trained, teachers can find themselves teaching in a range of challenging situations; days away from the nearest town; with little or no support or guidance; textbooks that aren’t aligned to the material or the age of the children they are attempting to teach and overcrowded classrooms with children sitting on the floor.

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Ideas To Make Your Students Love To Learn English

“If a student genuinely wants to learn English, then the motivation to learn English should come from within a student”

A teacher plays an essential role in motivating the student to make them love English. But it is not as simple as you think – motivation should come from inside. Many non-native students have an urge to learn English since the language is necessary for them to reach their ultimate goal. But there are different strategies to help your students learn English.

  1. Create creative lessons with the conceptional understanding

Conceptual understanding makes learning easy and deep. A student who went through the process can apply it across various domains, especially the things which they have learned in class.

The process helps a student to learn more than what’s there in their syllabus- all the facts and methods. Create lessons which are flexible, creative and assess conceptual understanding. If you try to raise your student’s block on English, then teaching English would be easy.

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How Scandinavian teaching at a primary school differs from British methods

“Parents receive a more holistic progress report about their child’s development, this may seem somewhat strange to UK parents”

Earlier this year, the Department for Education announced plans to change the way that children across England are tested by using a statutory reception baseline assessment.

The Government hopes to introduce this by autumn 2020, but as we have seen, the decision to test children on communication, language, literacy, and maths when entering primary school, has been controversial debate around how early children should be academically tested.

Many parents and teachers argue that children should not be academically tested at four years old, as it puts too much pressure on them at such an early age, whereas others believe that introducing testing at an early age is vital.

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Developing Effective International Strategies

“Strategy is about more so much more than glittering generalities or the constraining rigidity of fixed plans”

With the sector facing unprecedented challenges – and with internationalisation at the heart of many of these challenges – now is a critical time to think deeply about what constitutes an effective internationalisation strategy.

A recent review of some 52 university strategies undertaken by Goal Atlas found that nearly two-thirds of these ended in 2021.  When I spoke at the annual conference of the British Universities’ International Liaison Association (BUILA) in July, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that my session on developing effective international strategies in uncertain times was the largest attended session of the conference.

Clearly, there is both a need and an appetite for strategy. But what makes a strategy a good strategy?

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Upskilling and technology tools to help educators

“Upskilling isn’t just about staying relevant, studies show that it can also boost motivation and self-confidence”

A report by the World Economic Forum on “The Future Of Jobs” says that by 2020, more than a third of the desired skillsets for most occupations will be comprised of skills that are not yet considered crucial to the job today.

As technology continues to evolve, so do many sectors of the global economy. And with this reality, comes a growing trend for the need to “upskill” in the workforce.

Simply put, upskilling is defined as the process of learning or teaching new skills, and in today’s digitalised world, it is becoming a necessity to stay relevant. Whether its a vocational worker employed by a manufacturing facility or a financial analyst who relies on software to run numbers for their clients, every job will require some form of new learning in the future.

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The path to sustainability for the Liberian Education Advancement Programme

“The Ministry of Education previously stated its intermediate-term goal to double the government’s education investment by 2020”

In 2016, Liberia – one of the poorest countries in the world – embarked upon the world’s most innovative public-private partnerships in education. Its government was determined to improve learning outcomes for children.

Now three years in, it’s time to revisit whether the dramatic learning gains for students in the Partnership Schools for Liberia’s (PSL) first year have been sustained. If so, it would be a strong indication that the Liberian Ministry of Education is on the right track with its reform program “Getting to Best.”

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Are students ready for the future of work?

“There is perhaps too much emphasis on exam grades and not enough on the students’ actual learning journey”

With a myriad of factors influencing the future of work such as automation, globalisation, mobility, and flexibility, the future of work holds endless possibilities for change and opportunities for growth.

As many admin centric and unskilled tasks are now being automated, it’s important to understand what self-management and unique human skills will be valued in the future. The role of education has traditionally been to prepare students for their future workplaces, but as the pace of change accelerates, are curriculums keeping up with the evolving requirements of the future of work?

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Key challenges when teaching in countries with limited opportunity

“The bureaucracy could be paralysing, resources were minimal, and teachers received little support from the system”

As an international educator, I’m sure you don’t need to be told how culture, environment and infrastructure often shape the education systems of the countries that we work in. The external forces that affect a countries education structure are vast, varying from historical biases through to physical geography and the accessibility of resources.

My time in Guyana, South America highlighted this point. There were countless issues that Guyana’s schools faced. The bureaucracy could be paralysing, resources were minimal, and teachers received little support from the system despite organising extracurricular events and buying equipment using their own salaries.

However, the greatest challenge was the innate lack of opportunity within the country’s education system. This limited opportunity was a driver of many problems I faced during my time as a teacher and this quick post cover a few of the most common that you may encounter yourself.

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