International Day of Peace – Losing out on learning

Of course we need at least 365 days of Peace, but let us try and grab what we can.

Without talking about the disgrace of holding arms ‘fairs’ such as those in London recently, perhaps we can look at how to keep refugees educated.

We can get people on to the moon and develop a nuclear weapon, but cannot provide refugee children with some basic technology to keep participating in education , on the move. There are accelerated learning programmes which can be facilitated by local volunteers, but our practical thinking still leaves us without governmental interest in the future human resource of their countries.


By Joseph Nhan-O’Reilly, Head of Education Policy & Advocacy and Sébastien Hine, Education Research Adviser at Save the Children The world is now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record. According to UNHCR, an unprecedented 65.6 million people around the world have been forced from their homes. Among them are nearly 22.5 million refugees, […]

via Losing out on learning: Action to ensure refugee children get an education — World Education Blog


Investing in early education…


It looks as if ECCE is creeping up the agenda finally:

BlogInvesting in early education is even more crucial in fragile contexts 
Global Partnership for Education 

GPE 2020, GPE’s strategic plan for 2016 – 2020, commits to improving the quality and availability of early childhood care and education (ECCE) for children ages 3-8, especially for marginalized children and those living in countries affected by conflict and fragility.

There is growing interest in the role of ECCE programs in promoting peacebuilding. The foundations of development and learning are laid in the first five years of life – including behavior traits, the ability to manage conflicts, and cultural norms and identities.

Most early childhood development curriculum cover socio-emotional development and many programs have early reading materials that promote diversity and pro-social development, but promoting peacebuilding and security is also crucial to the long-term vision and policy priorities of fragile and conflict-affected countries.”

Read the full blog post here.

UKFIET 2017 – Curriculum, Cognition and Context

I will be attending and presenting at the UKFIET in Oxford this week and will update readers as the conference progresses.

Learning and Teaching for Sustainable Development:

Curriculum, Cognition and Context

5 – 7 September 2017

What is taught and learnt form the backbone of education’s contribution to sustainable development. It is through the construction of curricula that knowledge, skills, attitudes and values are prioritised and become the basis for teaching. Crucial here too is the rise of attention to what individuals and communities value in terms of a set of capabilities and practices that for them define sustainable development. But, international education policy debates in this millennium have been dominated by access and, more recently, quality issues, without sufficient attention to questions of what is and might be learned and taught, and how. Such debates are timely not only because new understandings of learning are emerging, but also because the settings in which learning and teaching occur are deeply influential. Taking a broad view of sustainable development, the 2017 UKFIET Conference invites contributions from researchers and practitioners engaged with these issues in formal and informal sites of learning across the globe.

There are six sub-themes to the conference

Beyond Literacy and Numeracy: rethinking the curriuculum

Pedagogies for Sustainable Development

Enabling Teachers

Developing Capabilities for Sustainable Livelihoods

Assessing Teaching and Learning for Sustainable Development

Inclusive Education for Sustainable Development


and from GEM:

The theme of this year’s conference, ‘Learning and Teaching for Sustainable Development: Curriculum, Cognition and Context’, will explore the importance of focusing on what is taught and learnt for achieving sustainable development. This is an area we covered in depth in the 2016 GEM Report and in a policy paper on textbook contentreleased this year. It is an area we consider central to progress towards sustainable development and central to Target 4.7 in particular in SDG 4. We will continue monitoring this area in future GEM Reports, including the publication due out this October.

The power of play

Working in early childhood settings we always seem to have to justify why play is important for children (and adults -see below).


Life is playfulness. We need to play so that we can rediscover the magic all around us. – Flora Colao We are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything, than when we are at play. – Charles Schaefer Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent with a tremendous […]

via Power of Play — Steve McCurry’s Blog

Harsh punishment?

I was part of a movement in education, STOPP (Society of Teachers Opposed to Physical Punishment), to try to stop the use of corporal punishment in schools. I think we won, by 1987, but humiliation in schools is still apparent.

In many countries, ban or no ban, harsh punishment is still the order of the day, as if this in any way can support learning.

Recent brain research provides ample evidence that the forms of toxic stress that children and young people have to undergo just to get an education is totally opposite to the conditions for healthy brain development and learning.


Corporal punishment was only banned in Samoan schools in 2013. Four years later, however, the issue was once again up for debate. Thankfully, a matter of days ago, Cabinet decided to uphold the ban. Amongst those who have questioned whether the ban on corporal punishment is correct was a leading education official who worried that the […]

via Samoa votes against reintroducing corporal punishment in schools — World Education Blog

Rethinking Charlottesville

After the horrific display of violence and hatred in Charlottesville last weekend that was fueled by white supremacy, many teachers have approached Rethinking Schools to ask for frameworks on how to think about and contextualize our role as educators in this moment. It’s important that teachers talk about Charlottesville in their classrooms, and there are […]

via For Educators After Charlottesville: Teaching in the Time of Trump — Rethinking Schools

Strengthening teacher professional development through collaboration 

From the INEE newsletter:

BlogTeachers in Crisis Contexts Working Group – Strengthening teacher professional development through collaboration 
Mary Mendenhall, Assistant Professor of Practice at Teachers College, Columbia University

“As we work to improve the overall quality and effectiveness of ourhumanitarian responses by improving coordination, reducing duplication, and trying to mitigate the competitive environment in which we work, the Teachers in Crisis Contexts (TiCC) Working Group provides a notable example within the field of Education in Emergencies. The TiCC began over three years ago when a small group of individuals from different organizations came together to respond to the needs of refugees and other displaced persons teaching in crisis-affected contexts. This group was adamant about moving away from ineffective one-off teacher training workshops and to put in motion the development of a model and related materials to strengthen teacher professional development in crisis settings and other contexts of instability. This work was further buoyed by Mary Burns and James Lawrie’s work – Where It’s Needed Most: Quality Professional Development for All Teachers – which provided a clarion call for why teachers in crisis contexts need and deserve more support.”

Read the full blog post here.

It is amazing and worrying that one off teacher training activities still exist, but they do! The only future is for teachers to work together more, share experience and good ideas, observe ,comment and support and learn horizontally -not top down.

I like the sentence:

the professional development model that we have designed together, an approach that fosters constructive communications, active participation, collegiality, concern for everyone’s well-being, and, of course, a little bit of fun along the way.


My philosophy when planning teacher training too!