A good idea, or just pi(e) in the sky?

Issue 24: 31/3/2023 Deputy Head of School (I. Clayton)

I have recently attended an IB conference in Adelaide and there was quite a lot of talk about justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, JEDI for short. The theme of the conference was ‘Education for an inclusive future.’ There were a number of workshops and keynote speakers as well as panel discussions around these key themes. […]

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So, what works?

Issue 22: 17/3/2023 Deputy Head of School (I. Clayton)

In my last few articles I have focused on several neuromyths when it comes to learning. This week I want to focus on some things that work in a brain compatible way. The first idea is to create a safe climate for learning. I am sure that we can all remember teachers or classrooms that […]

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Don’t look VAK in anger

Issue 20: 24/2/2023 Deputy Head of School (I. Clayton)

I guess that all of us have a preferred learning style? So what is yours? Are you a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner? Learning styles theory goes that we all have a style and that teachers should tailor the lessons to fit the style of the learner. So, you show lots of pictures to visual […]

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Left brain, right brain?

Issue 19: 17/2/2023 Deputy Head of School (I. Clayton)

I am sure that many of you know the famous story by Robert Louis Stephenson, ‘The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde.’ This story represents the duality of human nature with the logical left brain of Dr Jekyll and the emotional right brain of Mr Hyde. Those of us that are right brained […]

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The 10% myth

Issue 18: 10/2/2023 Deputy Head of School (I. Clayton)

Do you remember two relatively recent movies? One was called Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper and the other was called Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson. The link between them is that the premise of each movie was that we don’t use the full capacity of our brain. In fact the poster for Lucy said ‘The average person […]

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The myth of multitasking

Issue 17: 3/2/2023 Deputy Head of School (I. Clayton)

Last week I received an email from a parent saying they read my articles (at least I know one person reads them!) asking if I could write anything about how best we learn. So I have decided to write some short articles on some neuromyths that persist. We all think that we are good at […]

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Motivation, Part 2

Issue 16: 20/1/2023 Deputy Head of School (I. Clayton)

Last week I was looking at the main messages in a book by Daniel Pink called Drive. Initially, I looked at two key factors, extrinsic and intrinsic motivation and engagement with a set task. The third consideration is the nature of set tasks. He favours Goldilocks tasks. These are tasks that are not too difficult […]

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Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

Issue 15: 13/1/2023 Deputy Head of School (I. Clayton)

One of the key questions that teachers and parents have to address is how to motivate students/children. In one of his most famous works, Drive, Daniel Pink has looked at four decades of scientific research on human motivation and found a mismatch between what science tells us and what organizations, including schools, actually do. It […]

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End of Homework?

Issue 14: 6/1/2023 Deputy Head of School (I. Clayton)

First of all, welcome back to 2023 and a happy new year to everyone! Some previous articles for Le Bulletin have been about the rise of the importance of AI and technology within and outside a school setting. I am sure many of you have heard about the latest innovation which was trialled in early […]

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Santa, Fact Checked

Issue 13: 16/12/2022 Deputy Head of School (I. Clayton)

In year 13 all the IB students follow a course called TOK which stands for Theory of Knowledge. This course examines how we really know anything. There are 8 ways of knowing – these are language, emotion, reason and perception, imagination, intuition, memory and faith. I will apply some of these ways of knowing, to […]

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A different perspective

Issue 12: 9/12/2022 Deputy Head of School (I. Clayton)

I was recently perusing some old files that I was organising when I came across some notes that I made a while ago when we welcomed Sugata Mitra to the school back in 2016. Mitra had won, in 2013, 1 million US dollars for a TED Talk that he did on what became known as […]

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Rise of the Robots (Part 2)

Issue 11: 2/12/2022 Deputy Head of School (I. Clayton)

Last week, I examined some of the external challenges and opportunities posed by technology. For teaching the impact is equally massive, it will not be immune from the onslaught of technology. Recently, Promethean trialed the use of an interactive hologram teacher in London. Called the Humagram, it is described as very life-like and interactive. There […]

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Rise of the Robots

Issue 10: 25/11/2022 Deputy Head of School (I. Clayton)

I am sure that we have all watched TV shows like Westworld in which robots or AI gain sentience and seek to overthrow humanity. Many movies repeat this trope and sound a warning bell for us all. It is certainly true to say that automation, machine learning and robotics are playing a larger role in […]

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Active Learning

Issue 9: 18/11/2022 Deputy Head of School (I. Clayton)

In my first article in this series I mentioned that there were a set of skills and competencies that would be successful in the future. One of those was active learning. What is meant by this amorphous phrase? Firstly, there is less emphasis on a teacher dominated by ‘chalk and talk’ lesson format. This is […]

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Issue 8: 11/11/2022 Deputy Head of School (I. Clayton)

In previous articles, I have been tracing the skills required for success in the 21st century and what schools and parents can do to nurture and develop these skills. This week, I will examine the role of collaboration. Back in the day, (my day at least!) students sat in rows, with a desk each and […]

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Issue 7: 28/10/2022 Deputy Head of School (I. Clayton)

Last  week I wrote about critical thinking and its importance. This week I want  to address another attribute as identified by the OECD, that of creativity. Traditionally, across the world,  there has always been a clear, but unhelpful hierarchy of subjects as delivered by most school systems, usually with maths, language and science at the […]

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Critical Thinking

Issue 6: 21/10/2022 Deputy Head of School (I. Clayton)

Last week, I wrote about the basic changes that education worldwide is undergoing and the reasons why. I also identified the key skills that the World Economic Forum presented as crucial for students to be equipped with on their educational journey. Similarly, the OECD has produced a paper outlining a conceptual learning framework, Skills for […]

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The future of education

Issue 5: 14/10/2022 Deputy Head of School (I. Clayton)

For many years now schools around the world have been undergoing a foundational change in what, how and why they teach what they teach. The old model is of teachers teaching (telling) students a finite amount of knowledge and students repeating that knowledge at some future point. It could be summed up by, write fast, […]

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The most famous person you (probably) don’t know

Issue 4: 7/10/2022 Deputy Head of School (I. Clayton)

This week I want to focus on a person who recently had more Google searches than Queen Elizabeth, Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian. You may not have heard of him. His name is Andrew Tate. Tate is a British/American former kickboxer who is now one of the biggest influencers on the internet. He is a […]

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Student Wellbeing

Issue 3: 30/9/2022 Deputy Head of School (I. Clayton)

I think that one of the saddest sights of many sad sights during the pandemic was the closure of children’s play areas in Hong Kong. They were taped off like crime scenes and no one was using the swings, slides and exercise machines. As a result, what many of us suspected was that students’ emotional […]

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Let me Learn

Issue 2: 23/9/2022 Deputy Head of School (I. Clayton)

Our school mission and vision clearly references the concept of global mindedness, twice in fact. I think that most international schools do. It is delivered in a variety of ways, through the curriculum, through types of service and the celebration of different cultures at specific times to mention a few. What we are sometimes guilty […]

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Life long Learning

Issue 1: 16/9/2022 Deputy Head of School (I. Clayton)

Most schools around the world will have as part of their mission/vision to promote the concept of life long learning in their students. The idea is that school is, of course, important for learning but that real learning continues for one’s life time. Recently, a man called Derek Skipper from the UK took this fully […]

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