2007 International Conference
New Imagery for Schools and Schooling: Challenging, Creating and
10-12 October 2007 (Sydney, Australia)
from the Fringes
Written by Saraspathy Menon
Michael Furdyk, Co-founder and Director of Technology for
TakingITGlobal.org took the stage and gave some insights into his
passion and the educational journeys he had pursued via the virtual
world and the exciting pathways he and his digital compatriots have
been creating, I felt marginalised. I felt abandoned and I felt envy.
only way of managing this ironic dilemma is to resolve to learn.
Andy Hargreaves’ apt advice ‘Learning to Live,
Learning for Living and Learning as Life’ was what I decided
to resort to, to keep my sense of moral ground. At the core, I am a
teacher who loves learning and Heidi Jacobs’ reminder that
curriculum is ‘running with small steps’ was an
encouraging start to get me running, oftentimes from the fringes, while
keeping an eye on, and mulling over the profound and powerful messages
that were booming at the core of ACEL/ASCD/AJCPTA Conference 2007.
scenic waterfront at
Harbour and Sydney Convention Centre served as the focal point to
connect more than 1,400 leaders in education as delegates and
presenters for the conference.
a world renowned
performer, welcomed us by playing his yadaki (also known as the
Didgeridoo) to warn away negative energy and create a better learning
environment. Later, when I met with him he taught me a simple pose that
reiterates the message that the power within us must be used to bless
with Ron Miletta, Assistant Executive Director (Marketing and Member
Services) ASCD, who was awarded an Honorary Fellowship for his long
term service to ACEL.
Programs, Microsoft Asia Pacific, cajouled us into a futuristic world
where educators need to engage in a conversation that should centre
around how we transform the current industrial model of learning to
life-long learning and finally to life-long livelihood. His lead paper
‘The Future Student in a Future World’ was so well
received that, as a fellow Singaporean, I was beaming with pride.
the Sydney Harbour
Dinner Cruise we
not only enjoyed a panoramic view but also had the rare opportunity of
meeting with and socializing with the ASCD International Board Members.
Betsy, the second Singaporean on the board (after Singapore ASCD
founder President, Dr Ang Wai Hoong) is seen here with the Chief
Executive Officer and Executive Director, Dr Gene Carter and two other
Board Members, Ms Realista Rodriguez (Maryland) and Ms Deborah Hill
highlight at the fringe
luncheon meeting between Dr Gene Carter and Ms Ho Peng, Director
Curriculum Planning and Development, Ministry of Education, Singapore
together with delegates from Singapore ASCD. Dr Carter and Ms
Ho Peng exchanged more than souvenirs. There was a meeting of minds
with discussions focused on ASCD’s “New Compact to
Educate The Whole Child” on Singapore’s educational
reforms and achievements, and concluding with explorations on how
Singapore ASCD can host the international visit of the ASCD
(International) Board in 2008.
Tay Siew Lian,
ASCD and local exponent of the virtual world, Vincent Quah, Director,
Public Sector Programmes, Asia Pacific, Microsoft, discussing future
partnerships with Singapore ASCD.
preparation for the
Board Meeting, a preliminary visit will be made by a high-powered team
including Deputy Executive Director Ms Judy Seltz, seen here with Betsy.
high tea session
specially for delegates from Singapore, I enjoyed the opportunity to
interact with new professional colleagues and meet with eminent
educators including Dr Nancy Deford, President of ASCD International.
to Betsy, the
International Conference was all the more special as I was privileged
to spend three days with some board members of ASCD International. I
enjoyed their companionship from their intellectual repartee after
keynote addresses; their wit and humour; their compassion and
friendliness, and our ‘shared commitment to educating each
child as a whole child’. Indeed the conference was
challenging, creating and connecting.
LOOK OUT FOR
IN THE COMING YEAR!
has never been a better time to become an ASCD member ... with exciting
workshops, talks from renowned educationists from all over the world.
workshops, seminars and talks have been organised by Singapore ASCD for
the next six months. More will be added as they become confirmed.
Jansen (New Zealand)
| 13th, 14th
& 17th Mar 2008
|| Jay McTighe
& Mni Lecture
– 30th May 2008
– Learning to Learn
|| Pat Wolfe
–14th Sep 2008
by Design – Beginner and Intermediate
Level 1 Workshop
Dr Susan Clayton
(Read her profile below)
6th and 7th November 2007
if you are interested.
Clayton received her Bachelor of Education from the University of
British Columbia, her M. Ed. from the University of Victoria and her
Ed. D. from Nova Southeastern University. She is an experienced
educator in all levels of education. She was a high school PE teacher
and an elementary school counsellor. She also worked for 12 years
coordinating and providing staff development for a variety of education
initiatives in Western Canada. Susan taught for Simon Fraser University
(British Columbia) in the Teacher Education Program and was a sessional
instructor for the University of Northern British Columbia in their
addition to consulting
Authentic Education, Susan is a member of the ASCD cadre for
"Understanding by Design." She also facilitates groups in a variety of
projects, provides workshops on communication skills for professional
has presented at the
Staff Development Council's annual conference since 1999, as well as
the Annual ASCD Conference.
- Vision and goal setting for teachers, schools, and districts
- Action planning
- Building effective learning communities
- Brain-based learning
- Developing effective classroom relationships
- Assessment and evaluation of student learning
- Understanding by Design
9th March, ASCD held its 18th AGM at The York Hotel. Thirty-three
voting members showed up for the event. A scrumptious buffet was
enjoyed by all before the AGM and once the regular business matters
were dealt with (this is not a voting year), the lucky draw begun. The
prizes and the lucky winners this year are as follows:
Prize (US$300 worth of books) Ms Dianne Ang
Prize (US$200 worth of books) Mrs Esther Ong
Prize (US$100 worth of books) Ms Chua Guat Kheng
Prize (US$50 worth of books) Mrs Carmee Lim
Prize (US$50 worth of books) Miss Ng Siew Kuan
Prize (US$50 worth of books) Mrs Sita Singh
Everett Kline, the guest speaker, gave a short but amusing account from
his experiences in graduate school, the moral of which was that one can
be well prepared but for the wrong thing! The lesson for all to take
away is to always give clear directions for whatever task you want
are some photo highlights from the AGM. Don’t you wish you
– New ASCD Board Member
to Betsy Lim, our past-president who was recently initiated into the
ASCD Board of Directors. Members may not be aware of this but Betsy is
only the second board member from Singapore, the first being Dr Ang Wai
Hoong, founder President of ASCD.
Annual ASCD Conference 2007
Council members – Tan Wan Yu, Saras Menon and Cheah Yin Mee
– led by President Tay Siew Lian and President-elect Jimmy
Tan, attended the 2007 ASCD conference at Anaheim from 17 to 19 March.
Miss Koshu Lulla, from our Secretariat, also attended the conference at
her own expense to meet with ASCD officials there. Representing
Singapore were also 76 teachers and educators, making us the second
largest foreign contingent there after the Canadians. In all, over
10,000 participants from all around USA and the world were there.
year’s theme was “Valuing the Whole Child:
Embracing a Global Vision” and the three conference strands
and advocacy to support the whole child
of the education professions
learning and teaching.
addition to attending the regular sessions, Council members also had
the opportunity to meet with ASCD officials. They began by attending
the President’s reception in honour of President Richard
Hanzelka (2006–2007). This was an opportunity to meet with
members of the other affiliates and other ASCD officials. The ASCD also
organised a meeting with Singapore educators to find out what they
could better do to serve our needs. In all, it was an amazing learning
experience with the cavernous exhibit hall serving to fulfill our need
for retail therapy (books, pins, magazines and other educational
material only). We met and shared ideas with other participants and
were constantly reminded that underneath all the rhetoric, our concerns
about education are fundamentally the same.
example, in the field of literacy and language education, interest in
English language learners (ELL) or second language learners was
reflected in the many sessions for EL teachers. Similarly, sessions on
vocabulary teaching, phonics and comprehension were still in demand
proving once again that teachers are still looking for best ways for
teaching these topics. Given the current concern with meeting state
standards, sessions on how to achieve in tests and to fulfill syllabus
needs were popular too. Now isn’t that a problem that is all
too familiar with us here in Singapore?
our trip also helped us identify speakers that we could invite to
Singapore to meet our goal of providing up to date professional
development opportunities for teachers. Look out for our coming line up
of speakers and workshops!
(CEO of ASCD
International), Ms Tay Siew Lian (President), Dr Cheah Yin Mee and Mr
Jimmy Tan (President-Elect).
(CEO of ASCD
International), Ms Tay Siew Lian (President), Ms Tan Wan Yu and Mr
Jimmy Tan (President-Elect).
educators and ASCD officials.
Jimmy Tan, Ms
Tay Siew Lian and Mr
Richard Hanzelka (President, ASCD).
Here are two more reports on the ASCD Conference from Mrs Tan Wan Yu
and Mr Jimmy Tan.
What Teachers are Teaching
Looking at What Students are Learning
know that teachers do try their best to teach well. Supervisors do
focus on how teachers teach. The focus on teachers teaching well is an
important one. Nevertheless, the assumption is that when there is
“good” teaching, there is learning.
the Conference, I was interested in the learners themselves and the
questions I asked myself included the following:
do we know what our students are learning?
do we know that our students are learning what we are teaching them?
do we know that every child is learning what we are teaching them?
Conference offered me some good insights into how we can get actually
respond to the above questions with more confidence.
Visits and Walk-Throughs
from the daily plenary sessions, there were sessions where I learn how
classroom visits can be carried out meaningfully. We already know quite
a number of these, so they were also affirmations of our current
classroom visits should include the following:
observation (ie agreed objectives between the teacher and the
supervisor on what would be observed such as a specific skill like
questioning technique or some generic areas like classroom management
and students' time on task)
of the objective of the classroom visit (ie was it meant to be part of
the developmental process or was it to be part of the evaluation of a
teacher's performance or both)
and post- conferences apart from the classroom visit itself
of classroom visits can vary, depending on the objectives eg formal
lesson observations lasting the entire lesson of up to an hour, class
walk-throughs by school leaders and by peers, lasting three to five
Penn Delco School District Walk Through Experience
focus is on what students are learning and how they are learning
what is being taught
talk with individual students about their learning
sheets, which require interviewers to ask probing questions so as to
capture what individual students learn and how they learn what has been
taught, are used
is collated, analysed, shared and discussions are carried out to
address areas for improvement
interviewers comprise teachers from beyond their own schools, academics
from the universities as well as some non educators
is given to the teachers
teachers do not receive specific feedback on their students; the focus
is not on any specific teacher, but on the system.
Conference & Exhibit Show (17–19 March 2007)
Valuing the Whole Child: Embracing a Global Vision
do we educate and support young children in their academic work,
emotional and physical health, and character and citizenship
development so that every child is prepared for adulthood?
recurrent theme was woven through the rich tapestry of the conference,
stitching together rigorous scholarship and original perspectives on
complex issues ranging from school reform, professional development,
organisational leadership, technology, brain-based research and other
specific issues such as high-stakes testing, commercialism in schools,
character education, service learning to school violence.
conference made me ponder over diverse views on educational excellence
and the sharing of best teaching, learning and leadership practices,
children embrace the world with wide open arms so that everything comes
is a natural condition for learning… Doing great science is
having a feeling for the organism you study…You have to love
corn and lean into the kernel in order to know about corn
choreograph the community’s life to live…Stories
are the secret reservoirs of our lives. We must become the story we
want to pass on to our children.”
the mind maps, it remembers for life…Mind-shaping is
world-shaping…When we change the map, we change the
resilience is built upon a balanced life. The resilient leader aligns
values and actions in the multiple roles in life…Sometimes
the most resilient thing to do in life is to give up.”
need to know where the organisation is heading. There must be care,
clarity, choice and hope. People must know that they are not just a
placeholder or digit, but a person who matters to the
must let our children know that they are born to
learn…Learning with others is fun… Learning with
understanding allows them to be unique learners who can
mission of schooling by design is to help students come
to understand important ideas and equip students to transfer their
learning both in and out of school. The desired accomplishments
transcend academic content to include broader goals.”
mind can change our brain. The brain bears the footprint of our past
decisions... Self-directed neuroplasticity is a fact of Brain
neurons explain the positive effects of role modelling. They also
explain autism and possibly other maladies.”
was a rich learning experience for all who attended the Conference,
helping us to be better aware of the world’s challenges in
education, broadening our perspectives on educational issues and
helping us to learn new and effective teaching approaches. Best of all,
it provided us with the opportunity to network with renowned educators
and professionals and to explore best practices in education outside
Tan Wan Yu
ASCD Council Member
2 April 2007
Workshops for 2007
workshops, seminars and talks were organised by Singapore ASCD for the
first six months of 2007! Upcoming events will be added in as they
| Dr Colin
Planning & Customisation
| 7th to 14th
Kline & UBD Team
by Design – Beginners and Intermediate
|9th Mar 2007
|| AGM Lecture
|| An Evening
with Everett Kline
|2nd to 4th
|| Colin Marsh
Design and Planning
17th Apr 2007
|| Dr Ho Boon
Science with Confidence and Creativity
|30th Apr to
5th May 2007
by Design – Advanced Level
|18th to 22th
|| UBD Team
by Design – Beginners and Intermediate
April, June, November 2007
by Design Workshops by trainers from Authentic Education, Grant
Wiggins’ consultancy agency. They include Susan Clayton,
Everett Kline, Hilde McGeehan, and Diane Van Ausdall
workshops are organised to facilitate schools that are keen to enhance
teachers’ pedagogical skills. A number of schools have
requested for customised workshops on UbD to meet their needs. Contact
our Secretariat if you need such workshops for your school.
Ho Boon Tiong
for Primary Schools Workshop series by Dr Ho Boon Tiong.
Workshop by Dr Colin Marsh
about these workshops will be made available soon. Do contact our
Secretariat if you are interested in participating.