By Marilyn Achiron Editor, Directorate for Education and Skills. What is it about math that strikes fear and trembling in students and adults alike? Perhaps the fault is not in the math, but in ourselves – in how we teach and learn it. Jo Boaler certainly thinks so. She calls mathematics literacy the issue of the 21st century. Even as more companies are looking for people who can use advanced reasoning skills to solve problems, students spend most of their time in math class learning how to compute, she says. Boaler, a British-born professor of mathematics education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and author of several books on teaching and learning mathematics, brings the latest thinking in psychology, particularly the work of Carol Dweck, and neuroscience to bear on her argument that students would be better served if teachers took a multi-dimensional approach to math (including problem solving, reasoning and communicating) rather than a one-dimensional approach (teaching how to perform various mathematical processes). Indeed, given the emerging evidence she cites of how the former type of teaching results in high student performance, “it’s a no-brainer”, she says. Read more...
By David Crosier and Andrea Puhl. "Symbols can be so beautiful, sometimes." – Kurt Vonnegut
At the centre of Europe 2020 – the EU's main strategy for growth in the current decade – lie two European targets for education. The EU aims to increase tertiary graduation rates to at least 40 % and reduce early school leaving (ESL) rates below 10 % – despite the fact that education remains a national, rather than a European, competence. But if the European Union is not responsible for the policies that may lead to the success or failure in reaching these numbers, are the targets meaningful, or merely symbolic?
The EU's education targets can be understood as setting essential goals for a continent that has the ambition of staying competitive in an increasingly innovative and globalised world. Indeed increasing the number of higher graduates and reducing school dropouts are really rather obvious steps for any knowledge-driven economy. Yet does it really matter to overall economic development if these particular quantitative goals are achieved? A recent article in the Higher Education News suggests that the importance of these targets does not lie in their concrete realisation: “are they meant to be achieved or do they exist as almost arbitrary numbers that only give an indication of the necessity to focus on a particular policy field”. More...
Fachpraktika im Ausland sind oft der erste Schritt zum erfolgreichen Berufseinstieg
Bei der Suche nach Praktikumsplätzen berät und unterstützt die internationale Organisation IAESTE (International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience). Sie vermittelt seit über 65 Jahren weltweit Praktika für Studierende der ingenieur- und naturwissenschaftlichen sowie land- und forstwirtschaftlichen Fachrichtungen. Der deutsche Zweig arbeitet unter dem Dach des Deutschen Akademischen Austauschdienstes (DAAD). Bei der jüngsten Generalkonferenz der IAESTE in Quito/Ecuador, auf der 85 Länder vertreten waren, wurden rund 6.000 Praktikumsplätze auf die Mitgliedsländer verteilt. Fast 1.000 Plätze für deutsche Studierende vergibt der DAAD in diesen Tagen an die 120 lokalen IAESTE-Stellen der deutschen Hochschulen. Für 2014 haben sich knapp 3.500 Studierende um ein IAESTE-Auslandspraktikum beworben. Mehr...
Postdoctoral Researchers International Mobility Experience (P.R.I.M.E.)
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers a new funding programme - co-financed by the Marie Curie Programme of the European Commission - for outstanding postdoctoral researchers from all disciplines and nationalities: „Postdoctoral Researchers International Mobility Experience“ (P.R.I.M.E). The funding consists of salaries instead of scholarships.
Funding is provided for 18 months, in which 12 months have to be spent abroad and 6 months (re-integration phase) at a German university. The re-integration phase is mandatory. The German university administrates the salary during the whole funding period.
call for applications 2014 (German)
call for applications 2014 (English)
The application form will be available from March 1st 2014 at the application portal. To get to the portal please click on Stipendiendatenbank für Deutsche, fill in Fachrichtung (subject of your research), Zielland (country of the period abroad) and Status „Promovierte“ (position) and select the programme. More...
Underlining skills development and digital literacy, the Council of the European Union, in its configuration as Education, Youth, Culture and Sport (EYCS) Council meeting, adopted new Council conclusions on 24 February.
In response to the 2014 Annual Growth Survey and the Commission’s communication on Opening Up Education (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, September 2013), the new Council conclusions strongly underline the need for action in order to tackle insufficient digital skills and Europe’s skills mismatch in education to employment transition (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, November 2013). In consequence, the Council of the European Union agrees to focus on:
- Long-term investment in the modernisation of education and training;
- Strengthening of lifelong learning programmes;
- Promoting work-based learning schemes; and
- Modernising and improving educational methods through ICT infrastructure investments and digitally supported teaching methods.
In addition, member states and the Commission are invited to encourage partnerships with creators of Open Educational Resources (OER) and to ensure cooperation by means of the open method of cooperation.
Council conclusions are political statements without binding legal effect. However, they set the direction of policies and often ensure and set out the framework for cooperation between member states and the Commission in educational matters.
EYCS Council conclusions
The print edition of Open Doors 2013: Report on International Educational Exchange, published by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in partnership with the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is now available for purchase. The new Open Doors book provides a comprehensive statistical analysis of academic mobility between the United States and the nations of the world, as well as a discussion of global and regional academic mobility trends. The print edition includes new narrative analysis and commentary that go far beyond the data tables that appear on the Open Doors website and the statistical highlights that were previously released during International Education Week last November.
The new material included in the print edition includes sections on the more than 122,000 international scholars who taught or conducted research at U.S. universities and on the nearly 111,000 international students who were in the United States for Intensive English Programs, as well as further detailed analysis on the nearly 820,000 international students in the United States and on the more than 280,000 U.S. students who sojourn abroad as part of their academic experience. The book features graphic displays of data maps, tables, and figures as well as to-the-point policy-oriented analysis.
IIE - Open Doors website. More...
Exploring Europe’s place in light of recent higher education trends from across the world is the central theme of ACA’s Annual Conference 2014. Under the title Europe in the world. Higher education developments across the globe, the conference aims to bring together, as always, a remarkable cast of policy experts, university leaders, academics, and institutional managers working on international aspects of higher education.
The two and a half–day event will be organised around three main foci. Through part of the programme it will first assess the relative attractiveness of European higher education on a global scale. Second, it will address current and future crucial issues of European and global higher education, such as the future of the university in a world characterised by MOOCs and open educational resources, transnational education, and strategic partnerships. Last but not least, it will explore, via two sets of parallel sessions, recent trends in major non-European countries and regions around the world and present current collaborations between universities in these regions and countries and Europe.
In line with the ACA tradition, the programme features speakers who are internationally-recognised ‘authorities’ in the field – scholars, high-level policymakers and innovative institutional leaders, including Cédric Villani (Professor of Mathematics at Université de Lyon, Fields Medal (2010), Administrator of the pro-European Think-Tank EuropaNova), Jordi Curell (Director, European Commission, DG Education and Culture), John Yopp (Associate Provost for Educational partnerships and International Affairs, Lexington, USA), and Lesley Wilson (Secretary General, EUA), to name just few.
Some of the brightest minds in higher education will be at from 15 to 17 June at the 2014 ACA Annual Conference. So do consider to register soon – if not for the speakers and the programme, than for the wonderful time that Bordeaux promises to offer you!
ACA Annual Conference 2014. More...
Issu d’une démarche inédite en France, lancée en 2007 par l’Etat, la Région et l’Insee, le tableau de bord du développement durable en Midi-Pyrénées fait peau neuve. Si 19 indicateurs sont reconduits, 40 sont nouveaux ou fortement aménagés pour répondre aux cinq finalités du développement durable énoncées dans la loi Grenelle II. Ils permettront de suivre les évolutions en Midi-Pyrénées en matière de développement durable et de partager ce diagnostic avec l’ensemble des acteurs. Chaque indicateur fait l’objet d’une fiche signalétique précisant pour chacun sa pertinence au regard du développement durable, les références aux projets et politiques en cours, ainsi qu’une analyse étayée d’illustrations. Parmi les nouveaux indicateurs, on remarque l’évolution du climat passé, la biodiversité, le surpoids et l’obésité, le tourisme durable, l’accès aux services, l’Indice de Développement Humain (IDH-2).
Insee Midi-Pyrénées, Le développement durable en Midi-Pyrénées. 59 indicateurs, coll. Dossiers n°159, janvier 2014. En téléchargement sur le site de l’Insee ou de l’Arpe.
Agefos PME Midi-Pyrénées rappelle, dans un communiqué de presse, ses actions menées en faveur de l'emploi, sur 2013 et début 2014. Plus de 4 000 demandeurs d'emploi ont bénéficié, en 2013, de financements pour des formations leur permettant d'accéder à un emploi. L'Opca a notamment mis en place des parcours de formation dans le cadre de la Préparation opérationnelle à l'emploi. 650 demandeurs d'emploi ont déjà bénéficié de ces formations opérationnelles sur une large diversité de métiers. En 2014, il est également mobilisé sur le "plan 100 000" (formations prioritaires pour l'emploi supplémentaires). Les demandeurs d'emploi ont intégré les premières sessions de formation.
Lire le communiqué d'Agefos PME Midi-Pyrénées.