February 2009
Vol 6 No 2

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Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.6 No.2 February 2009

Cover Story by Alfie Kohn
Why Self-Discipline Is Overrated: The (Troubling) Theory and Practice of Control from Within
To inquire into what underlies the idea of self-discipline is to uncover serious misconceptions about motivation and personality, controversial assumptions about human nature, and disturbing implications regarding how things are arranged in a classroom or a society.

Harry & Rosemary Wong: Effective Teaching
To Be an Effective Teacher
Simply Copy and Paste

»Do You Have a Student Teacher?Hal Portner
»Test-taking Skills Made EasySue Gruber
»Teaching Children Refusal SkillsLeah Davies
»How to Be ConsistentMarvin Marshall
»The Busy Educator's Monthly FiveMarjan Glavac
»Dear Barbara - Advice for SubsBarbara Pressman
»What Side of the Box are YOU On?Kioni Carter
»Global Travel GuruJosette Bonafino

»Teacher Study Groups: Taking the “Risk” out of “At-Risk”Bill Page
»Can Anyone Learn to Draw?Tim Newlin
»The Heart of Mathematical ThinkingLaura Candler
»Finding Free Art Materials in Your CommunityMarilyn J. Brackney
»The Downside of Good Test ScoresAlan Haskvitz
»February 2009 Writing PromptsJames Wayne
»In The Middle School (poem)James Wayne
»Using Photographs To Inspire Writing IVHank Kellner
»Teacher Performance AssessmentPanamalai R. Guruprasad
»How To Help Victims Of Bullying: Advice For Parents & EducatorsKathy Noll
»Unwilling Student Meets Unwavering Teacher Lauren Romano
»Notes from The JungleJohn Price
»Lead the Class - Teachers as Leaders John Sweeting
»Opposing Views of a Post-Racial SocietyRoland Laird
»Who Really Needs Four Years of Math and Science? Steve A. Davidson

»Apple Seeds: Inspiring QuotesBarb Stutesman
»Today Is... Daily CommemorationRon Victoria
»The Lighter Side of Teaching
»Teacher Blogs Showcase
»Carol Goodrow’s “Healthy-Ever-After” Children’s Books
»Printable Worksheets & Teaching Aids
»Memo to the New Secretary of Education and
John Stossel: American students are NOT stupid
»Lessons, Resources and Theme Activities: February 2009
»All of the Presidents in Under 2 Minutes!, Needle Sized Art, I Am a Teacher!, How It’s Made: Copy paper, and If My Nose Was Runnin’ Money
»Live on Teachers.Net: February 2009
»T-Netters Share Favorite Recipes
»Technology in the Art Classroom
»Newsdesk: Events & Opportunities for Teachers


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published by the Teachers.Net community
Editor in Chief: Kathleen Alape Carpenter
Layout Editor: Mary Miehl

Cover Story by Alfie Kohn

Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong

Contributors this month: Alfie Kohn, Sue Gruber, Kioni Carter, Marvin Marshall, , Marjan Glavac, , Hal Portner, Leah Davies, Barbara Pressman, Tim Newlin, Bill Page, James Wayne, Hank Kellner, Josette Bonafino, Marilyn J. Brackney, Barb Stutesman, Ron Victoria, Panamalai R. Guruprasad, Alan Haskvitz, Kathy Noll, Lauren Romano, John Price, John Sweeting, Laura Candler, Roland Laird, Steve A. Davidson, and YENDOR.

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John Price

Archive | Biography | Resources | Discussion

Notes from The Jungle - International education in our time - Excerpt from the book
by John Price
Author of Notes from The Jungle
Continued from page 1
February 1, 2009

You have kindly read this far. How can I persuade you to take the book to the till and use your precious Christmas book tokens from Aunt Maud to purchase it? Firstly, you would not believe some of the things that happen in international schools. You could not make them up if you tried. The protagonists in the dramas are a long way from home; small problems seem insuperable and can trigger irrational and extreme responses.

The good thing about being head of an international school is that one is not really the member of any important club. International heads are viewed by the HMC mandarins as a long way below the salt. At the last conference my international colleagues and I were seated at table 26 (of 26) with the band and next to the gents. This was not a cause of resentment; rather it was a liberation. Membership of the East India Club is naturally a perk, but, were one to be thrown out for offences against the establishment, there is always the Planters’ Bar in the Coliseum in Kuala Lumpur - an establishment akin to Rick’s Café, which I would happily cross the world for and where I could drink myself to an early, but very contented, death.

Being in education overseas gives one a certain perspective on what is happening in the UK. You will be glad to hear I have not hesitated to share that perspective with you in the pages that follow. Leading an international school is rather different from running an established HMC school in the shires, as I will make clear. May these pages stand as an honest account of life in the outside lane of education!

International schools are springing up all over the world. They offer a Western education, but stress international values. Many globally mobile parents choose them for their children - the British workforce is one of the most mobile in the world - and some local parents also prefer them.

British education still has a high reputation in countries that were once part of the British Empire. Local parents in these countries often prefer the British formula to that provided by American-style international schools. Most international schools offer a broad, liberal education at a reasonable price. They are very suitable for parents wanting high standards of teaching, but who find that UK boarding schools are beyond their means.

When I started teaching in 1980, I had never heard of international schools. My first job was in Scotland and I had no intention of teaching overseas. I only ever considered jobs in the private sector. I never applied to state schools, although I was the product of one, because I doubted I had the necessary grit. I never once looked at the international pages of the Times Education Supplement.

I began my career in public schools. I loved the old buildings, the sherry before lunch and the intelligent boys. I like their humour, particularly when they are 15 and 16, and the cut and thrust of a lively set. I worked at the Edinburgh Academy, Bedales and Winchester College, but after sixteen years in the independent sector, I felt I needed a change. International schools offered the challenge I was looking for. I have been the head of two international schools: the Yayasan Saad Matriculation College in the state of Selangor in Malaysia and JIS in Brunei. The experience has been immensely enjoyable and I shall probably never return to headmastering in the UK. International schools have certainly come of age in the last twenty-five years. All around the world, in so many different countries, they provide a vibrant alternative to education provided by the state. British, Australian and North American teachers now find themselves in the most far flung places and are providing an education to children of almost every race and religion.

Many of the international schools founded in the last twenty years saw difficult times at the end of the 1990s. They had to sail the turbulent seas of financial insecurity. Most have now emerged from their childhood and adolescence with reputations for high academic standards and challenging extra-curricular programmes.

The number of international schools has risen exponentially in this time and they are very diverse in character and size. They vary from two rooms over a shop in the back streets of Kuala Lumpur and Hanoi to large, well developed campuses. Some have facilities that would make the headmasters of the great British public schools green with envy. International schools are very much a twentieth century phenomenon - perhaps it is meaningful to speak of international education in the Middle Ages, since schools all taught in Latin and had a common curriculum - but the parallels soon collapse. A few international schools predate the Second World War, but the overwhelming majority were founded in the last twenty years.

Article continued on next page

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About John Price...

John Price never meant to be a teacher, but after a short stint as an accountant and rejection letters from the Foreign Office and MI6, he succumbed to the inevitable. But he never looked back. He taught at the Edinburgh Academy, Bedales, Winchester College, where he was Under Master, and then secured his first headship in Malaysia. There he helped to set up a new school in Lembah Beringin, 40 miles north of Kuala Lumpur. After that, he returned to Winchester, but soon got itchy feet again. He has been Headmaster of Jerudong International School in Brunei since 2004.

Price is a linguist (French, Russian and rather rusty Arabic) and writes for the Brunei Times as a feature writer and education correspondent. Notes from the Jungle grew out of weekly missives to former colleagues at Winchester and is his first book.

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