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ASCD events and activities 2007

ACEL/ASCD/AJCPTA  2007 International Conference
New Imagery for Schools and Schooling: Challenging, Creating and Connecting:
10-12 October 2007 (Sydney, Australia

Learning from the Fringes
Written by Saraspathy Menon

When Michael Furdyk, Co-founder and Director of Technology for 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.

The 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.

The scenic waterfront at Darling 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.


Dhinawan, a world renowned Aboriginal 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 others.


Betsy with Ron Miletta, Assistant Executive Director (Marketing and Member Services) ASCD, who was awarded an Honorary Fellowship for his long term service to ACEL.


Vincent Quah, Director, Public Sector 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.


At 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 (Illinois).


The highlight at the fringe was the 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.

Miss Tay Siew Lian, President Singapore ASCD and local exponent of the virtual world, Vincent Quah, Director, Public Sector Programmes, Asia Pacific, Microsoft, discussing future partnerships with Singapore ASCD.


In preparation for the International Board Meeting, a preliminary visit will be made by a high-powered team including Deputy Executive Director Ms Judy Seltz, seen here with Betsy.


At a high tea session organised 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.

Thanks to Betsy, the ACEL/ASCD/AJCPTA 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.


***** COMING IN 2008!*****


There has never been a better time to become an ASCD member ... with exciting workshops, talks from renowned educationists from all over the world.

These workshops, seminars and talks have been organised by Singapore ASCD for the next six months. More will be added as they become confirmed.

Date Speaker Activity Topic

Feb 2008 (3rd week)

Chris Jansen (New Zealand) Workshop Adventure-based Learning
13th, 14th & 17th Mar 2008 Susan Clayton (Canada) Workshops Understanding by Design
Level 2
31st Mar 2008 Jay McTighe (USA) AGM & Mni Lecture Schooling by Design
26th – 30th May 2008 Gary Simpson (Australia) Workshops iNet – Learning to Learn
Aug 2008 Pat Wolfe Workshops Brain-based Learning
1st –14th Sep 2008 Susan Clayton (Canada) Workshops Understanding by Design – Beginner and Intermediate



UBD Level 1 Workshop

By Popular Demand!

UBD Level 1 Workshop

by Dr Susan Clayton (Read her profile below)

5th, 6th and 7th November 2007

Email if you are interested.

About Susan Clayton:

Susan ClaytonSusan 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 graduate programme.

In addition to consulting through 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 learning communities.

Susan has presented at the National Staff Development Council's annual conference since 1999, as well as the Annual ASCD Conference.

Areas of expertise:
- 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


On 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:

  • 1st Prize (US$300 worth of books) Ms Dianne Ang
  • 2nd Prize (US$200 worth of books) Mrs Esther Ong
  • 3rd Prize (US$100 worth of books) Ms Chua Guat Kheng
  • 4th Prize (US$50 worth of books) Mrs Carmee Lim
  • 5th Prize (US$50 worth of books) Miss Ng Siew Kuan
  • 6th Prize (US$50 worth of books) Mrs Sita Singh

Mr 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 carried out.

Here are some photo highlights from the AGM. Don’t you wish you were there!

Ms Carmee Lim, Dr Ang Wai Hoong, Dr Ho Boon Tiang and Mrs Tan Wan Yu.
Mr Yahya Aljaru, Mrs Kamala Thiagarajah and Miss Betsy Lim.
Mr Everett Kline.


Betsy Lim – New ASCD Board Member

Congratulations 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.


The 62nd Annual ASCD Conference 2007

Three 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.

This year’s theme was “Valuing the Whole Child: Embracing a Global Vision” and the three conference strands were:

  • Policy and advocacy to support the whole child
  • Transformation of the education professions
  • Enriching learning and teaching.

In 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.

For 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?

Finally, 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!

Mr Gene Carter (CEO of ASCD International), Ms Tay Siew Lian (President), Dr Cheah Yin Mee and Mr Jimmy Tan (President-Elect).
Mr Gene Carter (CEO of ASCD International), Ms Tay Siew Lian (President), Ms Tan Wan Yu and Mr Jimmy Tan (President-Elect).
ASCD Council and ASCD(I) officials.
Singapore educators and ASCD officials.
Mr 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.

Looking at What Teachers are Teaching
Looking at What Students are Learning

We 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.

For the Conference, I was interested in the learners themselves and the questions I asked myself included the following:

  • How do we know what our students are learning?
  • How do we know that our students are learning what we are teaching them?
  • How do we know that every child is learning what we are teaching them?

The Conference offered me some good insights into how we can get actually respond to the above questions with more confidence.

Classroom Visits and Walk-Throughs

Apart 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 practice.

Useful classroom visits should include the following:

  • Focused 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)
  • Clarity 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)
  • Pre- and post- conferences apart from the classroom visit itself
  • Format 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 minutes

The Penn Delco School District Walk Through Experience

  • The focus is on what students are learning and how they are learning what is being taught
  • Interviewers talk with individual students about their learning
  • Data 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
  • Data is collated, analysed, shared and discussions are carried out to address areas for improvement
  • The interviewers comprise teachers from beyond their own schools, academics from the universities as well as some non educators
  • Feedback is given to the teachers
  • The teachers do not receive specific feedback on their students; the focus is not on any specific teacher, but on the system.


Written by

Mr Jimmy Tan


2007 Annual Conference & Exhibit Show (17–19 March 2007)
Valuing the Whole Child: Embracing a Global Vision

How 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?

This 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.

This conference made me ponder over diverse views on educational excellence and the sharing of best teaching, learning and leadership practices, such as

“Whole children embrace the world with wide open arms so that everything comes closer.”

“Love 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 genetics.”

“Stories 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.”

“What the mind maps, it remembers for life…Mind-shaping is world-shaping…When we change the map, we change the landscape.”

“Leadership 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.”

“People 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 organisation.”

“We 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 contribute.”

“The 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.”

“Our mind can change our brain. The brain bears the footprint of our past decisions... Self-directed neuroplasticity is a fact of Brain Research.”

“Mirror neurons explain the positive effects of role modelling. They also explain autism and possibly other maladies.”

It 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 Singapore.


Written by

Mrs Tan Wan Yu
ASCD Council Member
2 April 2007


Activities & Workshops for 2007

These workshops, seminars and talks were organised by Singapore ASCD for the first six months of 2007! Upcoming events will be added in as they become confirmed.

Date Speaker Activity Topic

10th Jan 2007

Dr Colin Marsh Forum Curriculum Planning & Customisation
7th to 14th Mar 2007 Everett Kline & UBD Team UBD Workshops Understanding by Design – Beginners and Intermediate
9th Mar 2007 Everett Kline AGM Lecture & Cocktails An Evening with Everett Kline
2nd to 4th Apr 2007 Colin Marsh Workshop Curriculum Design and Planning
3rd, 10th, 17th Apr 2007 Dr Ho Boon Tiong Science Workshops Teaching Science with Confidence and Creativity
30th Apr to 5th May 2007 Everett Kline Workshops Understanding by Design – Advanced Level
18th to 22th Jun 2007 UBD Team Workshops Understanding by Design – Beginners and Intermediate


Everett Kline

March, April, June, November 2007

Understanding by Design Workshops by trainers from Authentic Education, Grant Wiggins’ consultancy agency. They include Susan Clayton, Everett Kline, Hilde McGeehan, and Diane Van Ausdall

These 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.

Dr Ho Boon Tiong

April 2007

Science for Primary Schools Workshop series by Dr Ho Boon Tiong.

Dr Colin Marsh

Curriculum Workshop by Dr Colin Marsh

Details about these workshops will be made available soon. Do contact our Secretariat if you are interested in participating.




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