09:30 Registration and refreshments
10:00 Welcome
Bene't Steinberg
Director, Group Public Affairs, Cambridge Assessment
10:15 Opening remarks
Simon Lebus, Chief Executive, Cambridge Assessment
10:25 An understanding of an international education in the context of global issues
David Smith, Economics Editor, The Sunday Times
10:55 An interpretation of an international education

Marc Tucker
President and CEO of the National Center on Education and the Economy

Education policies and practices – the US response to international comparisons

In the USA as elsewhere, there has been considerable research into the world's most successful education systems and how they achieve the results they do. What do these countries have in common? What is it that characterises the way high income countries are confronting our changing world?

Marc explores how the countries with the best records of performance in PISA can be seen to be raising their standards and modernising their curricula and assessments. He will argue that these efforts have implications for teacher quality and assessment policy in the advanced industrial nations and countries aspiring to become advanced industrial nations.

Dr David Graddol
Director, The English Company (UK) Ltd

The role of English language in international education

The English language has played a central role in the growth of international education and has facilitated student and teacher mobility. But recent studies suggest that we have under-estimated the proficiency levels in English which are required for successful academic study, and over-estimated the levels which are found in practice amongst international students.

David will explore some of the issues which are now emerging, drawing on recent research in Europe, China and Brazil. He will argue that a closer collaboration is needed between subject specialists and English specialists and that we need to distinguish more clearly between the English that students need for academic study, and the English they will need for future employment.

11:55 Coffee break
12:15 The importance of an international education and the improvement of national systems

Isabel Nisbet
Executive Director, A Level Content Advisory Board

National education in an international space

Alongside increasing emphasis on international education, preparing students for a "globalised world", there seems to be a resurgence of interest in national education, including the inculcation of national values and love of one's country. What do these terms mean? And are they in conflict? The talk will explore the concepts, drawing on examples from the West and from SE Asia, and suggest a model for their interaction.

Prof Jeremy Hodgen
Professor of Mathematics Education, King's College London

The UK mathematics problem: What can be learnt from international comparative research?

Should we teach mathematics more like the Finns or the Chinese? In this talk, Jeremy will reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of mathematics education in the UK in comparison to other systems internationally. He will draw on the findings of three studies recently carried out for the Nuffield Foundation together with evidence from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Jeremy will finish his talk by discussing what can be learnt from international comparisons as well as the potential pitfalls of 'borrowing' practices and policies from overseas.

Dr Karin Zimmer
Researcher, German Institute for International Pedagogical Research

TIMSS shock, PISA catastrophe: How international comparisons affected educational policy in Germany

The big international surveys increasingly are having an impact on national systems around the world. But there is much naïve talk of how different nations have responded to them. Many commentators recount Germany's 'panic' response to PISA. Indeed the TIMSS and PISA studies (1995 and 2000 respectively) did shock society in Germany. But the subsequent wide-spread discussion ALSO led to wide-ranging changes in educational policies and practice, AND a carefully-formulated programme of domestic research. Dr Karin Zimmer will present Germany as a fascinating case study of responsible reaction to international surveys and its outcomes

13:20 Lunch and networking
14:20 The impact of an international education - case studies from around the world

Dr Stephen Spurr
Managing Director, Reddam House Europe

Constructing an international curriculum

With the aim of preparing the pupils of today to become the global citizens of tomorrow, much more careful thought needs to be given to the principles underpinning the curriculum before choosing the qualifications to certify it.

As a Former Head Master at Westminster School, Dr Stephen Spurr will share his experience in leading a highly successful boarding and day school to the top of league tables and securing the future of his students in globally ranked Russell Group Universities and Ivy-League Colleges in the US. He is now Managing Director Europe of the Reddam House group, an expanding network of high-performing schools in South Africa and Australia; and this new post has provided further insight into curriculum design for a global future.

David Barrs
Head Teacher, Anglo European School

"More than the sum of its parts"
An international education in a state school

The Anglo European School is an 11-19, co-educational state comprehensive school. It was established in 1973 on the site of a failing secondary modern school. The local community campaigned to keep it open, the local authority (Essex) responded by implementing a decision made 6 years earlier to establish a school along "European lines". The school has a small local catchment area and recruits students from a regional sphere of influence. Its unique ethos has been built around the five pillars – languages, citizenship, breadth, exchanges and the mission of the International Baccalaureate Organisation.

Dino Varkey
Group Executive Director and Board Member, GEMS Education Group

A right to quality education: a dream or a reality?

GEMS Education is an international company, which aims to provide education for all. It bases its work on the belief that all children have a right to a quality education. But how can this be achieved? How can quality education be established in places where deprivation is so severe, that even to set up a school and train a teacher is a challenge in its own right? Dino will illustrate how GEMS, through the use of different school models, gives access to affordable education to even more children worldwide and fosters empathic, open-minded global citizens.

Gisella Langè
Foreign Languages Inspector, Italian Ministry of Education

Key drivers for internationalisation in Italian schools

With reference to the implementation of the Italian Education Reform Law dated 2003, Gisella will explore four strands that are favouring innovative educational models and internationalisation:
Strand 1: Competence-based approach to school curricula and standards setting, focusing on the relevance of international surveys such as PISA and PIRLS.
Strand 2: Double and joint diplomas (ESABAC – Italo-French diploma, International Baccalaureate) and language or subject certificates (IGCSE, IELTS).
Strand 3: The mainstreaming of CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning), the teaching of a subject in a foreign language, now mandatory in the last year of all upper secondary schools in Italy.
Strand 4: Head teacher, teacher and student networking and mobility within European or other programmes.

15:50 Coffee and networking
16:10 International education: The Big Debate
17:10 Closing remarks
Tim Oates, Group Director Assessment Research and Development, Cambridge Assessment
17:20 Drinks reception
All Conference delegates are invited 

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