Kevin Blissett: Out of the Cave

Leadership, Classroom 2.0, Curriculum, China

Suzhou Conference Tidbits

Wow, it’s been a few days since I’ve posted! I just got back from a meeting of EtonHouse-China principals in Suzhou. It was an action-packed, busy two days but we got covered a lot of territory–perhaps too much.

The agenda covered a whole range of school-related issues, including marketing, next year’s calendar, staffing, upgrading and use of technology, curriculum (language and MYP), new policies and procedures for managing budgets, etc. As I said, we covered a lot of ground.

The sessions were led by our executive principal, Paul Lieblich, who did a good job with pacing and keeping discussions from getting stuck. There was plenty of great input from all my fellow EtonHouse principals.

I guess the most valuable thing I took away from the conference was a new way to look at 2nd language assessment and how certain ways of evaluating student progress are not really so indicative of actual learning. We’re moving more in the direction of performance outcomes and assessing students strictly according to that kind of scale rather than simply giving a student an “A” because he did well on all his written and oral tests. The main focus is on communicative competency, and I am certainly in favor of that approach.

Although we principals spoke frankly of frustrations we’re having, I think that most of us left with an upbeat feeling about the leadership that Dr. Lieblich is providing. The question is whether EtonHouse corporate management will allow him and us to move things forward as we wish to.

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April 10, 2009 - Posted by | principal, professional development

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