Author Archives: Nicholas Alchin

About Nicholas Alchin

Nicholas Alchin (@nicholas_alchin) is High School Principal at the United World College of SE Asia, East Campus. A sino-celtic Brit who has lived and taught in UK, Switzerland, Kenya and Singapore, he has also held a number of roles with the IB and writes and speaks widely on educational matters. He enjoys travelling with wife Ellie, and kids Tom (10), Millie (13) and Ruth (16).

On information overload

Should you care what I am wearing as I write this? Read on, gentle reader… Making sure that the education we offer is meeting student needs is an ongoing priority for us; and part of that has to be equipping … Continue reading

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An essential quality of a great teacher.

I came across a story about three stonemasons giving accounts of their work.  The first said I am cutting stone; the second I am building a cathedral; the third I am serving God.  It is not hard to imagine which … Continue reading

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Best Practice in Teaching

Educators are, in my experience, always looking to improve themselves, and often seeking to live up to, or implement ‘best practice.’ But that’s a surprisingly complex idea, and it may even be that there is actually no such single thing. … Continue reading

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Kindly Perfectionism

I have heard it said that the happiest person on the Olympic podium is usually the bronze medallist, and the saddest is usually the silver medallist.  The former is delighted with the medal he got, the latter distraught over the … Continue reading

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Jobs, Careers and Callings

Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness. Sigmund Freud For most adults, work constitutes more than one-third of waking life, and the psychological study of work is a large academic field. We know that there is huge variation … Continue reading

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It’s possible to be too open minded

I have just finished reading some work done by a student in one of my Theory of Knowledge classes.  He had been asked to compare several possible solutions to a problem, evaluate them and explain which one was the best one, … Continue reading

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The Tuition Issue

By Nicholas Alchin | Follow me on Twitter @nicholas_alchin I am often told that many of our students in High School are tutored in one or more subjects, and asked for a reaction. I rather have the impression that some parents … Continue reading

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Three paradigms for home-school relationships

Like many schools, we are spending a lot of time with new families at the moment, especially in those cases where subject options have changes over the long break. Conversations about appropriate courses, between teachers, students and parents often foreground interesting different approaches … Continue reading

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The difference between teaching and learning

I once read that taxi-drivers in centrally-planned communist Russia were incentivised by rewarding them per mile driven. It stands to reason – after all, the further a taxi has driven, the better it must be serving the passengers, correct? Not … Continue reading

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Testing, Exams, Karate, Newton

When my wife did karate at school, the instructors made a point of promoting gender equality.   With all the authority of a fourth dan, sensei confidently declared in a deep voice there’s no place for sexism in the dojo.  He … Continue reading

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