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Bayley in the USA

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Summary

A dynamic headteacher in North Carolina faces major challenges despite working minor miracles at her troubled school. Behaviour management expert John Bayley spends a week discovering the issues at Olympic High School.

When Pam Espinoza took over seven years ago the school was in crisis. Results and behaviour were the worst in the district, with staff morale low.

But Pam has worked a minor miracle in her time there, and last year took the dramatic step of splitting the 2000-student complex into five small schools, each with its own principal.

Olympic now faces a new challenge - the decline of America's global economy. Espinoza believes the USA's multi-choice testing system is poorly equipping students for the 21st century, in which skills like creative thinking and team working are essential.

Active learning and project-based teaching are new pedagogical techniques but are proving to be a struggle. Some teachers are finding the changes tough and test scores have taken a worrying dip. Can John provide solutions?

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