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Brewing Caucasus conflict and Tiger Teachers (E352)

Sometimes a cloud no bigger than a man’s hand can be a harbinger of storms to come. One such cloud may be called Nagorno-Karabakh, a tiny enclave of Armenian people inside Azerbaijan which has been a source of difficulties for the Republic of Azerbaijan for many years. Under international law, Nagorno-Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan and is internationally recognized as one of its territories; the Armenian people who occupy it, however, say it is a “disputed territory” and that the land belongs to them. Sometimes conflicts break out and then die away again following some deft diplomatic footwork, but this time calls from the international community for dialogue rather than bullets have been ignored. So how do you reconcile a situation where both sides are so intransigent? We asked Murad Gazdiev, an RT correspondent and one of the few journalists in the region, whether the brewing conflict could escalate.

We’ve all heard about the ‘Tiger Mom’ approach – Amy Chua wrote the book on it back in 2011. But what about the roar of the Tiger Teacher? The Michaela Community School is in the London Borough of Brent and has a vast cohort of students coming from disadvantaged communities. This is usually a recipe for failing schools and a low educational bar, but the Michaela School has a proven track record of academic excellence and exceptional outcomes – so how does it do it? With desks in rows and a teacher who teaches from the front, the school’s head, Katharine Birbalsingh, ensures the school maintains its ‘outstanding’ status using pioneering teaching methods and very high expectations. She is an educational reformer and one of the most influential figures in British education today. We invited her onto Sputnik to tell us about her Tiger Teaching methods and progressive pedagogy.

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