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Curriculum & Leadership Journal
An electronic journal for leaders in education
ISSN: 1448-0743
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New publications

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority Annual Review 2005

The review outlines the recent progress of the Qualification and Curriculum Authority (QCA), UK in regulating, developing and modernising the curriculum, examinations and assessments. A central focus of the review is the development of more testing and relevant qualifications. The review initially outlines regulatory developments for awarding bodies, qualifications, coursework, examinations and assessment processes, to ensure best practice and maintain public confidence. Highlighted new developments include web-based accreditation, and changes to ‘the examinations doctor’, an online service providing pre- and post-exam assistance to students and parents. The process of regulation was also reviewed by the Better Regulation Taskforce in 2005, which established the key principles of proportion, accountability, consistency, transparency and effective targeting of issues. The review’s second section covers the QCA’s developments specifically: future curriculum development plans (including QCA Looks Forward and the Futures program), the English and Physical Education curriculums and teaching students with difficulties. A new qualifications framework for sector skills related to national need, a forum for employers, specialised diplomas and achieving world-standard excellence in education are highlighted. The review addresses modernisation in a third section, outlining the establishment of national curriculum tests to provide assessment benchmarks; the recruitment of, and new support measures for examination staff; and changes to the ICT curriculum.

Subject Headings

Curriculum planning
Great Britain

Indigenous Education and Empowerment: International Perspectives

Ismael Abu-Saad, Duane Champagne
AltaMira Press, March 2006
This volume outlines contributions from education, community empowerment and social development professionals working in indigenous communities around the world. Each contribution considers how the cultural and historical perspectives of indigenous have been ignored in different mainstream education systems, and how assimilation projects have generally required students to conform to mainstream norms and been ‘largely unsuccessful’ as a result. The essays also outline new approaches for implementing specialised indigenous education worldwide to achieve indigenous empowerment, cultural preservation and social integration. The volume explores the educational contexts relative to the Athabaskan in Denendeh, India, indigenous women, Australian Aborigines, Tongans and Palestinian Arabs in Israel. Additional essays explore the role of education in achieving social outcomes, tribal learning communities and educational exchange. (Adapted from publisher’s description. Also available from DA Information.)

Subject Headings

Aboriginal peoples
Aboriginal students
Multicultural education
Indigenous peoples

Leadership for Mortals: Developing and Sustaining Leaders of Learning

Dean Fink
Using his experience as a principal and superintendent in Canada, the author suggests that current educational leadership theory is ‘making the business of leadership so complicated that we seem to need “super heroes” to run a school’. He argues that school leadership should focus on character, inspiration and leading staff and student learning, rather than charisma, technique and micro-management. A model for leadership development, selection and succession is presented, and its key aspects discussed across chapters. These aspects include basing leadership on core student learning values, maintaining leadership learning, creating an intellectual tool kit, developing trajectories and addressing current challenges in leadership. The author also outlines the importance of ‘invitational leadership’, which is based on trust, optimism, respect and assurance. The book forms part of the Leading Teachers, Leading Schools series. (Adapted from review by David Loader in Professional Educator and publisher's description. Distributed by Footprint Books.)

Subject Headings

School leadership
School principals

Culture at Work: How to Train and Assess in a Culturally Inclusive Way

Judith Miralles
This resource is designed for people who work with ESL students in early or pre-employment environments. Written in three parts, the resource explains how to support ESL learners and prepare culturally inclusive training resources and programs. Part one provides an overview of culture and identity, culturally inclusive practice in the workplace and key benefits and challenges associated with diversity. Part two outlines the principles, competency standards and strategies for working in a culturally inclusive manner. Part three discusses culturally inclusive practices, such as communication style, encouraging participation, being assertive and maintaining confidentiality. Activities are based on community service examples but can be adapted to other industries. The resource is available free of charge online. (Adapted from review in Australian Language and Literacy Matters, Autumn 2005 and resource.)

Subject Headings

English as an additional language
Multicultural education
Vocational guidance
Vocational education and training

Teaching History for the Common Good

Barton Keith C, Linda S Levstik
The authors assert that history is a critical part of the curriculum, through which students learn democratic values, attitudes and behaviours. They outline a framework for teaching history which is based on, and promotes, social awareness and responsibility. Student understanding of history is considered from four stances: identification, analysis, moral response and exhibition. The book stresses the importance of recognising students’ existing knowledge and using resources which represent a range of different perspectives, interpretations and narrative styles. The authors show how teachers can generate constructivist and inquiry-based learning activities, and frame questions to support critical analysis. Using examples from the USA, the book describes how student learning can be improved by making present-past, local-global and place connections between different histories. Chapter footnotes and the book’s index offers sources for further inquiry. (Adapted from review by Rosalie Triolo in Agora vol40 no3, 2005 and publisher's description.) 

Key Learning Areas

Studies of Society and Environment

Subject Headings

Values education

Teacher Research for Better Schools

Marian M Mohr, Courtney Rogers, Betsy Sanford, Mary Ann Nocerino, Marion S MacLean, Sheila Clawson

Written for school administrators, teacher educators and classroom teachers, this book discusses the nature of teacher research and considers some of its implications for teachers, teaching processes and schools. The first section defines teacher research and draws comparisons between research practices and the everyday reflections teachers make to monitor and improve practice. The second section outlines narratives from teacher research. The authors show how classroom research can help break down perceptions of teachers as ‘all-knowing’, and can also help classroom teachers see themselves as members of a professional community. Through their questioning, teacher researchers also model inquiry methods and enhance teachers’ understanding of their own learning processes. Section three outlines case studies in which teacher researchers transform school culture and curriculum to create learning communities between education faculties and schools. Section four provides recommendations for creating and sustaining teacher research communities in schools. (Adapted from review in Harvard Educational Review, Fall 2004.)


Subject Headings

Teaching profession
Teaching and learning
Education research