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

Future-Focused Leadership: Preparing Schools, Students, and Communities for Tomorrow's Realities

Gary Marx

Designed for school leaders, this book outlines a strategy for anticipating rather than reacting to events. The author highlights 16 factors that he predicts will be critical in the future of education, as based on demographic trends. Eight strategies to help school leaders stay connected with changes in their school environments and the broader educational context are suggested. Tactics for planning priorities around the likelihood of certain events are outlined. The book also describes an issue management process, and offers guidance on strategic planning and activities to promote effective, future-focused communications. (Adapted from publisher’s description.)


Subject Headings

School leadership
School principals
School administration

Results Now: How We Can Achieve Unprecedented Improvements in Teaching and Learning

Mike Schmoker

Using research, case studies and anecdotes from the USA, the author outlines improvement strategies for various types of schools. The strategies focus on how instruction can be altered to reduce achievement gaps and encourage lifelong learning. Some of the main obstacles to school improvement are explored, such as the impact of teacher isolation, barriers preventing school leaders from influencing instruction, and why staff may not be able to identify areas for school improvement. The book suggests structures and practices for developing instruction, along with actions for improving education at state, district and school levels. One section of the book focuses on the importance of literacy education, and presents ideas for teaching strategic reading, guided writing, and critical and ‘argumentative’ literacy. Another section discusses leadership and learning within professional learning communities. (Adapted from publisher’s description.)


Subject Headings

Educational planning
United States of America (USA)
Teaching and learning

Romances with Schools: a Life of Education

John I Goodlad
McGraw-Hill,  2004

Critical of the current drive toward accountability, standardised testing and efficiency in the USA, the author argues that schools should foster lifelong learning 'for its own sake’. He discusses debates around the theory and practice of education in the USA and Canada, and considers how certain agendas have shaped educational policy and practice. Anecdotes from his own career are provided throughout the book. Both contemporary and historical examples are considered, such as the emergence of age-graded institutions during the early 20th century. The book also offers criticisms of teacher education, the divide between theory and practice, and the lack of student input into the design of schools and schooling. The author suggests that education can only be improved by allowing each school to consider its individual community, pedagogical and cultural factors. Some of the author’s suggestions are ‘disconcerting’, according to a review by Gregory Lee in New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies (NZES) (Vol 40, Nos 1 and 2, 2005). The reviewer suggests that other aspects of the book will resonate strongly with many Antipodean readers. (Adapted from NZES review. See also publisher's description.)


Subject Headings

Teacher training
Education policy
United States of America (USA)
Education philosophy

Beyond the Reading Wars: a Balanced Approach to Helping Children Learn to Read

Robyn Ewing

The book explores the issues and history behind debates over the teaching of reading, focusing on recent discussions around phonics versus whole language approaches. Research about various reading pedagogies is presented. A range of strategies, practical teaching tips and insights are offered, along with advice to help those in the education community move beyond the current debates. Chapters focus on topics such as future directions in literacy; helping teachers understand their professional histories; reading programs for the early years of schooling; meeting student needs in a multilingual classroom; assessment of reading; using ICT in teaching reading; reading strategies for middle years students; and reading images. The book is written for education professionals and parents. (Adapted from publisher’s description.)

Key Learning Areas


Subject Headings

English as an additional language
English language teaching

The Data Guidebook for Teachers and Leaders: Tools for Continuous Improvement

Eileen Depka
Corwin Press, February 2006
The book aims to show teachers and school leaders how multiple forms of data can be used to promote continuous improvement in student achievement. Various types of student achievement data are covered, included standardised test results. The book stresses the importance of team work, reflection and analysis in maximising data use to drive effective decision making. Ideas for discussing data with students, and jointly devising learning plans are presented. Strategies for building collegial trust and sharing data across departments are suggested. The book also includes data collection and analysis methods and templates. (Adapted from publisher's description.)

Subject Headings

Educational planning

Competent Learners @ 14

Cathy Wylie, Edith Hodgen, Hilary Ferral, Rachel Dingle, Jean Thompson, Rose Hipkins

This report is the latest publication from the Competent Children, Competent Learners study, funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Education. The longitudinal study tracks the development of a group of children from the start of school, and considers how gaps between students' experiences, resources and resulting competencies can be narrowed. Findings show connections between earlier performance and performance at age 14, and highlight the importance of quality early childhood education; good early foundations for learning, particularly in reading and mathematics; an enjoyment of reading; the relationship of school and home; the influence of teachers and parents; engagement in learning; and positive learning environments. Earlier reports and papers are also accessible. (Adapted from publisher's description.)


Subject Headings

Parent and child
Teacher-student relationships
New Zealand