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

School Leadership in the 21st Century: Developing a Strategic Approach (2nd Edn)

Christopher Bowring-Carr, Linda Ellison, Brent Davies
Routledge,  2005

This book aims to support school leaders in their own learning journey, and outlines strategies for developing whole-school learning. Four key areas of leadership are covered. The first part of the book considers what it is to be a strategic leader, and also considers the ethical aspects and competence issues related to leadership roles. Part two discusses whole-school learning, and suggests ways to empower and manage staff. Part three explores challenges of leading strategic change, while the book’s concluding section considers the future of schools. The authors argue that all schools should value and focus on learning, rather than testing or results. The book makes reference to standards and competency frameworks in Great Britain. (Adapted from review by Linda Hammersley-Fletcher in School Leadership and Management, February 2006 and publisher’s description.)

KLA

Subject Headings

Great Britain
Leadership
School leadership
School principals
School administration

Life Coach: Survival Skills for Upper Primary Students

Sonya Stoneman
Wizard Ideas,  2006

Designed to help students reflect on and discuss the critical, relevant issues in their lives, this book also offers a framework for decision making. The book is written for students who have difficulty making decisions, lack support in their wider communities or who are otherwise at risk. Teachers may also find the text is beneficial for low-progress readers. Seven chapters cover separate topics: looking after your body, staying safe, personal problems, being organised, transition to secondary school, taking responsibility and rules in society. (See distributor’s description.)

KLA

Subject Headings

Social education
Mental Health
Resilience (Psychology)

A Passion for Teaching

Christopher Day
Routledge,  2004

The various dimensions of a teacher’s career and daily professional life are reviewed by the author, who makes suggestions about how teachers can ‘inject passion’ into each area of their career. Written for researchers, policy-makers and teachers, the book aims to bring new insights into how passionate teaching can be encouraged and maintained. The author examines this theme in the context of social and school change; as a moral obligation to pupils; and in terms of teachers’ own identities, commitment and career satisfaction. The book then discusses some of the key aspects of educational practice, such as teaching and learning, teacher reflection, professional development and learning communities. Strategies for sustaining passion in spite of challenge and career fatigue, and as a leader are suggested. Lists and diagrams are used to convey stress symptoms, career stages, models of teaching and other content. The reviewer finds the book an ‘excellent synthesis’, but suggests there is a lack of ‘critical engagement’ with ideas and issues, possibly due to the range covered. (Adapted from review by Don Skinner in Improving Schools, March 2006. See also publisher’s description.)

KLA

Subject Headings

Teaching and learning
Teaching profession
Professional development

Children Writing Stories

Michael Armstrong
Open University Press, March 2006

Stories written by 5 to 15 year olds are used to explore the development of the narrative imagination during childhood. The author presents an overview of how literary consciousness grows with age. The influence of the developing narrative imagination on intellectual growth, and its significance for teaching and learning is considered. The book’s final chapter looks at imagination and reality, and proposes a pedagogy for the imagination. (Adapted from distributor’s description.)

KLA

Subject Headings

Imagination
Writing
Child development
Children
Adolescents

Managing for Learning: Issues for Primary School Libraries

Marianne Punshon

Strategies, advice and creative ideas for managing primary school libraries are outlined in this guide. The author aims to provide a functional resource for various types of library managers, from volunteers appointed without training to experienced teacher-librarians. Various chapters cover topics such as resources for learning, library management systems, stocktaking, scheduling, developing collections, cataloguing, submission writing and raising the library’s profile within the school. The role of ICT in library-based learning is also considered, with chapters covering protection of digital resources, online ordering and critiquing Internet resources. (Adapted from review by Julie Gall in FYI, Winter 2006. See also distributor’s description.)

KLA

Subject Headings

Information management
Primary education
School libraries

The Impact of NCEA on Student Motivation

Luanna Meyer, John McClure, Frank Walkey, Lynanne McKenzie, Kirsty Weir

New Zealand's national qualification for secondary students, the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA), has been phased in over recent years. This research considers how NCEA has affected student motivation, with findings reported in terms of subject choice; the relationship between achievement and motivation; the design of qualifications; and understandings about NCEA. Students were positive about the NCEA's use of internal assessment, and tended to feel that they had more opportunities for feedback to improve learning. Participants also felt that NCEA provided greater choice and flexibility for study, and more opportunities for success for low achievers. Marking of NCEA assessments tended to be viewed as unclear, unfair or inconsistent, while the 80-credit requirement was reported to encourage a minimalist approach by some students. Concerns that assessment would outweigh the curriculum and drive teaching and learning were also raised. Findings are based on surveys, focus groups, and the achievement records of and interviews with 6,000 Year 10–13 students from 20 demographically representative secondary schools. Focus groups with parents and teachers were also held. (Adapted from report and article in the New Zealand Education Gazette, 7 August 2006.)

KLA

Subject Headings

Assessment
New Zealand
Secondary education