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

Foundations for Research: Methods of Inquiry in Education and the Social Sciences

Kathleen B deMarrais, David Lapan

Contributions from universities in the USA are presented in this book, covering a wide range of approaches to qualitative research. Key aspects of research, including underpinning views of knowledge and reality, links between theory and research approach, trustworthiness, ethical issues and the relationships between researchers and participants are covered. Chapters are sequenced to cover ethical issues; data collection methods such as interviews, focus groups and ethnographic approaches; critical and post-structural approaches; and finally survey and experimental research. Less well-known approaches, such as historiography, the critical incident technique and narrative inquiry, and a range of study designs, are also covered. A table listing papers and related key concepts is included in the first chapter. The book offers readers the opportunity to 'sample different research perspectives' held by 'committed practitioners'. The reviewer suggests that novice researchers who are daunted by the range of methods and processes covered may be able to use the book alongside other 'more accessible' texts. (Adapted from a review by Lynda Yates in The Modern Language Journal, vol 89, 2005. See also publisher's description.)


Subject Headings

Education research

Unintelligent Design: Why God isn't as Smart as She Thinks She is

Robyn Williams
Allen and Unwin, August 2006

Science journalist and broadcaster Robyn Williams challenges the theory of intelligent design (ID). He provides examples from the natural world in support of the theory of evolution, and cites criticisms of ID by scientists such as Richard Dawkins, author of The Blind Watchmaker. In the USA there is growing pressure on schools, scientific publishers, libraries and museums to censor references to the theory of evolution. In Australia approximately 100 schools teach ID within the science curriculum. The Australian constitution, unlike that of the USA, permits the teaching of ID in religious schools that receive government funding. The publisher describes the book as ‘a short, wicked and witty debunk’ of ID. (Adapted from review by Annie Termaat in Teaching Science, Spring 2006 and publisher's description.)

Key Learning Areas


Subject Headings

Science teaching

Schooling for the Knowledge Era

David Warner

To succeed in the rapidly developing and changing global knowledge economy, students need to be innovative, self-directed and entrepreneurial, according to the author. The book suggests a model of learning and school operation for the 'knowledge era' and compares this with 'industrial era schooling'. Schooling is explored against key criteria, and followed by consideration of the changing role of the teacher, the role of parents and policy makers, and self-directed learning. A case study of Eltham College is also outlined. Throughout the book, the author uses examples from his own experience as a principal and labour market analyst, along with examples of innovative learning from across Australia, the UK and the US. (Adapted from publisher's description.)


Subject Headings

Teaching and learning

Collaboration and the School Library Media Specialist

Carol A Doll
Scarecrow Press, January 2005
The book explains how school library media specialists can collaborate effectively with fellow staff to ensure the success of the library media centre. Using collaboration theory sourced from both business and educational psychology literature, the authors explain various strategies that specialists can use to encourage collaboration from colleagues. The book focuses on using collaboration to integrate information literacy skills across the curriculum to help students become confident, effective information users. Chapters include an overview on collaboration, the dynamics of collaboration in the school, managing collaboration with teachers, interpersonal skills and information literacy models.  An information literature review is also provided. (Adapted from the publisher's description.)

Subject Headings

Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
Information services
Information literacy
School libraries

Getting the Buggers to Learn

Duncan Grey
Continuum Books, September 2006

Written as a guide for teachers, this book outlines strategies to engage students in learning and help them develop strong learning skills. An array of different approaches are explored, from traditional learning through to innovative methods, such as how technology and media can be used to promote learning. The author uses humour and accessible language, and outlines a range of tips and advice. Topics covered include starting points, frameworks and methodical approaches, integrating information skills into the curriculum, individual learning skills, study and revision skills, learning styles and strategies, the learning-centred environment, computers and a section on resources, design and examples. (Adapted from distributor's description.)


Subject Headings


Asking Better Questions (2nd Edn)

Norah Morgan, Juliana Saxton
The book outlines a range of new, inventive ways to encourage students to pose more thoughtful questions, and learn more effectively in the process. This revised and updated edition includes tips for modelling questions, and tested classroom activities and lesson plans. The authors aim to help teachers use questions in a way that enables students to produce better answers, build collective knowledge and reflect on their own learning. (Available from Curriculum Corporation.)

Subject Headings

Thought and thinking