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

Dumbing Down: Outcomes Based and Politically Correct – the Impact of the Culture Wars on our Schools

Kevin Donnelly
Pam Macmillan Australia, February 2007

In classrooms across Australia, ‘confused and frustrated teachers must adopt PC and new-age views on multiculturalism, the environment, the class war, peace studies, feminism and gender studies. Powerful teacher unions argue that they should support students who protest in the streets, professional organisations argue that the purpose of education should be to empower students to overthrow the status quo, and subject associations argue that English must be used to teach students the right way to vote.’ Dumbing Down argues ‘the perils of noncompetitive assessment and the current anti-academic approach to the curriculum’. (From publisher's description.)


Subject Headings

English language teaching
Education aims and objectives
Educational evaluation
Trade unions

How Young People are Faring 2006

Mike Long
Dusseldorp Skills Forum, November 2006

The DSF’s eighth annual review of teenagers and young adults' participation in education and work in Australia suggests that under-employment is a major issue. The report estimates that 330,000 young Australians are unemployed, or only employed part-time and wanting additional hours. Since 1995, the number of full-time jobs for 25–64-year-olds has increased by over one million but decreased by 66,000 for teenagers and young adults. Approximately 40 per cent of students who have left school after completing Year 11 are not in full-time work or education, compared to 20 per cent of Year 12 completers. The number of secondary students who are working part-time has increased to 34 per cent. TAFE and other education providers are found to absorb as many school leavers as university, which takes 27 and 26 per cent of students respectively. (Adapted from media release and 'School transition, more needs to be done: report', in Campus Review, 15 November 2006, p 5.)


Subject Headings

Transitions in schooling
Senior secondary education
Secondary education

Impact of ICT in Schools: a Landscape Review

Rae Condie, Bob Munro, Liz  Seagraves, Summer  Kenesson
BECTA, January 2007
A literature review was conducted to explore the impact of ICT in schools in Britain. This report outlines findings related to ICT provision and access, the impact on learning and how ICT supports communication within and between schools, parents and communities. Access to technologies and broadband capacity was found to vary considerably within and across schools. A school-wide strategy with key milestones to monitor progress was critical to successful ICT integration, and learning was most effectively enhanced with combinations of technologies, such as laptops, interactive whiteboards and the Internet. Professional development has become more relevant in recent years, helping improve teachers’ skills in using ICT both in the classroom and for planning. Online resources, digital video and photography are linked to enhanced student outcomes in modern language learning, while animations and simulations have helped students understand abstract science and maths concepts. The impact of ICT integration in terms of specific technologies for specific groups of pupils and individual learning is outlined. ICT has helped schools develop centralised attendance, assessment and recording systems. Schools are using the Internet to link with other schools and community services. Home–school connections have been inhibited, partly due to students lacking access to a computer outside of school, and network, connectivity or system limits. The report suggests that schools must develop ways for students without a home computer to have similar learning opportunities to those who do so that a system-wide disadvantage does not ensue. (Adapted from executive summary.)

Subject Headings

School administration
School and community
Great Britain
Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

Religion in Multicultural Education

Farideh Salili, Rumjahn Hoosain
This book is part of a series that provides a platform for multicultural and international perspectives and discussion on educational, psychological and social issues. Examples of how different religions can peacefully coexist within education are explored. The authors aim to go beyond promoting religious tolerance, and to help readers understand different religions at a deeper level. To do so, they consider the beliefs of different religions and how these shape the actions of followers in contemporary society. The book begins with general discussions of religion in multicultural education, and world religions from a multicultural education perspective. Various contributors then present discussions from different cultural contexts such as tension between Islamic education philiosophy and Western Islamic schools, relgious diversity in Western Canadian education, Buddhism and cultural democracy, and religious education in the Latina community. Other contributions discuss Christian privilege and white supremacy in the USA and abroad, and anti-racism, theological education and cultural awareness in the USA. The book is written for education and social science educators, researchers and students. (Adapted from publisher's description. Available from DA Information.)

Subject Headings

Multicultural education

Educational Leadership and Teaching for the Twenty-First Century: A Desirable Scenario

The AEU invited teachers, principals, academics and union representatives across Australian States and Territories to discuss their thoughts on the future of teaching and leadership. Findings are outlined in this report, which aims to provide a framework for AEU members to participate in the debate on the future of teaching and learning in Australia over the next 10–15 years. The report considers curriculum for the globalised world, the organisation of public systems, ensuring quality teaching, features of good leadership, effective leadership models, and rebuilding a common purpose in educational decision making. Academics were invited to act as critical friends in the process and offer relevant research and perspectives from outside the AEU. The paper outlines a vision of a public education system that increases social equity, and suggests that the future will see greater emphasis on values, attributes and skills rather than content knowledge. It highlights the need to increase support and recognition of teachers to maximise student learning, and encourages stronger links among teacher education faculties and schools to aid beginning teachers. (Adapted from article by Danielle Townsend in Australian Educator, Autumn 2006 and report.)

Subject Headings

Educational planning
Education policy
Education aims and objectives

Rethinking Middle Years: Early Adolescents, Schooling and Digital Culture

Victoria Carrington
Allen and Unwin, August 2006

Middle years education in Australia is examined in terms of current theoretical models, teaching methodologies and examples of teaching practice. The book presents an historical overview of middle years schooling over the latter half of the 20th century. The impact of globalisation, technology and other changes are discussed. In particular, the book focuses on the emergence of a digital culture, and the usage and risks associated with blogs and other technological advances. The author draws comparisons between the the lives and education of middle years students in Australia, Britain and the US. Classroom-based issues such as assessment, teacher professional development and the use of technology in middle years' classes are also discussed. (Adapted from review by Sue Johnstone in Access, November 2006. See also publisher's description.)


Subject Headings

Teaching and learning
Professional development
Middle schooling