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

The Critical Middle School Reader

Enora Brown, Kenneth J. Saltman
Routledge, June 2005 – ISBN: 0415950708
The Critical Middle School Reader is a collection of essays presenting multiple critical perspectives on adolescence and middle-level education, including critical theory and pedagogy, cultural studies of youth, critical psychology, postmodernism and contemporary feminism. This compilation aims to introduce students, pre-service teachers, and teacher educators to a range of perspectives and will guide them through an analysis and critique of both classical and critical texts. Designed to challenge and reframe the basic assumptions about youth development and public education, the collection attempts to support current and prospective teachers and school administrators in their efforts to imagine and create possibilities for youth. It includes readings on the theory and practice of middle-level education. Individual chapters end with discussion questions designed to make critical perspectives accessible for teacher educators and pre-service teachers. (Adapted from the publisher's description).

Subject Headings

Teaching and learning
Social life and customs
Middle schooling

Tricky Kids: Transforming Conflict and Freeing their Potential

Andrew Fuller
Finch,  2007

Written by a clinical psychologist, the book aims to show parents and teachers how to manage challenging children. The development and moods of children with challenging behaiours are explored. Strategies for helping students develop positive life habits are covered in sections on awareness of others, dealing with anger, staying focused and forming friendships. A supplement for teachers is provided. (Adapted from distributor's description.)


Subject Headings

Parent and child
Teacher-student relationships
Behaviour management

Principals who Learn: Asking the Right Questions, Seeking the Best Solutions

Barbara Kohm, Beverly Nance
ASCD,  2007
Two experienced principals describe how school leaders can effectively manage human relationships and dynamics at work in schools. Structures and processes that encourage staff to communicate directly with each other are outlined, to help school leaders identify unspoken grievances and hidden agendas. Various tips are offered, including how to determine the strength of a collaborative decision, how to help staff manage the stress associated with long-term improvement efforts, and how to engage all staff in group conversation and recognise crisis indicators. (Adapted from publisher's description.)

Subject Headings

School principals
School administration
School leadership

Sound Beginnings: Learning and Development in the Early Years

Pamela May, Erica Ashford, Gillian Bottle
Using the principles from the American Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage, this book suggests a model of good practice for early years educators. The authors encourage practitioners to take a step back from daily routines and focus on the individual development of each child. The importance of play, relationships with others,  independent learning and of developing confidence and self-esteem is stressed throughout the book. Suggestions for teaching cover building foundations, active learning, the world around us, growing confidence, learning about self and others, stregthening existing knowledge and skills, different learning styles and independence. (Adapted from the publisher's description)

Subject Headings

Primary education
Early childhood education

Talking Science: Language and Learning in Science Classrooms

Wolff-Michael Roth
This book attempts to describe new concepts about how language mediates science learning. The author argues that the language used in learning science not only shapes communication, but also influences students’ scientific practices and approaches. In this way, students’ acquisition and use of language in science shapes their understanding and navigation of the world around them. Analyses from classrooms are used to show students learning new ways of talking about the world, and learning science more effectively in the process. Topics include taking position and orienting in the world, explanations, public and private talk, how teaching mediates language and knowledge, new ways of talking, and the impact of space, physical orientation, and group size. (Adapted from the publisher's description.)

Key Learning Areas


Subject Headings

Science teaching

Schools on the Edge: Responding to Challenging Circumstances

John MacBeath, John Gray, Jane  Cullen, et al.
Paul Chapman Publishing, November 2006
Based on research conducted by the ICSEI, this book assesses the progress of eight secondary schools in England as they deal with challenging circumstances. It explores key issues in the field of school improvement, including the impact of policy decisions, school-based responses to challenges, obstacles to success, resources and facilities that offer effective assistance, and strategies to meet local community needs. Nine conclusions and recommendations for school leaders and policy-makers in similar situations are suggested. The authors also provide insight from their own experiences in disadvantaged schools across Britain, the USA and other parts of the world. (Adapted from publisher's description.)

Subject Headings

Great Britain
Socially disadvantaged
School administration
School principals
School leadership