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

Science Education for Everyday Life: Evidence-based Practice

Glen S Aikenhead

Arguing for a humanistic approach to science education, the author begins by outlining humanist perspectives and discussing underlying ideologies. The author focuses on how 'political, rather than educational' ideas have influenced the curriculum and explores 'failures' of the current approach and how curriculum processes and policy have shaped learning. Research on curriculum materials, their use by teachers and effects on student learning is outlined. To conclude, the author describes how a humanistic approach can help students learn 'how to learn' science relative to their own contexts and to support lifelong learning. (Adapted from review by Leonie J Rennie in Studies in Science Education vol 43 no 1, 2007 and publisher's description.)

Key Learning Areas


Subject Headings

Science teaching

The Voice of Evidence in Reading Research

Peggy McCardle, Vinita Chhabra
Brookes,  2004

Various contributors present an overview of reading research, and review the US National Reading Panel report. Beginning with an historical overview, the book documents the shift toward evidence-based practice and the development of reading research. Reading reforms in the USA are explained, along with proposals to connect reading research to practice. One section of the book covers research methods, such as clinical trials, longitudinal studies and using scientific research designs. Various evidence-based practices that are recommended by US policy are described in another section, including approaches to teaching phonics, fluency and vocabulary instruction in the USA. The book also considers evidence from classroom practice, such as teacher effectiveness and knowledge, how teachers allocate time, teacher training and professional development, assisting struggling readers and students' motivation to read. Brain research and neuroimaging, and the future directions of reading policy and research are covered in the final sections of the book. (Adapted from review by D Ray Reutzel in Journal of Literacy Research vol 38 no 4, 2006. See also publisher's description.)


Subject Headings

Education research

Girls' Talk: Young Women Speak their Hearts and Minds (2nd edn)

Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli
Finch,  2006
Girls and women from across Australia share their personal experiences in this book. Poetry, cartoons, photographs and the author's own reflections throughout are used in a simple layout to appeal to both young and older audiences. Topics covered include bodies and health, love and sex, families, school friendships, sport, spirituality, prejudice and activism. Each chapter includes advice on how to start conversations on difficult topics. Trivia on famous women and influential events related to women's issues are also provided. (Adapted from distributor's description and review by Rebecca Leech in Teacher July 2006, p 64.)

Subject Headings

Parent and child
Teacher-student relationships
Girls' education

Gender and Education: the Evidence on Pupils in England


Statistics and research on participation, attainment and subject choice of boys and girls in Britain from reception year to sixth form is presented in this paper. Reasons for the gender gap are suggested, while the report also analyses the effectiveness of various strategies designed to address the underachievement of boys. Data is compared with findings from previous UK and international studies. The effects of social class and ethnicity on attainment are also considered. Overall, a wide gap in English and a narrower gap in Maths performance is reported, with girls on average performing better than boys. See also related article from the BBC News, 6 July 2007 on the increased recruitment of male teachers in Britain. (Adapted from report's key findings.)


Subject Headings

Great Britain
Girls' education
Boys' education

The Young Adult Outcomes of Childhood and Adolescent Antisocial Behaviour: an Australian Cohort Study

William Bor, Tara Renae McGee, Reza Hayatbakhsh, et al.
As part of a 21-year longitudinal study of over 7,000 children born in Brisbane, this report explores the social, health, behavioural and developmental status of more than 3,000 of the participants as young adults. Candidates responded to questions about their mental health, personal relationships, social and economic factors, personal relationships and behavioural aspects such as such as court attendence and substance use. Children that showed persistent, extreme behavioural issues in childhood and adolescents had increased antisocial behaviour, poorer personal relationships and worst health and economic problems as young adults. Patterns and statistics of antisocial behaviour from childhood to early adulthood are analysed. Researchers recommend the introduction of childhood and adolescent intervention programs. Suggestions include the ‘Fast track’ program for primary years, which involves selective intervention with high-risk groups and universal intervention such as incorporating Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) into the curriculum. Functional Family Therapy (FFT) and Multi-systemic Therapy (MST) are noted for adolescent antisocial behaviour. (Adapted from report.)

Subject Headings

Behavioural problems
Behaviour management

Smart Tests: Teacher-made Tests that Help Students Learn

Catherine Walker, Edgar Schmidt
Advice on creating assessment tools that link to classroom goals and activities are outlined in this book. The various tools described aim to help students apply new knowledge, reflect on and defend their opinions, and connect their learning with the outside world. Suggestions are supported by sample tests from various subject areas and practical tips for both school and at home. The book is designed to help teachers make informed and confident decisions about using assessment. (Adapted from distributor's description.)

Subject Headings