ASCD, September 2009
Aimed at education leaders, this book provides a model for improving school achievement in the context of increased accountability. The author, a former principal, draws on his experience in discussions of improving graduation rates, closing achievement gaps, and ensuring that curricula and approaches equip students with necessary skills. The text suggests eliminating streaming, or tracked learning; providing students with the skills they will need upon graduation; devising clear classroom and school-level goals; focusing teacher approaches on research-based practices; and implementing formative and intervention assessments. Strategies for improving achievement include capitalising on feedback, providing time for teachers to collaborate, and graphing student outcomes. Adapted from publisher's description.
Subject HeadingsEducational planning
This report examined the impact of primary students' various mathematics competences on their achievements on standardised tests. The results indicated that students' mathematical reasoning skills are critical to later achievement, with arithmetic and spatial skills also important. The report also found that children from high socioeconomic backgrounds outperform students from other backgrounds, streaming into ability-related classes improves outcomes only for high-ability students, and that mathematical self-efficacy is predicted by competence, gender, and the ability group into which they are placed. While achievement is largely determined by ability and social factors, it can be influenced by self-confidence. Full text is available online.
Key Learning AreasMathematics
Subject HeadingsPrimary education
Teachers College Press, July 2009
Aimed at practising classroom educators, this text specifically addresses the challenges of teaching critical theories and developing students' critical perspectives in secondary classrooms. This revised version includes new chapters on ideology and literary theory, and on using literary theory with diverse learners. Sections on gender, Marxist literary theory, and postcolonialism have been refined or expanded, and the text now contains an additional focus on cultural texts such as websites, films and television shows. Additional activities and handouts are included. Adapted from publisher's description.
Key Learning AreasEnglish
Subject HeadingsClassroom activities
Mass media study and teaching
The assertion that any teacher can become a master teacher with the appropriate practice is the main point of this text, which argues that high-quality teachers draw on seven essential principles of effective teaching that result in the successful application of specific strategies in their classrooms. Each of these seven principles is covered in a separate chapter, and include: knowing the directions in which students are going; having expectations of students that support their achievements; the use of effective feedback; and a focus on quality over quantity. Also included are tools to develop action plans, reflection sheets, observation forms, a series of classroom problems by principle, and tools to develop student intervention programs. Adapted from publisher's description.
Subject HeadingsClassroom activities
Teaching and learning
CEP, July 2009
Primary, middle, and secondary students' performance on state reading and mathematics tests in the USA has generally risen at each of the three achievement levels: basic, proficient, and advanced. The No Child Left Behind Act has focused on whether students' attainment has reached the proficient level, and there has been concern about low- and high-achieving students' needs not being met. However, gains were recorded at both the proficient-and-above level and the advanced level. Most prevalent were gains at the proficient-and-above level. More gains were demonstrated in mathematics than in reading, and high school achievement showed lower gains than primary and middle-school achievement. The full report, and a companion report on the plateau effect on test scores, is available online.
Subject HeadingsEducation and state
United States of America (USA)
Institute of Public Affairs, July 2009
This report calls for the introduction of a voucher system for school education, directing funds to families rather than schools, arguing that this measure would provide more choice and better academic outcomes while continuing to address educational disadvantage. Full text is available online. See also article in The Australian and media release from the Australian Education Union, both 20 July 2009.
Subject HeadingsEducation policy
Education and state