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

The State of Victoria's Children 2008

Suzanne Hood
DEECD, August 2009

This document reports on how children and young people aged 0 up to 18 years in Victoria are faring in terms of health, wellbeing, learning, safety and personal and social development. Overall, outcomes are positive. Children are generally healthy, but incidences of obesity, diabetes, and certain STIs are increasing; and evidence around mental health is mixed. Children report feeling generally safe, however 2 in 5 have been victims of bullying. Evidence around learning and development is on par with national levels; school completion and attendance rates have improved. Most Victorian children and their families have access to support networks, however, single-parent families are more likely to experience disadvantage. Indigenous children are less likely to fare well than other children. The full text is available online.

KLA

Subject Headings

Surveys
Health
Child development
Socially disadvantaged
Victoria

Why Fathers Matter to Their Children's Literacy

Christina Clarke

Research has highlighted the link between parental involvement and children's academic achievement. A number of recent studies have focused on father–child interactions and their effects on literacy: this report brings together the results of this research. Fathers play an important role in children's literacy development, however involvement in literacy activities also benefits fathers by improving their own skills and self-esteem, and by helping develop stronger father–child relationships. Topics covered by the report include the ways in which fathers are involved in literacy, the stages of their involvement, and their involvement compared with mothers' involvement. The full text is available online.

Key Learning Areas

English

Subject Headings

Parent and child
Literacy
Family
Education - parent participation
Child development

Mentoring Beginning Teachers: Guiding, Reflecting, Coaching (2nd ed)

Jean Boreen, Mary K. Johnson, Donna Niday, Joe Potts

Organised around a series of questions, the revised edition of this text takes a collaborative approach to helping new teachers develop their skills and confidence. New research and approaches to the various aspects of mentoring, such as preparing to be a mentoring guide or coach to school culture and parent outreach, are included. Additional chapters include those on working with ELL students, working with parents, curriculum mapping, school culture, and the role of administrators within an effective mentoring system. Additional resources include recommendations for pairing mentors and teachers, questions to jump-start conversations, ideas for teacher reflection, and answers to commonly asked mentor questions. Adapted from publisher's website.

KLA

Subject Headings

Teaching profession
Teacher training
Teaching and learning
Professional development
Mentors

Professional Learning in the Learning Profession: A Status Report on Teacher Development in the U.S. and Abroad. Technical Report

R. C. Wei, Linda Darling-Hammond, Alethea Andree

Despite federal funding, the introduction of state standards, and ongoing research, teacher professional development in the USA requires further improvement. A new paradigm of professional development is required, one that draws on evidence of experiences that have been found effective for building teacher capacity and for catalysing pedagogical transformations to improve student outcomes. While mentoring and induction programs have improved, more needs to be done to support and sustain ongoing professional development. Time and opportunities for intense, sustained professional development need to be provided. Teachers need access to professional learning communities where they can engage in professional development in a supportive, collegial environment. The full report is available online.

KLA

Subject Headings

United States of America (USA)
Teaching profession
Teaching and learning
Professional development
Education research

An Evaluation of Teachers Trained through Different Routes to Certification: Final Report

Jill Constantine, Daniel Player, Tim Silva, et al.
US Department of Education, February 2009

While the majority of new teachers in the USA continue to come through traditional certification (TC) programs, up to one-third of recent new teachers have come to teaching via alternative certification (AC) routes where they begin teaching before completing all certification requirements. This report examines the potential differences in preparation of teachers from TC and AC backgrounds. The study found that contact hour requirements of pre-service teachers were diverse across TC and AC programs; however, no evidence was found that coursework content affected teacher effectiveness, or that greater levels of teacher training coursework were associated with AC teachers' success. There was no significant difference in AC and TC teachers' study scores or achievement; no significant difference in the achievement of students of either group was found. The full text is available online.

KLA

Subject Headings

United States of America (USA)
Professional development
Teaching and learning
Teacher training

Motivation and Achievement at Secondary School: The Relationship between NCEA Design and Student Motivation and Achievement. A Three-year Follow-up

Luanna H. Meyer, Kirsty F. Weir, John McClure, et al.

Undertaken between 2005 and 2008, this longitudinal study reports on the links between New Zealand's National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) and students' motivation. Surveys, interviews and achievement data of representative Grades 10–13 students and their parents were used to examine changes in students' motivation over time, and the effects of  motivation on achievement. Two key motivation orientations, 'Doing My Best' and 'Doing Just Enough' were identified. The former predicted higher achievement in both internal and external assessment, and achievement of more credits; the latter predicted lower achievement. Motivation was a more significant indicator of future achievement than was past achievement. Motivation was generally stable, but could be influenced by interpersonal factors. Students identified ability, effort, luck and the positive influences of their teachers, family and friends higher as explanations for their best marks. The full text is available online.

KLA

Subject Headings

New Zealand
Secondary education
Motivation
Assessment
Adolescents