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

Thinking Historically: Educating Students in the 21st Century

Stephane Levesque

This text explores the difficulties around defining 'historical thinking', as well as how educators might go about teaching it. Drawing on a collection of personal, national and international studies in history education, it focuses on what it means to think critically about the past, and examines how historical expertise intersects with the pedagogy of history education. It suggests ways educators can rethink their practice by presenting benchmarks of what students should learn and do to become critical historical actors and citizens in a context characterised by global instability, uncertainty and rivalry over claims about the past, present and future. Adapted from publisher's description. See also essay review by Bruce Vandsledright.

Key Learning Areas

Studies of Society and Environment

Subject Headings

Teaching and learning

Us and Them: Muslim–Christian Relations and Cultural Harmony in Australia

Abe Ata

Us and Them is a collection of 12 interdisciplinary essays describing the results of a variety of research projects relating to Muslims and inter-faith relations in Australia. The four chapters in Section Two consider the results of a national survey on attitudes toward Islam and Muslims among Australian secondary students, examining issues including students' perceptions of Muslims, and how they are influenced by gender and by personal friendships. One chapter discusses the role of Australian schools in educating students about Islam and Muslims. Adapted from publisher's description. Available from the publisher and also through the University of Melbourne bookshop and the Co-op Bookshop, La Trobe University.


Subject Headings

Secondary education
Social life and customs

Teachers Matter: Recruitment, Employment and Retention at Home and Abroad

David Burghes, John Howson, John Marenbon, et al.
Politeia - UK,  2009

This report examines trends and issues in teacher recruitment and retention in Great Britain. Drawing on comparisons with education systems in other developed countries, including in Europe, the USA, and New Zealand, a number of recommendations are made. Academic standards required to enter teaching should be more stringent, with additional degree requirements and the introduction of a probationary teaching year. Government intervention in classroom teaching should be minimised to allow teachers, as experts, to design lessons and support their students' learning as appropriate. Issues of low remuneration should be addressed, with the introduction of a minimum level of payment on top of which additional sums can be added as per individuals' contracts. Structural issues, such as provision of selective schools, should be addressed to attract more capable applicants to teaching. The full report is available online.


Subject Headings

Education policy
Teaching profession
Teachers' employment
Great Britain

Putting the Politics Back into Politics: Young People and Democracy in Australia

James Arvanitakis, Siobhan Marren

This report draws on research undertaken to develop a series of recommendations to promote the active citizenship and democratic participation of young Australians. A key finding was that young people were frustrated by perceptions of being unacknowledged or irrelevant, and wanted opportunities to engage in political processes. As a result, there is a need for an investigation into the democratic engagement of young people, with findings and suggested strategies to be reported in federal parliament; and research into young people's participatory strategies and the potentials of e-democracy. In addition, civics education should be included as a stand-alone subject, and should be action-based; educators should receive support and professional development in ensuring the efficacy of the delivery of the subject. The full report is available online.


Subject Headings

Civics education

Secondary Students and Sexual Health 2008: Results of the 4th National Survey of Australian Secondary Students, HIV/AIDS and Sexual Health

Anthony Smith, Paul Agius, Anne Mitchell, et al.

The result of the 4th National Survey of Secondary Students and Sexual Health, this report draws on data from 3,000 Year 10 or 12 students to examine issues of sexual knowledge, behaviour and health. Students demonstrated high levels of knowledge around HIV/AIDS and many STIs; however, knowledge of hepatitis, chlamydia, HPV and cervical cancer was generally poor. The majority of students reported some form of sexual activity; rates of intercourse and numbers of partners increased. Reports of unwanted sex significantly increased, and young women's positive feelings about sex had decreased since the previous survey. Condom use remained stable, while use of other contraceptives increased. Students generally reported good health, with drug use and incidences of STIs quite low. Although alcohol consumption had dropped, it still remained high. Most students reported having sought information about their health from sources such as parents, friends, school programs, pamphlets and doctors. The full report is available online.


Subject Headings

Secondary education
Sex education
Health education

Key Data on Education in Europe 2009

This report draws on qualitative and quantitative data to provide an overview of the education systems of 31 European countries, and how these systems are dealing with common educational challenges. Identified issues include addressing demographic changes resulting in a decrease in the school-aged population; improving access to, availability of and participation in pre-primary education; trends toward raising the school-leaving age to guarantee the acquisition of core competences; the development of widespread and improved professional development programs; growing school autonomy; and ways of measuring quality through external evaluation. The full report is available online.


Subject Headings

Education research
Education policy
Education and state