DCSF, 12 August 2009
Drawing on surveys and case studies of 18 English and Welsh schools, this report examines the impact of support staff on learning outcomes and teacher workloads. Half the teachers surveyed indicated that support staff had led to a reduction in their workloads, particularly in terms of administrative and routine duties, resulting in improved teacher satisfaction and lower reported levels of stress. Teachers reported that involvement of support staff in the classroom led to students being more confident, engaged, motivated and able to follow instructions. However, no appreciable affect on students' academic achivement was found. School policies on guidance and practice should be developed to ensure that support staff can be used effectively to not only assist teachers, but to help improve student learning outcomes. The full report is available online.
Subject HeadingsEducation research
In the USA, many effective schools and school districts are using Response to Intervention initiatives, schoolwide methods of delivering early interventions to struggling learners before determining their eligibility for special educations, to increase student achievement. This book, which provides an understanding of critical concepts, lists of discussion questions, and implementation at the primary, middle and secondary levels, is designed to help school leaders and teachers successfully implement a Response to Intervention initiative. Topics covered include definitions and applications of Response to Intervention initatives, why and how to launch such an initiative, the components that should be addressed in doing so, and how to refine and maintain the program. Adapted from publisher's description.
Subject HeadingsLearning problems
United States of America (USA)
Good Practice in Extended Schools: A Short Survey to Examine Effective Practice in a Small Sample of the Most Successful Full Core Service Extended Schools Serving Disadvantaged Communities
This report considers the successful practices of 23 extended schools serving extremely disadvantaged communities. These schools took advantage of their status as extended schools to challenge disadvantage and break down barriers to learning. They had detailed knowledge of their students' needs and worked to meet them. They closely monitored and tracked students' progress to improve achievement and provide interventions where necessary, and dealt sensitively with parents' concerns about education. They carefully managed their resources, ensuring that provision was appropriate and sustainable; careful coordination was maintained with external services and agencies. However, knowledge about students and their contexts was often lost in the transition from primary to secondary school. It was also found that success in school did not necessarily translate to success outside school, as pupils would change their behaviour to suit different environments. The full report is available online.
Subject HeadingsSchool and community
Education Queensland, May 2009
The result of an independent review of literacy, numeracy and science standards in Queensland primary schools, this report makes a number of recommendations for improving learning outcomes. Schools need access to teachers who have been extremely well-prepared by exemplary teacher education programs, and high- quality professional development for these teachers, as well as for school leaders. They should be able to access expert advice and support in the teaching of literacy, numeracy and science, and should have clear guidelines for expected teaching and learning outcomes at particular stages, as well as support for monitoring whether these outcomes are being met. Recommendations include the introduction of knowledge tests for teachers; new advanced professional learning programs in key areas; funding for training and employment of specialists in these areas; standardised science tests for Years 4, 6, 8 and 10 students; and an expert review of international best practice in school leadership development. The full report is available online.
Subject HeadingsSchool leadership
This report, the summary of a 2007 literature review, examines the skills, knowledge and values necessary for effective middle years teaching. Teachers were found to need greater knowledge in pedagogy and teaching strategies; curriculum development and connecting learning with the outside world; other areas of the curriculum; assessment and monitoring and tracking of achievement; improved relationships with individual students and with colleagues; and professional development targeted to the middle years. Students needed to improve their skills in literacy and numeracy and problem-solving skills, and needed to demonstrate better engagement, and confidence in and responsibility for their learning. Parents needed more opportunities to be involved in and informed about their children's learning. Schools needed to focus on transitions, staff communication and skills, and ensure that students are supported. The full report is available online.
Subject HeadingsParent and teacher
Education aims and objectives
Harvard Education Press, September 2009
This text focuses on the issue of the systemic improvement in the quality of classroom instruction as well as the learning and achievement of all students. The authors examine three core competencies of high-performing school systems: an understanding of the core business of facilitating learning, and an awareness of how this relates to current education systems; knowledge of how to improve instruction, focus on key strategies, and effectively align resources; and the building of individual and organisational habits to foster continuous improvement. Each chapter includes examples to illustrate key concepts in action, questions to facilitate self-assessment, and tools and resources for building capacity at different levels and stages of development. Adapted from publisher's description.
Subject HeadingsEducation management
Education aims and objectives