This report draws on data from The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, which tracked almost 10,000 children and their families over two years from 2004, to find out detailed information about their lives and experiences. The study found that children who attended an early childhood program had better language skills than those who did not; high-quality care is associated with gains in language and cognitive outcomes in toddlers and preschoolers; in groups where teachers were university qualified and more teacher-supported small-group activities were offered, children had higher pro-social behaviour and less problem behaviours; and that current regulations and processes in this field 'are multi-layered and complex'.
Subject HeadingsEarly childhood education
Child care centres
Developing Successful Learners In Nurturing Schools: The Impact Of Nurture Groups In Primary Schools
HM Inspectorate of Education, September 2009
Drawing on data from questionnaires, interviews and school observations, this British report seeks to highlight the potential role of nurture groups in primary education. Nurture groups are designed to raise self-esteem and develop social and communication skills among children who are experiencing social and emotional difficulties. The intensive approach taken by nurture groups can have a positive influence on young people's lives. However, provision can be variable. Not all programs involve parents in a sustained manner, and some do not sufficiently address students' other needs. Monitoring and assessment also needs to be improved. In addition, transitions back into mainstream classes need to be better planned. The full report is available online.
Subject HeadingsPrimary education
The 3 Habits of Highly Successful Reading Teachers: A Quick and Easy Approach to Helping All Students Succeed
This text aims to help teachers create a reading environment where students feel comfortable, appreciated and safe. It also offers a variety of strategies for making early language instruction meaningful to children and argues that successful teachers believe in their students, teach and review high-frequency words and letter sounds daily, and assess their students so as to inform further instruction. Chapter titles include The Reading Components, Implementing the Reading Habits, and Creating the Optimal Environment. Adapted from publisher's description.
Teaching and learning
Throughout the history of schooling in New Zealand the national curriculum has been revised at fairly regular intervals. The draft of a revised version of the New Zealand Curriculum was disseminated to schools and the community in 2006, with full implementation planned to take place in 2010. Changes include shifting from 'essential skills' to 'key competencies'; expanded statements on values; increased emphasis on LOTE; and the inclusion of four future-focused themes: sustainability, citizenship, enterprise and globalisation. The current report documents the experiences of schools that have already implemented the reforms. The full report is available online.
Subject HeadingsCurriculum planning
Taking Human Capital Seriously: Talented Teachers in Every Classroom, Talented Principals in Every School
Strategic Management of Human Capital, November 2009
This document outlines the principles and recommendations of the Strategic Management of Human Capital program, which was designed to improve student achievement in 100 disadvantaged urban districts in the USA. The report suggests that teachers be recruited both from traditional university programs and high-achieving independent initatives; that talent be developed through goal-oriented, curriculum-based professional development; and that principals and teachers be rewarded in order to increase retention. The full report is available online. See also Education Week article 4 November 2009.
Subject HeadingsEducation management
United States of America (USA)
National Literacy Trust, November 2009
This document reports on a survey into young people's perceptions about writing in Britain. The participants were 3001 young people aged 8–16. Almost three-quarters of respondents said that they wrote regularly, with technology-based formats such as SMS and instant messaging being the most common. More than half of the respondents had a profile on a social networking site such as Facebook, and a quarter had their own blog. These students were more likely to enjoy writing. Respondents' enjoyment of writing depended on the type of writing being done. Nine in ten felt that writing was an important skill, and half felt that they were good writers. Girls' attitudes toward writing were more positive than boys'. Socioeconomic status did not affect enjoyment of writing. The full report is available online.
Key Learning AreasEnglish