Australia is participating in the OECD Review on Evaluation and Assessment Frameworks for Improving School Outcomes. The Review aims to explore how evaluation and assessment systems can be used to improve the quality, equity and efficiency of school education and will provide analysis and policy advice to countries on how assessment and evaluation policies can work together more effectively to improve student outcomes in primary and secondary schools. The Review covers student assessment, system evaluation, school assessment, teacher appraisal and may also include other elements such as the evaluation of a program or a policy. Further information about the OECD Review on Evaluation and Assessment Frameworks for Improving School Outcomes can be found on the project's website. The full report is available online. See also statement from Australian Minister for School Education, Peter Garrett, and article in The Australian, both 18 August 2011.
Published as the Australian Education Review 59, this report describes research into aspects of mathematics teaching in Australia. Section 2 describes the goals of teaching mathematics. The author argues for a practical orientation to mathematics teaching in the compulsory years, and also outlines the contribution numeracy-based perspectives can make to schooling. Section 3 uses assessment data to evaluate how well those goals are being met in Australia and introduces the challenge of seeking equity of opportunity in mathematics teaching and learning. Section 4 expands on the importance, to individuals and society, of achieving these goals, and Section 5 discusses six research-based principles of mathematics teaching. Section 6 argues for the importance of well-chosen mathematical tasks in supporting student learning, and models tasks and particular teaching strategies. Sections 7 and 8 analyse research which provides insights into a key issue facing Australian mathematics teachers, that of finding ways to address the needs of heterogeneous groups of students. Section 9 describes and recommends particular emphases and strategies for education programs for both prospective and practising teachers. Adapted from publisher's description, which links to the full report online.
Key Learning AreasMathematics
Subject HeadingsEducational evaluation
Learning from One Another is a new resource providing information, practical advice and classroom strategies for teachers in all Australian schools, offering teachers ways to introduce content related to Islam and Muslims into classrooms. The resource aims to equip teachers with the skills to meet the needs and expectations of Muslim students and their parents in education; facilitate a whole-school approach to supporting healthy relationships; engage with Muslim students, parents and communities, and develop an appreciation of Muslim history and cultures in Australia. It contains 116 full colour pages of background material, learning sequences and photocopiable worksheets. The resource is accompanied by a set of case studies in electronic format, under the separate title Practising Diversity: Engaging Muslims in Australian Schools. Adapted from publisher's description.
Social life and customs
Teaching and learning
This review addresses concerns about the increasing use of school suspensions as a response to challenging behaviours, at progressively younger ages. It presents an analysis of the underlying philosophies of school responses to challenging behaviours and practical measures that schools have implemented, and some of the outcomes that have resulted. The practice of suspending students from school is based on a philosophy of exclusion, not individual child wellbeing, and therefore has negative short and long-term consequences for children that can often result in a life of marginalisation. It also impacts the students' school setting, family and broader community. There are many factors that contribute to these higher rates of suspension which are structural but also stem from processes around discipline and pedagogy within schools. Some of these factors are considered in this paper. The full report is available online.
Subject HeadingsSuspension of students
The Cornerstones to Early Literacy: Childhood experiences that promote learning in reading, writing and oral language
Pembroke Publishers, 2010
This book seeks to provide ways to draw out the rich literacy learning opportunities in young children's lives. It covers the literacy-play connection, and suggests methods to encourage children's oral language practices. It develops word play and language awareness, and shows how to help children discover, reproduce and create print. It also describes ways to use reading events, such as read-alouds, and identify early writing characteristics and techniques. A special chapter outlines how literacy can be promoted through art; nature and outdoor activities; technology and media, and home literacy experiences. Adapted from distributor's description.
Early childhood education
The middle years are a crucial time to develop the sophisticated reading skills students need to analyse literature and challenging informational texts. This handbook offers 77 strategies to help students develop, refine and strengthen key comprehension skills they can apply across subject areas. Updated with current research and an increased focus on technology, the strategies include step-by-step procedures and examples from content areas. Adapted from distributor's description.
Key Learning AreasEnglish
Subject HeadingsSecondary education
English language teaching
Although focused on the USA, much of the material in this book may be relevant to student teachers and first year in-service teachers in Australia. It offers a combination of theory and teaching strategies, and covers a range of issues that 'most textbooks for student teachers neglect', such as how to handle conflict with a supervising teacher, negotiate school politics, cope with a high workload and classroom management without having a position of secure authority. Adapted from the review by Steve Holden in Teacher magazine August 2011. See also publisher's description.
Subject HeadingsTeacher training
Teaching and learning