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

Synergies for Better Learning: An International Perspective on Evaluation and Assessment

OECD,  2013

This report provides an international comparative analysis and policy advice to countries on how evaluation and assessment arrangements can be used to improve the quality, equity and efficiency of school education. It builds upon a major three-year review of evaluation and assessment policies in 28 countries, the OECD Review on Evaluation and Assessment Frameworks for Improving School Outcomes. As well as analysing strengths and weaknesses of different approaches, the report provides recommendations for improvement, including how results should be incorporated into policy and practice. The report reveals striking differences across OECD countries in both whether and how schools test performance, and offers advice on how to use evaluation and feedback to help teachers and students. In primary education, for example, students are not awarded marks in Denmark, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden, whereas Hungary, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland and the Slovak Republic rely primarily on numerical marks for formal reporting. In Australia, Chile, Korea, Portugal and the United Kingdom, teachers undergo formal appraisal processes as part of their performance management, while in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, feedback on teacher performance is provided more informally in schools. Adapted from publisher's description and media release. See also article in Computerworld 12 April 2013.


Subject Headings

Great Britain
Korea (South Korea)
New Zealand
Educational evaluation

What's Wrong with the Gonski Report: Funding Reform and Student Achievement?

Melbourne Institute, April 2013

This brief is critical of a number of important premises that lie behind the Gonski report on school funding and the proposed reforms based on that report by the Australian Government. Specifically, we: see no reason to make performance on international tests an objective of Australian schooling; doubt the wisdom of increasing the role of the Australian government in schooling; argue the impact of additional resources on student achievement is likely to be small; view the resource standards calculated in the Gonski report as unlikely to achieve what they are intended to do; believe there is really no possibility of constructing any such objective resource standards. (Report abstract, from the full report online.)


Subject Headings

Education finance
Education policy
Educational evaluation
Educational planning

Dictionary of Classroom Strategies K–6

Compiled by the Board of Studies NSW, the Dictionary of Classroom Strategies 'demonstrates tried and true teaching, learning and assessment strategies for the K–6 classroom that can be applied across the curriculum'. Organised alphabetically, it serves as a reference for teachers and a professional development guide for schools. Entries in the dictionary cover topics as diverse as: brainstorming, De Bono's Six Thinking Hats, games, guided and independent reading, spelling strategies, standardised tests, storyboarding, using technology in the classroom, and writing conferences. Adapted from publisher's description.


Subject Headings

Teaching and learning
Primary education
New South Wales (NSW)

Connecting with Geography: Strategies for an Inquiry Classroom

Marianne Ward

Designed for primary teachers who are not geography specialists, Connecting with Geography aims to provide practical, adaptable scaffolds to make geography inquiry stimulating and accessible. Drawing on the Australian Curriculum: Geography, this book presents practical tools to explore the nature of geography and effective pedagogical practices; it acts as a catalyst for engaging with the study of geography in ways that are relevant for students, classrooms and school communities. Connecting with Geography will spark debate about the best ways to motivate and challenge students so that they 'think like a geographer' and are inspired to question, research and analyse complex issues. Adapted from publisher's description.

Key Learning Areas

Studies of Society and Environment

Subject Headings

Inquiry based learning
Primary education

An Analysis of Reported Bullying at School (NFER, Britain)

Tom Benton
NFER,  2011

Since early 2010, Britain's National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) has been working with primary and secondary schools to allow them to survey their own pupils and better understand their views across a range of issues. Almost 100 secondary schools and more than 35,000 pupils in years 7 to 13 have now taken part. As part of the NFER attitude survey, children in school years 7 to 13 (aged 11 to 18) were asked questions about the types of bullying they had experienced over the last 12 months and why they think they may have been bullied. Findings suggest that schools and parents should be aware of the potential harm done to young people when they experience bullying through social exclusion. This type of bullying is more strongly associated with poor emotional wellbeing than any other type including more explicit forms such as physical or verbal abuse. The full title of the report is Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones, but Being left on My Own is Worse: An Analysis of Reported Bullying at School Within NFER Attitude Survey. Adapted from publisher's description.


Subject Headings

Great Britain

International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) in the UK

Juliet Sizmur, Rachel Cunningham
NFER,  2012

Britain's National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) has conducted an investigation into the teaching and learning benefits of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IBMYP) in Britain. The aim was to provide a rich qualitative picture of the program implementation in the UK, including the impact of the MYP on non-scholastic attributes such as international mindedness and civic engagement, classroom learning environments, and school culture. The research design included a comparison of IBMYP, General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) and the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) curriculum and assessment documents, online surveys of teachers, students and parents, and four detailed qualitative case studies. Key findings are reported. Adapted from publisher's description.


Subject Headings

Educational evaluation
Curriculum planning
Great Britain

Young People and Sexting in Australia

Kath Albury, et al.
UNSW, April 2013

The Young People and Sexting in Australia report presents the findings of a qualitative study of young people's understandings of, and responses to, current Australian laws, media and educational resources that address sexting. The project, led by Dr Kath Albury, involved a review of both international and local academic research, as well as popular media, addressing sexting, and a review of educational resources for young people. Three focus groups were conducted with young people aged 16 and 17 in 2012, and a working paper based on those findings was then distributed to adult stakeholders in the fields of law enforcement, youth and children's legal support, education, criminology, media and communications, youth work, youth health care, counselling and youth health promotion. From Executive Summary. The full report is available online.


Subject Headings

Health education
Sex education