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Curriculum & Leadership Journal
An electronic journal for leaders in education
ISSN: 1448-0743
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High Demand Government Schools

Department of Education Science and Training
DEST, 28 September 2005
This report is based on focus group findings from the 2004 Department of Science, Education and Training (DEST) project High Demand Government Schools. While no set formula could be established for creating a high demand school, certain factors were common between the 20 secondary and primary schools researched. The schools, located in predominantly metropolitan areas across Australia, varied in terms of size, schooling level, organisation, curriculum and the focus placed on academic achievement. The factors shared by many of the schools included an inclusive culture, high-calibre, committed staff, involvement of parents and the community and open communication between parents and the school. Effective timetabling and unique structure or organisational features were also common attributes. The report highlights that factors such as public impressions of staff, school values, commitment to the community and the range of subjects available can underlie parental views of academic reputation. The research drew on focus groups of parents and senior staff in the schools. (Adapted from publisher's description).

Subject Headings

School leadership
School culture
School and community
State schools
Parent and child
Education policy

Rising above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future

Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy
A panel of scientists and business leaders has written this report to Congress, outlining a critical need for the USA to strengthen science and mathematics education and research. The economic implications of the current status of science and mathematics are outlined, with four areas identified for improvement: K-12 education, research, higher education and economic policy. Within education, only 41 per cent of students in Grade 8 in 1999 were taught by a mathematics teacher who majored in that subject at an undergraduate, graduate level or teacher certification level. Recommendations focus on improving teacher selection and education. Suggestions include scholarships for exceptional mathematics and science students to undertake concurrent teaching degrees, with a requirement to teach in public schools for at least five years. Professional development for current teachers is also suggested with various pathways outlined. Other recommendations include a stronger focus on mathematics and science in Grade 6 to promote later take-up of advanced courses and undergraduate scholarships to encourage high school students into mathematics and science careers (adapted from report).

Subject Headings

United States of America (USA)
Professional development
Teacher training
Science teaching
Mathematics teaching
Education policy

Being Normal Is the Only Way to Be: Adolescent Perspectives on Gender and School

Wayne Martino, Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli
UNSW Press, May 2005
This practical resource for teachers uses the writings and experiences of adolescents to inform understandings of the nature of difference in schools, and to shape school policies in relation to diversity in schools. It addresses adolescents' perspectives of school and the power relationships within it, examines gender-based harassment and bullying, and analyses the social construction of  'normal', 'cool', and difference, and the effects these constructions have on learning and relationships.    

Subject Headings

Girls' education
Boys' education

Creativity in the Primary Curriculum

Dominic Wyse, Russell Jones
Written by and for primary teachers and teacher-trainees, this text focuses on fostering student and classroom creativity. It offers a rationale, suggested teaching practices, and approaches to planning and organisation to facilitate creative teaching and learning. Chapters focus on curriculum areas such as mathematics, thinking and the curriculum, science, ICT and performing arts. Best practice examples of creative teaching and learning experiences and student work examples are included throughout (adapted from the publisher's description).

Subject Headings

Thought and thinking
Teacher training
Teaching and learning
Curriculum planning

Research: Bilingual Immersion Education

Wilf Malcolm Institute of Education Research, Education Faculty, University of Waikato
Commissioned by the New Zealand Ministry of Education, this book outlines a review of international and local literature on the cognitive, educational and social effects of bilingualism and makes recommendations for effective bilingual teaching. Recommendations include teacher fluency in both languages, use of both languages in an instructional manner, knowledge of second language aquisition theory and related teaching pedagogy, commitment to educational equity, professional development support and access to assessment resources in both languages. Long-term attendance in bilingual classes is suggested, with a 50 per cent immersion level throughout. The report also recommends policy changes, including specialist teacher training, greater provision of information for families and bilingual programs for other language groups in New Zealand.

Key Learning Areas


Subject Headings

Language and languages
New Zealand
Teacher training
Mäori Education
Languages other than English (LOTE)

Young People and Contradictions of Inclusion: Towards Integrated Transition Policies in Europe

Andreu López Blasco, Andreas Walther, Wallace McNeish
The Policy Press, December 2003
This book offers an assessment of youth transition from school to employment, using case studies from 13 European countries. In the book's first two sections, the inclusive/exclusive nature of employment is considered, along with various European transition policies and practices. An overview of recent trends is also included. In the third section, the authors consider dilemmas and perspectives on integrated transition policies, which are centred on young people's subjective experiences. The book has been written for those interested in youth transition to work, social policy and economics (adapted from publisher's description).

Subject Headings

Transitions in schooling