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

Curriculum Developments in Australia: Promising Initiatives, Impasses and Deadends

Catherine Harris, Colin Marsh
Two Australian university academics provide case studies of curriculum decision making and educational policy in action from regional, state and national levels. The studies are analysed by the authors to present conceptual models of curriculum change. The book discusses the language and actions used by curriculum decision makers, and reviews how the various levels of governance work in collaboration or contention with one another. This title has been written for educators, administration and parents. (Adapted from publisher's description)

Subject Headings

Case studies
Education policy
Curriculum studies
Curriculum planning

Motivating School Staff

Ivan Fitzwater
Proactive, May 2003

This book is by an academic from the University of Texas who is also an experienced teacher, principal and superintendent of schools. Methods to improve staff performance are outlined, with explanations of how they have been used in schools. The author includes specific sections on motivating beginning and established teachers and non-certified staff. Chapters cover intrinsic motivators and satisfiers, building confidence, modelling, goal setting, assisting teachers who display a negative attitude, elevating teacher status, volunteer programs and dealing with behaviours that destroy morale. (Adapted from publisher's description)


Subject Headings

School principals
School leadership

The Language of Schooling: A Functional Linguistic Perspective

Mary J Schleppegrell

This book discusses language learning from a systemic functional linguistics (SFL) perspective, and promotes explicit language teaching across the curriculum. It is designed for teacher educators, student teachers and language researchers. This perspective focuses on types of language, and how these vary between home and school contexts. The author draws attention to both written and spoken language, and the influence that word choice, sentence structure and grammar have over meaning. The book both contests and builds on sociolinguistic, discourse analysis and other linguistic perspectives, such as the works of Halliday and Vygotsky. In the first chapter, readers are encouraged to consider the cultural capital of each child, which is supported in the second chapter by research on the home and school contexts.  Later chapters focus on the linguistic demands of middle to later primary school. In them, the grammar and lexicon for essay writing, science and history are separately considered. (Adapted from review by Frances Christie, Deakin University in Australian Language and Literacy Matters vol 2 no 2 Winter 2005 and publisher's description)

Key Learning Areas


Subject Headings

English language teaching
English as an additional language
Teaching and learning

Walking the Road: Race, Diversity and Social Justice in Teacher Education

Marilyn Cochran-Smith
The book is a collection of seven previously published articles and two new essays. They outline shifts in teacher education policy and practice from the 1970s to the 1990s. The articles challenge popular conservative views of teacher education as a technical problem solvable through better training and testing. The author, a long-term teacher educator and researcher, makes a case for teacher education to be built on the three elements of local knowledge, communities of inquiry, and a professional commitment to take stands on political and academic issues. Teacher educators are asked to challenge teachers to examine issues of race, culture and oppression in their daily classroom practice. The author describes how she began to ‘unlearn’ racism as a white woman. Arguing that teaching is ‘inherently political’, she examines the ways that educators and policymakers construct the ‘outcomes question.’ The author also offers examples of 'teaching against the grain' of school practices. (Adapted from review in Harvard Educational Review, Fall 2005)

Subject Headings

Socially disadvantaged
Social justice
Teacher training

Department of Education, Science and Training Annual Report

Department of Education Science and Training
The Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) Annual Report for 2004–05 contains information about the role of the department and its corporate governance arrangements and management accountability framework. It also reports on its performance against the outcomes and outputs framework set out in the 2004–05 Portfolio Budget Statements. The Annual Report is the department’s primary accountability document to Parliament and to the Australian people. Chapter 3, on school education, reports on funding for government and non-government schools 2005–2008; the performance and reporting framework for schools; the Indigenous Education (Targeted Assistance) Amendment Act 2004; the preparatory work of the National Institute for Quality Teaching and School Leadership (now Teaching Australia); the Australian Network of Industry Careers Advisers, an integrated national career and transitions system; the Australian Technical Colleges; and the Investing in Our Schools Programme covering capital infrastructure in schools.

Subject Headings

Educational planning
Educational evaluation
Education policy
Education management
Education finance
Officials and employees

How Young People are Faring

Michael Long
The report updates selected indicators on young people’s learning and work circumstances. How Young People are Faring 2004 records rising levels of educational attainment, participation in training and the high take-up of vocational opportunities in schools. However the report also identifies gaps in the existing data and concerns that the measures being developed will leave a significant time lag between the documented events and the reporting. One major concern is the position of young females relative to males, with 17 per cent of 15–19 year old females neither studying nor in full-time work, compared with 12 per cent of males in that age group. The young women tended to be in part-time or casual work, or to be at home caring for other family members. Teenage females have been left behind while more young men gain apprenticeships. The gap between young men and women is the largest since 1989. See also the commentary on the report, 'It's tough being young and female', in the Australian Financial Review 17 November 2005 (article can be purchased from publisher).

Subject Headings

VET (Vocational Education and Training)
Working hours
Economic trends