Practitioner Research and Professional Development in Education
Paul Chapman Publishing, February 2004
The book outlines practice based research concepts and approaches for educators. It details how to reflect on, assess and produce evidence on the impact of teaching. The book's logical format, checklists, summaries, examples of practice, research resources and an annotated bibliography are designed to help teacher educators, education students and school practitioners, who may not have the confidence, knowledge or skills necessary to apply research principles in their practice. Relevant education research categories are presented in the first two chapters, and their theoretical underpinnings explained. Chapter three aims to help readers develop and identify themselves in a research framework, and seek professional development. Chapters four and five describe the journey of a group developing a research framework, along with literature reviews and information management techniques. Following chapters outline research techniques, features of qualitative and quantitative data analysis, collaborative research, the role of critical communities and mentors. Considerations for report writing, a structure for research evaluation and strategies to disseminate findings complete the book. (Adapted from review by Ruth Wallace in The Australian Educational Researcher, December 2005).
Subject HeadingsTeacher training
Teaching and learning
Secondary Student Perceptions of Work
The Smith Family, September 2005
Produced for The Smith Family by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), this report outlines the career aspirations of students in Years 10, 11 and 12 from The Smith Family's Learning for Life program across States and Territories. The report finds students' interests and perceived school abilities shape their career aspirations. The research found that professional jobs are more likely to be sought by girls, while trade-level jobs are more likely to be sought by boys. The report goes on to analyse the accuracy of students' career aspirations. Half of survey respondents had successfully planned their education to meet the skill requirements of their preferred job. Around 25 per cent planned a lower level of education than required in their preferred job, while 25 per cent planned a higher level of education. Students in part time employment were noted as more likely to hold higher educational goals, and were more successful at planning their education to meet their career aspirations. Comparatively, VET students and students undertaking a school TAFE subject were found to be less successful at matching educational plans with career aspirations. The report indicates that students need more information about the educational requirements, skill requirements and the pathways open to their preferred jobs. The report notes that there will be a lack of appropriate jobs available to accommodate the number of students pursuing high level positions, which suggests a need to provide students with more information about job availability. Data for the survey was generated from a self-completed mailed questionnaire completed by 3018 students. The report follows the publication of What do students think of work? by ACER in March 2005.
Subject HeadingsCareer education
VET (Vocational Education and Training)
A Comprehensive Future: Quality and Equality for all our Children
Compass, February 2006
This new pamphlet on school education in England ‘provides an urgent, passionate and convincing account of what we need to do to make comprehensives work. It puts forward a strong argument that modern comprehensives are the right way to educate our children and that the obsession with choice, commercialisation and contestability is the wrong approach’ (from publisher’s description). See also Shaping the Education Bill – reaching for consensus, a paper published in December 2005 by a group of Labour Party MPs, described in a commentary by Melissa Benn in the The Guardian newspaper, and elsewhere, as an ‘alternative White Paper’.
Subject HeadingsSchools finance
Education and state
Education aims and objectives
Higher Standards, Better Schools for All – More Choice for Parents and Pupils
Department for Education and Skills, UK, October 2005
This White Paper sets out our plans to radically improve the system; putting parents and the needs of their children at the heart of our schools, freeing up schools to innovate and succeed, and bringing in new dynamism and new providers. We will ensure that every school delivers an excellent education, that every child achieves to their potential, and that the system is increasingly driven by parents and choice. To make that happen we need an education system that is designed around the needs of the individual – with education tailored to the needs of each child and parents having a say in how schools are run. To achieve that we need to reform schools themselves so that they have the freedoms and flexibilities to deliver the tailored, choice driven education we all want (from publisher’s description). See also commentary on the implications for Australia’s Independent schools, in AISQ Briefings November/December 2005.
Subject HeadingsState schools
School and community
Education aims and objectives
Education and state
Becoming a Literacy Leader: Supporting Learning and Change
Stenhouse Publishers, January 2006
This book provides advice for literacy leaders in schools on ways to implement professional development for fellow staff. It suggests tailoring professional development programs to the current knowledge, practices and needs of teachers in the school. The book offers practical guidance, with reference to relevant research. Topics include: establishing a literacy room and resources for teachers; developing collaborative intervention strategies for struggling students; assessing students; creating, piloting and implementing programs to address key literacy areas; coaching teachers in new pedagogy and curriculum; time and budget management; finding resources for professional development; and leading teacher study groups. See description in Curriculum Corporation catalogue.
Key Learning AreasEnglish
English language teaching
The Really Big Beliefs Project
Curriculum Corporation, 2005
Following on from The Really Big Food Project, this classroom resource is designed to promote understanding of some of the cultural and religious beliefs practiced in Australia today. The book documents two students as they interview friends, family and neighbourhood individuals of Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, Judaic, Shinto and Buddhist orientation about their daily lives. These aspects are described and illustrated, along with information about the respective religious ceremonies and rituals. The author endeavors to highlight the similarities between religious practices. See description in the Curriculum Corporation catalogue.
Key Learning AreasStudies of Society and Environment
Social life and customs
Transforming Schools: Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement
This book uses a hypothetical school scenario and a cast of fictional school staff to suggest a continuous improvement model for principals and teachers. The plan outlined focuses on increasing staff motivation and collaboration to create a shared vision and effort for improvement. Chapters cover key elements of the change process. Topics include deciding objectives, assessing the current situation with data, designing and implementing effective professional development, developing an action plan and incorporating accountability measures. Appendices suggest operating principles and tools to develop an action plan. (Adapted from publisher’s description.)
Subject HeadingsSchool principals