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

The Learning Leader: How to Focus School Improvement for Better Results

Douglas B. Reeves
The book draws on research studies and observations from successful schools to suggest a leadership for learning framework and related techniques. The author encourages school leaders to analyse their schools, and shows how a results-based focus can lead to misperceptions of performance. The book lists the five key school characteristics needed to improve achievement and close equity gaps, and names six school practices that inhibit learning. Chapters include ‘the seven dimensions of leadership’; the need for collaboration; transforming research into action, leadership and effective feedback; and challenging leadership ‘myths’. Leadership maps are offered as a tool to chart the effectiveness of efforts and plan next steps, with related tools outlined in appendices. (Adapted from publisher's description.)

Subject Headings

School principals
School leadership
School administration

Improving Aboriginal Numeracy

Thelma Perso

Based on various consultation and research efforts, the book outlines issues in Indigenous students’ learning, and implications for teaching practice across Years K–9. The book presents a discussion of Aboriginal children and schooling; Aboriginal culture and mathematics; and the school approach to teaching mathematics. A model for helping Aboriginal students learn mathematics is provided, and teaching suggestions for key concepts about number, chance and data, space and measurement are also outlined. (Adapted from publisher’s description.)

Key Learning Areas


Subject Headings

Mathematics teaching
Aboriginal students

Getting the Buggers to Turn Up

Ian McCormack
Continuum Books, July 2005

The author provides practical advice to help teachers and school leaders overcome attendance issues. Throughout the book, the author stresses the importance of listening to students, and student comments are included in the final chapter. Initial chapters discuss different types of truancy and their legal implications, the reasons behind truancy, and outcomes for truants. Subsequent chapters outline ways to address bullying, school-based influences, alternative courses of action and ways to help students cope when transferring schools. Suggestions for raising pupils’ self-esteem are also offered. Current initiatives to assist students in different situations are outlined. (Adapted from publisher’s description. Also available from DA Information.)


Subject Headings

School attendance

The Impact of Drought on Secondary Education Access in Australia's Rural and Remote Areas

Margaret Alston, Jenny Kent
The report explores the impact of drought on young people’s access to all levels of primary, secondary and tertiary education in remote and rural Australia. Researchers found that drought significantly affected students, as they were more likely to be working long hours outside school in either paid or farm work, and were exposed to stresses on family. Students in drought-stricken areas tended to lose friends from school, and were often forced to study by distance. Increased vocational training in schools is suggested, as boys affected by drought were found to be more likely to leave school early, and faced a limited availability of TAFE courses in their communities. Researchers recommend increased financial assistance to ensure urban and rural students have equal access to education. Suggested measures include increasing Assisted Isolated Children (AIC) allowances and automatic eligibility for Youth Allowance where students must leave home. The report also calls for a summit of government agencies and community groups to discuss rural and remote education, and additional support for mothers to deliver home tutoring. The research is based on in-depth investigations in 2005 with students, their families and teachers, as well as business, community and government representatives. The investigations were conducted in seven rural and remote sites at Balranald, Cootamundra and Hay in New South Wales, Blackall and Longreach in Queensland and Cohuna and Kerang in Victoria. The report was funded by the Federal Government and the Rural Education Program of the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal. (Adapted from media release, 6 March 2006.)

Subject Headings

Rural education

Preparing Educators to Communicate and Connect with Families and Communities

Patricia Ruggiano Schmidt

This book is written by education practitioners, academics and parents from New York State, who outline practical ways for school staff to involve families and communities in children’s learning. Each chapter focuses on a specific action and offers suggestions for both parents and educators. Chapter one discusses how to connect home and school and describes effective communication strategies for educators. Chapter two argues for trainee teachers to be taught about family engagement and describes the risk taking, self-disclosure and introspection characteristics that trainee teachers need to develop. Chapter three focuses on ways to incorporate home language, community resources and other aspects of family cultures, while chapter four outlines suggestions for getting parents involved. The final chapter offers ways for school leaders to promote a spirit of family and community engagement. The book includes resources such as a sample letter to parents, a suggested activities calendar, evaluation frameworks and professional development material. (Adapted from a review by Max Malikow, The Educational Forum Vol 70, Fall 2005. Available from DA Information. See also publisher’s description.)


Subject Headings

Teacher training
School culture
Parent and teacher
Parent and child
School and community
United States of America (USA)

Composing Diverse Identities: Narrative Inquiries into the Interwoven Lives of Children and Teachers

D Jean Clandinin
Routledge, April 2006
The editor brings together narratives from seven writers who each spent a year in an urban school exploring the experiences of students, families, teachers and administrators. The narratives propose a renewed focus on active citizenship and the whole child. A corresponding shift away from the business model approach, which has been taken in response to the increasing emphasis on testing, measurable outcomes, competition and efficiency, is also favoured. Each narrative explores the experiences and contributions of various members of the school community, and highlights the ethical decisions and issues they faced on a daily basis. The author aims to raise questions about who and what education is for, and how the curriculum is structured to define it. (Adapted from distributor’s description.) 

Subject Headings

United States of America (USA)
School and community
Teaching and learning
Teacher-student relationships