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

The Power to Transform: Leadership that Brings Learning and Schooling to Life

Stephanie Pace Marshall
Jossey-Bass, March 2006
The author argues that recent school reform has focused on changing the contents of schooling, rather than the context and conditions of learning. By doing so, recent reform has eroded the intellectual life of schools. Critical thinking and learning have largely been surpassed in education, where ‘finishing a course and a textbook has come to mean achievement’ and ‘getting a high school on a standardised test has come to mean proficiency’. A new learning environment is proposed, made up of generative learning communities that enable meaning, engagement, inquiry, personalisation and collaboration. The first part of the book, the journey toward wholeness, provides a background on integral thinking habits, learning environments and the need for a new approach to learning. The second part of the book explores the design of a new learning landscape and aspects of integrity, coherence, sustainability and vibrancy. Part three of the book discusses leadership. (Adapted from the publisher’s description. Available from DA Information.)

Subject Headings

School principals
School leadership
School administration

Action Research for Teachers: a Practical Guide

Jean McNiff, Jack Whitehead
The book is written for teachers who are new to education research. The first part of the book explains action research and its importance in whole school development, and some of the common problems encountered when undertaking research. In the second section, research methods and techniques are explored along with how they can be used to enhance teachers’ existing formal reflection. Topics such as the use of data, criteria and evidence, planning, critique and validation are discussed. The third part of the book considers case studies of classroom teaching in primary and secondary schools, as well as school management. The fourth part considers self-evaluation for teachers, whole school development, and how research can be used to influence education policy and practices. (Adapted from the publisher’s description. Available from DA Information.)

Subject Headings

Education research

Bringing the Outside In: Visual Ways to Engage Reluctant Readers

Sara Kajder
The book offers advice on how to make school literacy learning more relevant to students. The teaching techniques outlined focus on utilising students’ real life literacy experiences, such as familiar words and images, and textual spaces such as the web, digital games and text messaging. The author draws on examples of student work and suggests activities with authentic audiences, such as digital storytelling, visual think-alouds and visual literature circles. The activities are designed to reconnect reluctant students with reading and writing through the use of a range of tools, from pen and paper to weblogs and wikis. Tips on how to extend teaching strategies are offered throughout the book. (Adapted from the publisher’s description. Available from Curriculum Corporation.)

Key Learning Areas


Subject Headings

Visual literacy

Maths Wonders to Inspire Teachers and Students

Alfred S Posamentier
More than a hundred maths activities to engage students are outlined in this book, covering arithmetic, algebra, geometry and probability for Years 7–12. Activities can be used to focus students’ attention, initiate inquiry projects or enrich existing mathematics lessons. Teachers may use some of the activities to help reveal students’ underlying problem-solving strategies, or teach shortcuts to mathematical processes. Students uncover geometric principles in some of the activities, while others explore peculiar number patterns and properties. (Adapted from the publisher’s description.)

Key Learning Areas


Subject Headings

Secondary education
Mathematics teaching

The Classroom Choice: Giving Students What They Need and Getting What You Want

Jonathan C Erwin
The book outlines research-based teaching and classroom management strategies to help teachers meet the needs and interests of students. Drawing on the theories of psychologist William Glasser, and the experiences of other teachers and education experts, the strategies cover all grade levels and subject areas. The author provides guidance on how to identify students’ intrinsic motivations, reasons for learning and behaviour problems. Techniques for connecting students to classroom learning are then proposed and explained, for example using learning styles, multiple intelligences, cooperative learning and brain-based teaching. Each chapter focuses on an aspect of the classroom environment, to cover planning, survival, a sense of belonging and caring, power, freedom and fun. A unit planning guide and advice on assigning roles are provided in the appendices. (Adapted from the publisher’s description.)

Subject Headings

Classroom management
Classroom activities
Teacher-student relationships
Teaching and learning

Meeting the Learning Needs of All Children: Personalised Learning in the Primary School

Joan Dean
Routledge, March 2006
The book outlines the concept of personalised learning, and offers guidelines for teachers on how to take a personalised approach in planning, teaching and assessing learning. Recognising the increasing diversity of today’s students, the book suggests appropriate learning environments for boys and girls, children with special needs, children from other cultures, those who have English as a second language, and children from disadvantaged or disruptive homes. Additional chapters cover working with teaching and learning support assistants, and how to approach and work with parents. The learning needs of teachers are also addressed, and advice is given on the assessment and evaluation of teachers' work on inclusion. Suggestions for the implementation of a whole school personalised learning approach are outlined. (Adapted from publisher's and distributor's descriptions.)

Subject Headings

Primary education