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

Translating Theory and Research into Educational Practice: Developments in Content Domains, Large Scale Reform, and Intellectual Capacity

Mark A Constas, Robert J Sternberg

Educational researchers who have established connections between the research community and school settings suggest strategies to help bridge the gap between theory and practice. The researchers analyse the common problems associated with translating theory and research into effective practice by reflecting on the practical demands, theoretical complexities and political realities of education. The book also suggests interventions and programs to help researchers relate findings to future practice. In three parts, the book initially explores how educational theory and research can be used to improve student learning in mathematics, science and reading. One chapter in this section applies educational theory to the design of science texts. The second part of the book examines the translation of theory and research into practice within the context of educational reform. The obstacles to school reform faced by accelerated schools are considered in one chapter. The book’s final part explores how different models of intelligence and creativity have informed educational practice, such as multiple intelligences and changing perceptions of giftedness. The book is written as a text for advanced education courses, as well as educational researchers, educational psychologists, practitioners and those involved in educational policy. (Adapted from publisher’s description. Available from DA Information.)


Subject Headings

Education research

The Truth About Boys and Girls

Sara Mead
Education Sector, June 2006
In the USA as in Australia there have been widespread concerns that boys are falling behind girls in their schooling. However, according to this report, boys are not actually achieving less; girls have simply been quicker to close historical achievement gaps. The reviewers note that, with a few exceptions, American boys are scoring higher and achieving more than ever before. However, girls have improved their performance on some meas­­­ures even faster. As a result, girls have narrowed or closed several academic gaps that previously favored boys. Other long-standing gaps that favored girls have widened, leading to the belief that boys are falling behind. (adapted from publisher's description. See also commentary in the Washington Post 26 June 2006.)

Subject Headings

Boys' education
Girls' education
United States of America (USA)

Independent Schooling in Australia 2006–08


Recognising that independent sector enrolments increased from 9.7 per cent of the total student population in 1996 to 12.8 per cent in 2005, this study highlights some of the achievements and contributions made by independent schools to the Australian community. The report is separated into five key sections. The first, independence and accountability, considers the essential elements of school autonomy, state/territory and federal regulations for independent schools, new reporting requirements, independent schools’ participation in policy development and the emphasis placed on values education in independent schools. A section on parents and school choice offers case studies of families from throughout Australia who have opted to attend independent schools. Issues for students in remote and rural areas, students with disabilities, boarding schools as well as curriculum initiatives in vocational and technical education, boys’ education and middle schooling are explored in a section on teachers, students and learning. Contributors make recommendations on how government funding should be structured. Private sources, which account for 60 per cent of contributions to independent schools, are also considered. Information on enrolment trends, the structure of the independent sector and registered independent schools is included. View the report on ISCA’s website by selecting ‘ICSA publications’ from the left hand side menu. See also media release from Peter Costello, Treasurer and Julie Bishop, Minister of Education, Science and Training.


Subject Headings

Educational evaluation
Private schools

Teaching Online: A Practical Guide (2nd Edition)

Susan Ko, Steve Rossen

The book is designed for teachers of distance learning courses or web-based components of on-campus courses. The authors have developed and taught online courses, and aim to address common concerns and questions faced by online instructors. An informal style is used to make the text accessible for those who are new to technology. As a second edition guide, the book features expanded sections on how to incorporate online resources within the traditional classroom and current technology issues. Emerging technologies are covered, including new hardware, software, operating systems and updated course management systems. The book also notes statistical findings on the prevalence of online courses. (Adapted from review in TechTrends, Nov/Dec 2005 and publisher’s description.)


Subject Headings

Teaching and learning
Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
Distance education

The War for Children's Minds

Stephen Law
Routledge, May 2006

In light of the conflict in Iraq and global terrorism fears, there has been much debate over appropriate values for children in educational and political arenas. This book challenges calls to return to religious tradition and ‘authoritarian styles of moral education’, and argues for morals teaching to be based on liberal thinking and Enlightenment-based values. The book asserts that liberal and independent thinking, despite criticism, can and should involve children in learning about right and wrong and respect for others. While challenging a whole society return to religious tradition, the author aims to show that independent thought does not necessitate a rejection of faith. The author also stresses that moralities based on independent thinking are not necessarily always positive, and suggests that each morality should be examined for its worth. (Adapted from publisher’s description.)


Subject Headings

Values education

The Art of Problem Posing (3rd Edn)

Stephen I Brown, Marion I Walter

The book explores the use of problem-posing strategies, with a focus on using problems to improve student engagement and learning in mathematics classrooms. The authors offer guidance and examples to help teachers pose problems effectively and develop problem-posing abilities among students. The book’s first five chapters outline effective strategies used by mathematicians, and how they can be used to foster mathematical insight among students. Examples suggest start points for posing problems. The ‘what if the attribute were different’ approach is covered in one chapter and explored across different mathematical topics and skill levels. Another chapter is written for those developing university level mathematics courses in mathematics problem posing and solving, while the final chapter offers a potential research agenda. Alongside mathematics teachers, science teachers, curriculum planners and teacher educators may be interested in applying the problem-posing strategies outlined. (Adapted from review by Juliana Utley in School Science and Mathematics, April 2006. See also publisher’s description.)

Key Learning Areas


Subject Headings

Inquiry based learning
Mathematics teaching

Service-Learning Across Cultures: Promise and Achievement

H Tonkin

The report outlines qualitative and quantitative data from international service learning programs between 2001 and 2004. Service-learning is based on the premise that students learn best when they are able to link study with direct experience, and are able to ‘check theory against practice, and when they can analyse practice to formulate theory’. The reviewer notes that education students often lack the time and space to reflect on and connect university study with experience, and suggests that this report may offer insights to assist the implementation of a service-learning approach within pre-service teacher education. Researchers conclude that to be effective, service-learning must be supported by strong faculty programs. The programs should enable skill development and outline plans for establishing and maintaining quality. The report also concludes that service-learning must be developed in line with local culture and customs, and equal value must be placed on practical and theoretical experience. Cross-case studies are featured throughout the report. (Adapted from review by Billy O’Steen in Journal of Experiential Education, Vol 28, No 3, 2006. See also publisher’s description.)


Subject Headings

Community service
Teacher training
United States of America (USA)