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

Explorations in Curriculum History

Lynn M Burlbaw, Sherry L Field

Focused on examples from the USA, this book covers a collection of historical debates on curriculum and educational policy. Contributors outline 23 cases of curriculum controversies that span a wide range of subject areas. The book addresses the connections between the curriculum and nationalism, sexism, racism, civil rights and language policy. Four chapters consider curriculum as a field of work, curriculum as a life’s work, curriculum as a shaper of institutions, and curriculum as a response to crises. Many contributions cite a lack of historical perspective by educational practitioners, researchers and policy makers. According to a review in Education Review, 29 August 2006, 'none of the contributors take the risk of forwarding hypotheses on these questions', nor do they ‘draw connections between past and contemporary events, such as current shifts in curriculum, professional standards, or governance’. (Adapted from the review.)


Subject Headings

United States of America (USA)
Education policy

Motivation and Engagement of Boys: Evidence-Based Teaching Practices

University of Western Sydney

The report seeks to identify teaching practices that have proven effective in improving the motivation, engagement, academic and social outcomes of boys, particularly those at risk of disengaging from school. The interrelated individual, social and cultural relationships that students have with education, school and classrooms are considered. Research methodology included a literature review and 15 case studies examining teaching practices at selected schools. The case studies encompass the early and middle years of schooling, and include ‘at risk’ boys from low-performing, low-socioeconomic backgrounds, rural and regional areas and Indigenous students. Evidence-based principles and strategies aimed at improving boys’ socio-academic outcomes are outlined. Researchers emphasise the value of whole-school policies, practices and interventions that help every student feel school is a place that ‘works for them’, and that education provides opportunities for them to be rewarded and successful. It proposes a number of recommendations to improve boys’ motivation, engagement and socio-academic achievement. (Adapted from publisher's outline.)


Subject Headings

Educational evaluation
Boys' education

Responsive Literacy Coaching: Tools for Creating and Sustaining Purposeful Change

Cheryl  Dozier
Stenhouse Publishers, November 2006

The book outlines a theoretical framework and practical tools to improve literacy coaching, literacy environments and experiences for students. The book explores the relationship between the coach and teacher, and outlines how coaches can create positive change while avoiding common pitfalls. The strategies and tools suggested focus on using conversation, sustained engagement and reflective analysis to inform practice, and can be tailored according to specific instructional contexts. Examples of coaching interactions from a range of schools and classrooms are used throughout the book, and consider the experiences of teachers, coaches, administrators and students. Frequently asked questions are outlined in a separate chapter. (Adapted from publisher's description.)

Key Learning Areas


Subject Headings


The Brotherhood’s Social Barometer: Challenges Facing Australian Youth

Martina  Boese, Rosanna Scutella

As part of the ongoing Social Barometer research project, this report explores issues in young people's transition to adulthood in relation to physical and mental health; education, training and employment; social and civic participation; safety; economic resources and housing. The report is based on a wide range of academic research and data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and other organisations. The authors suggest that additional ‘well-informed investment’ is needed to help ‘at-risk’ young people succeed during life transitions. Fifteen per cent of young people aged 15 to 19 were unemployed and not in full-time education in June 2006, and are cited as the ‘most at risk’ group. Findings show that Indigenous students and those from poorer communities typically attain lower literacy and numeracy results at school, are less likely to pursue tertiary education. Significant reduction in youth smoking and increased involvement in voluntary work is also noted. Adapted from review in Youth Field Xpress, September 2006 and report.


Subject Headings

Socially disadvantaged
Secondary education
Transitions in schooling

Crossing the Line: Making the Case for Changing Australian Laws about the Physical Punishment of Children

Joe Tucci, Chris Goddard, Janise Mitchell

Following from research released in 2002, this report tracks public opinion on the use of physical punishment by parents. The report is based on phone interviews with a representative sample of 720 adults from across Australia. Forty five per cent of respondents felt it was reasonable to leave a mark on a child as a result of physical punishment, and 10 per cent thought it appropriate to punish children with implements such as canes, sticks, belts or slippers. However, the number of people who think it is sometimes necessary to smack a child has decreased by 6 per cent since 2002, suggesting declining support for physical punishment over time. The effectiveness of smacking is also being questioned, with only 41 per cent of people seeing it as an effective way to change behaviour.  The report advocates for legislative reform to ban physical punishment of children. (Adapted from executive summary.)


Subject Headings

Parent and child

Educating School Teachers

Arthur Levine
Findings are reported from a four-year study into teacher education in the USA. The report concludes that most teacher training institutions are teaching outdated material, and are not preparing teachers for the realities of the classroom. It cites several model programs, but finds programs have ‘not kept pace with changing demographics, technology, global competition and pressures to raise student achievement,’ and that faculties are disconnected from classroom practice at the bulk of institutions. Almost 50 per cent of principals felt that institutions were failing to prepare teachers even moderately well for using technology in instruction, while 41 per cent felt the same regarding teachers’ abilities to implement curriculum and performance standards. The author suggests many institutions use education courses to increase enrolment revenue, and set low admission and graduation standards. The report finds that while aspiring secondary teachers have academic scores comparable to the national average, elementary school teachers are well below that academic level. Key recommendations include using student academic achievement to measure the success of teacher education programs, closing unsatisfactory programs, establishing the equivalent of a Rhodes scholarship to attract high-quality students, and establishing five-year teacher education programs with an academic major as the norm. (Adapted from publisher's news release, 18 September 2006.)

Subject Headings

Teacher training
United States of America (USA)