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

Learning on the Move, Mobile Technologies in Business and Education

Kristine Peters
This report provides an overview of the current and potential usage of mobile technologies across business and education in Australia. The report outlines how M-learning can be used to meet current demands for self-directed learning that is unconstrained by time, place and formal structures. M-learning is highly cost-effective, and being readily accessed by the public; 88 per cent of young Australians currently own a mobile phone. While 'early adopter' students and teachers have used smart phones and PDAs in classroom learning, the rate of adoption has been slower than that in the business sector. Reasons for this include age and knowledge of teachers, costs, and lack of suitable hardware and software for the education sector. M-learning also offers a level of interactivity, and has the potential to support new, constructivist learning opportunities. According to the report, M-users also tend to have advanced information-searching and evaluation skills which should be accommodated by appropriate M-based pedagogy. Collaborative learning and success with disadvantaged and disengaged students are some of the other benefits provided by M-learning. (Adapted from news release and report.)
KLA

Subject Headings

Information management
Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

One Child at a Time: Making the Most of Your Time with Struggling Readers, K-6

Pat Johnson
The author draws on her experience as a literacy specialist, classroom teacher and consultant to present a framework for teachers to help struggling readers. Through the four-step framework, teachers focus on each student’s specific behaviours, needs and learning history. The book shows teachers how to use theoretical and practical approaches to analyse each student’s learning, design targeted instruction, and then assess and refine the teaching in conferences with the child. Examples of actual student conferences show how to intervene, instruct and assess at the right time, while follow-up assessment and analysis examples for following days and weeks are also included. The various examples presented show how to use the framework with a range of different learners, including early years, ESL and senior primary students experiencing literacy difficulties. (Adapted from distributor's description.) 

Key Learning Areas

English

Subject Headings

English language teaching
Reading

'Problem' Girls: Understanding and Supporting Troubled and Troublesome Girls and Young Women

Gwynedd Lloyd
A collection of contributions explore the school experience of girls, covering their classroom behaviour, experiences of poverty, race and gender, mental health problems, violence, sexuality and related topics. The book aims to show how existing stereotypes of  ‘good girls’ and ‘bad boys’ lead to increased stigma for girls who have difficulties at school. However, the editor avoids categorising ‘problem’ girls, instead examining pressures that may cause problems for all girls. One chapter on classroom processes explores how girls are excluded by high-status, masculine boys. Another chapter discusses how poverty often excludes girls from full participation in school. (Adapted from review by Jean Kane in Gender and Education, vol 18, no 5, September 2006, pp 561–565.)
KLA

Subject Headings

Girls' education

School Choice: The Three Essential Elements and Several Policy Options

Caroline Hoxby

This report seeks to address recent debates over school zoning, performance-based pay for teachers and school operation grants in New Zealand. The report supports greater parental choice over children’s education. Key policy requirements for successful provision of school choice are outlined. According to the report, schools should be established, expanded and contracted according to local demand, and be funded accordingly. The report also calls for independent management of schools, and freedom to innovate pedagogy, teacher pay, budget allocation and school organisation. The author also considers how pricing can be used as a policy instrument. Comparisons are made with funding models and student outcomes in various states in the USA. (Adapted from media release.)

KLA

Subject Headings

Schools finance
Schools
School administration

Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K–8

Richard A Duschl, Heidi A Schweingruber, Andrew W Shouse

Science Learning: Kindergarten through Eighth Grade is a three-year research study exploring the quality of science learning for K–8 students in the USA. The study sought to establish what and how key scientific concepts are learnt, whether there are critical development stages for each concept, and effective teaching strategies and activities to build scientific knowledge. Researchers considered a range of data from neuroscience to classroom observation. Students were found to have rich implicit understandings of the natural world and sophisticated reasoning processes, and to engage most effectively in science learning through activities. Findings also show how science learning is largely shaped by organisation of student groups in the class, and by individual cultural, economic and linguistic backgrounds. The report recommends that education should build on implicit skills, providing the appropriate experiences necessary for students to master scientific concepts. The report calls for further research and the subsequent redesign of federal and state curriculums around key scientific concepts, which would be taught progressively over Grades K–8. The redesigned curriculums would outline which scientific models and processes students learn, in line with workplace practices. Researchers recommend professional development to build teachers’ subject knowledge, the setting of state-wide exemplar models for effective instruction, and resources for activities. (Adapted from executive summary.)

Key Learning Areas

Science

Subject Headings

Science teaching
Science literacy

A Teacher Librarian Advocate's Guide to Building Information Literate School Communities

Australian School Libraries Association 
ASLA,  2006

The guide outlines the role of libraries and librarians in developing critical information literacy skills for life and learning. It is designed to show teacher librarians and library advocates how they can demonstrate the value of information literacy skills and the role of school libraries and librarians, and create partnerships with government, education, business and other sectors. Ways to expand existing programs to incorporate information literacy skills across the curriculum are also outlined. In a section covering the communications plan, the guide outlines goals, key messages and how these are best conveyed to various target audiences across the community. Other sections outline key messages and talking points, explaining information literacy and making the case for the role of libraries and teacher librarians in today's society. Sample questions and answers on the issues are included along with a student learning matrix and listings of information literacy resources and organisations. Sample publicity materials include a news release, a public service announcement, a newspaper article and a speech. The Australian School Libraries Association (ASLA) has adapted an original Guide from the American Library Association (ALA). (Adapted from Introduction.)

KLA

Subject Headings

Teacher-Librarians
School libraries
Information services
Information literacy
Libraries