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

Motivation, Engagement and Educational Performance: International Perspectives on the Contexts for Learning

J G  Elliott, N R  Hufton, W  Willis, et al.
Palgrave, August 2005
Findings related to parental, teacher and student views of motivation and educational performance are presented in this report. Interviews and questionnaires were undertaken with students aged 9-10 and 14-15 in Russia, the USA and Britain. The book begins by providing an overview of motivation theories, covering intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, attribution theory, goal-orientation, self-worth, expectancy value and future time theories. Evidence is analysed in relation to the educational and cultural context of each country, and compared with results from other studies. A chapter on student perspectives finds that students in England and the US tend to overestimate their ability, perhaps because of 'overly positive' feedback from teachers and parents and the cultural emphasis placed on individual achievement. Parents hold similar views, with those in the US and England tending to have inflated evaluations of their child's performance and those in Russia more likely to report children were below average. Classroom behaviour and peer influence is explored, revealing that students in Sunderland and Kentucky didn't want peers to see them as a 'swot' while students in Russia respected 'clever' peers. Similarities and differences between teachers' perceptions are described, such as Russian teachers placing increased focus on homework. (Adapted from review by Chris Kyriacou in Evaluation and Research in Education, Vol 19 No 2 2006, p147-149. See also publisher's description)

Subject Headings

Great Britain
United States of America (USA)

Values Fiction: Books Sorted by Themes

Fran Knight

A selection of picture, middle primary and upper primary books are suggested for use in values education. The book aims to help teachers and school librarians plan lessons that address VELS, social skills and religious education outcomes. Suggested books are listed under alphabetically listed categories that complement traditional catalogue headings. Categories include ethics, freedom, kindness, trust, creativity and getting along. The publisher offers similar bibliographies on other themes, such as historical fiction, senior fiction and a weblinks homework helper for students. (Adapted from review by Anne Chowne in Synergy, Vol4 No1 2006. See also publisher's description.)


Subject Headings

Values education
Children's literature

Intergenerational Transmission of Disadvantage: Mobility or Immobility across Generations? A Review of the Evidence for OECD Countries

Anna Cristina d'Addio
OECD,  2007
This research report finds that intergenerational earnings mobility is higher in Nordic countries, Canada and Australia but lower in Italy, the USA and Britain. Education is found to be a major contributor to intergenerational income mobility. However, the report notes that educational differences tend to persist across generations, leading to patterns of continual disadvantage for some families in some countries. It explores the impact on intergenerational mobility of educational policies such as the streaming of students. Other factors found to influence intergenerational immobility include the influence of race/migrant status on occupation choice and wealth transfer within families. Recommendations to ‘break the cycle of intergenerational disadvantage’ include early and sustained investment in childhood education, and developing additional care and health resources. (Adapted from report.)

Subject Headings

Social welfare
Socially disadvantaged

Helping Teachers Develop

Sara Bubb
Paul Chapman,  2005
Written to help schools provide ongoing professional development for staff, this book explores research and recent examples from practice. The author suggests a cycle for continual professional development and discusses adult learning styles to show leaders and mentors how to assist teachers at different levels. Various professional development activities are suggested, along with advice on conducting classroom observations of teachers and giving oral and written feedback for different situations. The book aims to show mentors how to assist new teachers to adjust to planning demands. Proposed activities are included throughout, including a personality test which is designed to help staff identify personal motivations and aspirations. (Adapted from review by Neil Burton in School Leadership & Management, April 2006, 197-198 and publisher's description.)

Subject Headings

Teacher training
Professional development

Teaching and Evaluating Writing: Teaching and Evaluating Writing in the Age of Computers and High-Stakes Testing

Carl Whithaus
Routledge,  2005
Focusing on secondary schools in the USA, this book presents strategies to help teachers prepare students for academic, vocational and assessment-based writing contexts. It outlines a theoretical framework, case studies and practical methods for teaching and assessing writing using multimedia presentations, blogs and other ICT tools. The author specifies the specific composition skills required for each ICT tool covered. A range of assessment issues are covered, such as the development of electronic portfolios and the impact of standardised tests. The book describes four ‘authentic assessment’ techniques in use in US education: using descriptions of learning to highlight achievement; having students communicate across various environments; using diverse audiences and incorporating local variables. (Adapted from distributor's description.)

Key Learning Areas


Subject Headings

Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
English language teaching

Research on Performance Pay for Teachers

Lawrence C Ingvarson, Elizabeth Kleinhenz, Jenny Wilkinson

An overview of issues surrounding performance-based pay for teachers, the report includes a brief history of performance-based pay schemes, and a description of merit, knowledge and skills, and professional certification as foundations for this performance-based pay. The report also summarises current pay arrangements and collective enterprise bargaining agreements for teachers in Australian schools, with particular attention to performance-based pay schemes and to potential impediments to the introduction of these schemes for teachers. There is also an overview of recent Australian and international research on the attitudes of stakeholders to performance-based pay schemes for teachers and the impact of these schemes on teacher retention, teaching standards, student outcomes and recognition of accomplished teachers. An appendix covers six cases studies on the pay arrangements in independent schools. (Adapted from DEST abstract. See also ACER announcement.) 


Subject Headings

Teaching profession
Teacher evaluation