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

Reading First Impact Study Interim Report

Beth C.  Gamse, Howard S. Bloom, James J. Kemple
MDRC, May 2008

Reading First is a curricular and instructional cornerstone of The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. It builds directly on recommendations from the National Reading Panel’s (NRP’s) review of scientifically-based reading research. The NRP identified five areas of instructional practice that were found to be essential to teaching children to read: phonemic awareness (manipulation of individual speech sounds), phonics (mappings between sounds and print), fluency (improved speed and accuracy in oral reading), vocabulary, and text comprehension. The report found that, on average, Reading First did not improve students’ reading comprehension test scores. Across the 18 study sites and two years of data collection, 45 per cent of first-grade students in the Reading First schools scored at or above grade level on the SAT-10 reading comprehension test. This represents a three percentage-point increase (that is not statistically significant) over first-grade students in non-Reading First schools. Thirty-nine per cent of second-grade students in both Reading First and non-Reading First schools scored at or above grade level, indicating no difference between the two groups of schools. Thirty-eight per cent of third-grade students scored at or above grade level, reflecting a two percentage-point decrease (that is not statistically significant), compared to third-grade students in non-Reading First schools. (Adapted from Introduction.)

Key Learning Areas


Subject Headings

Educational evaluation
English language teaching
United States of America (USA)

Rethinking Our Classrooms: Teaching for Equity and Justice

Wayne Au, Bill Bigelow, Stan Karp
Rethinking Schools, February 2007

Since the first edition was published in 1994, Rethinking Our Classrooms has sold over 160,000 copies. This revised and expanded edition includes new essays on science and environmental education, immigration and language, military recruitment, teaching about the world through mathematics, and gay and lesbian issues. It includes classroom narratives, and hands-on examples of how teachers can promote the values of community, justice and equality while building academic skills. It is designed 'for new and veteran K–12 teachers, as well as teacher education and staff development programs'. Adapted from publisher's description, which includes links to the Preface, Introduction, and table of contents free online. See also support material in Volume 2 of Rethinking Our Classrooms.


Subject Headings

Teaching and learning
Social life and customs
Social justice
United States of America (USA)
Special education
School culture

Teaching Talent: The Best Teachers For Australia's Classrooms

Steve Dinham, Lawrence C Ingvarson, Elizabeth Kleinhenz

Prepared for the Business Council of Australia (BCA) by the Australian Council for Educational Research, the paper Teaching Talent focuses on what Australia needs to do to raise the quality of teaching in all schools for the benefit of every student. It recommends recruiting the most talented, capable and committed people into the teaching profession; introducing a new national certification system that recognises excellent teachers and provides the basis for a new career path for the profession; a new remuneration structure that rewards excellent teachers and demonstrates that, as a society, Australia values the teaching profession; a comprehensive strategy that supports teachers in continuing to learn and improve their teaching throughout their careers; and the introduction of a national assessment and accreditation system for teacher education courses. The publication comprises a paper prepared for the BCA by Professor Stephen Dinham, Dr Lawrence Ingvarson and Dr Elizabeth Kleinhenz, titled ‘Investing in Teacher Quality: Doing What Matters Most’, preceded by an introduction and recommendations authored by the BCA. (Adapted from front cover text and BCA media release, which includes a link to the full text of the paper.)


Subject Headings

Teaching profession
Teaching and learning
Teachers' employment
Teacher evaluation

Child, Family, School, Community: Socialization and Support

Roberta M. Berns
Wadsworth,  2006

The socialisation of children is discussed within the conceptual framework of Urie Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Model of Human Development. Berns examines the interactive effects of family, child care, school, peer groups, media, community and societal factors (including culture, political ideology, economics and technology) to demonstrate how aspects of a child's environment affect his or her development. Adapted from publisher's description: also available via DA Direct.


Subject Headings

Child development
School and community

Families, Schools and Communities: Building Partnerships for Educating Children

Chandler Barbour, Nita Barbour, Patricia Scully

This text is based on an ecological theory of child development. It is designed to provide information and strategies for pre-service teachers to develop vibrant partnerships between parents, community members and the school in the USA. The chapter 'Including Children with Disabilities' emphasises the impact of family, the school’s approach and community support for the development of children with special needs.  The book also covers vignettes from children’s experiences, and topics including bullying, childhood obesity, and diversity in communities and homes. Adapted from publisher's description.


Subject Headings

School and community

Leading Dynamic Schools: How to Create and Implement Ethical Policies

Sharon F. Rallis, Gretchen B. Rossman, Casey D. Cobb, Timothy G. Reagan, Aaron Kuntz

This companion book to Principals of Dynamic Schools and Dynamic Teachers describes the process of making and enacting educational policy and helps decision makers evaluate, interpret, and analyse the policies that govern their schools. Leading Dynamic Schools presents educational leaders with a conceptual framework for developing effective and ethical school policies. Organised by key topics such as English Language Learners, inclusion, and bullying, the text incorporates vignettes, research, and relevant theories. Adapted from publisher's description.


Subject Headings

School principals
School leadership