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Curriculum & Leadership Journal
An electronic journal for leaders in education
ISSN: 1448-0743
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Annual Report 2008–09, Department of Education and Training Queensland

DET Queensland, November 2009

The annual report of Queensland's Department of Education and Training details achievements, performance and financial position for the 2008–09 financial year. The report provides information on future direction, people management, community engagement practices and corporate governance processes. Sections of the report analyse the Department's performance against the 2008–09 indicators and measures; summarise the initiatives, activities and management practices that supported the Department's performance for the year; and outline future directions. The report is available online. See also article in The Courier Mail 18 November 2009.

KLA

Subject Headings

Queensland
Education policy
Educational planning
Educational evaluation

Arts and Cultural Education at School in Europe

This report examines the provision of arts and cultural education in the curriculums of 30 European countries. It includes short illustrative examples of approaches to curriculum organisation and content, student assessment and teacher education in the arts. The first chapter examines the aims and objectives of arts and cultural curriculums; the second focuses on the organisation of the arts curriculum in European countries. The third chapter describes the various initiatives and recommendations for the development of arts and cultural education in the European countries, while the fourth focuses on student assessment in arts subjects and monitoring of quality in teaching the arts. The fifth chapter considers the employment and training of arts teachers, including whether general or specialist teachers are employed at different levels and whether professional artists are involved in teaching. Key findings and conclusions are presented. An appendix summarises changes to the arts curriculum or cultural/creative education. Most countries had similar aims for arts education, usually to develop diversity and artistic ability, as well as cultural awareness. Initiatives are being developed to link students more closely with art and culture. The arts were often linked with other areas of the curriculum; in some curriculums it was studied as a separate subject, in others, it was integrated into other subjects, and assessment varied between schools and countries. Arts education is usually delivered by generalist teachers; professional artists could not teach without appropriate qualifications. Collaborative approaches between schools and policy-makers are needed to further promote arts education. The full report is available online.

Key Learning Areas

The Arts

Subject Headings

Educational evaluation
Europe
Education policy
Arts in education

Stars by Which to Navigate? Scanning National and International Standards in 2009

Sheila Byrd Carmichael, W. Stephen Wilson, Chester E. Finn, Jr., Amber M. Winkler, et al.
Fordham Institute, October 2009

The quality of standards frameworks used with TIMSS, PISA and the USA's new Common Core Standards are examined in this report. The different standards frameworks were reviewed by content experts in the relevant areas. The TIMSS mathematics standards were considered exemplary due to their organisation, content and clarity. Common Core Standards in both reading and writing were found to be generally of a high standard, although focused too heavily on the skills of reading and writing to the detriment of other areas such as imagination and appreciation of literature. The Common Core Standards in mathematics were also generally good, but failed to set priorities for standards, and were not explicit enough in addressing arithmetic. In contrast, NEAP standards, and the PISA mathematics and reading standards were found to be lacking in a number of areas, including content, focus and clarity. The full report is available online.

KLA

Subject Headings

Literacy
Mathematics
Assessment
Educational evaluation
Standards
United States of America (USA)

Steady as She Goes? Three Generations of Students through the Science and Engineering Pipeline

B. Lindsay Lowell, Harold Salzman, Hamutal Bernstein, Everett Henderson

This report examines the rates of retention of students studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects or courses across different education transition stages in the USA. Drawing on longitudinal trends, the authors contend that STEM retention levels have been high, and even increasing, from high school to university, university to first employment, and university to mid-career employment from the 1970s through to the late 1990s. However, while retention may be increasing overall, there has been a sharp drop-off in the highest performing students continuing to study STEM subjects. These students may be shifting to non-STEM careers and subjects not because they are unprepared for STEM careers, but instead due to reasons of competitive salaries, personal interest, career opportunities and less competition from developing countries. They may also be attracted to careers that are not technically characterised as 'STEM' jobs, but that require high levels of STEM, such as IT. The full report is available online.

KLA

Subject Headings

Secondary education
Technology
Science
Transitions in schooling
United States of America (USA)

Who Cares: Experiences of Young People Living with a Family Member who has an Alcohol or Other Drug Issue

Debbie Noble-Carr, Tim Moore, Morag McArthur

Drawing on a research project conducted in 2008, this report examines the specific needs and experiences of young people living in families affected by alcohol or drug use compared with other young people in carer roles. Young people lived in complex and often chaotic environments; their carer role was often only one of a number of factors that affected their health and wellbeing. Most young people did not identify with the term 'carer', but performed carer responsibilities, and usually on an ongoing, rather than episodic basis. They expressed concerns about their emotional wellbeing, their education, safety and future, and a desire for a supportive adult with whom they could talk. They experienced difficulties in accessing mainstream drug and alcohol help services. The full report is available online.

KLA

Subject Headings

Parent and child
Australia
Social welfare
Socially disadvantaged
Alcoholism

Boardroom to Classroom: The Role of the Corporate and Philanthropic Sectors in School Education

Rosalyn Black
DEECD, Victoria, May 2009

This report examines philanthropic and corporate involvement in school education in Victoria, and internationally, that is designed to improve student outcomes. The author argues that the involvement of these sectors offers significant benefits to school outcomes, particularly for lower achieving or disadvantaged schools. These included providing resources for improved equipment or learning spaces, funding for staff and for learning programs, and providing mentoring and skill development programs for teachers and leaders. The willingness and capacity of organisations in both sectors has increased due to the refinement of social responsibility practice, recognition of the importance of schools in meeting their future goals, and the involvement of a greater number of groups. However, concerns include sustainability and accountability, school and system changes, evaluation of programs, and the role of intermediaries. The full report is available online.

KLA

Subject Headings

Education research
School partnerships
Victoria
Education policy