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

Educators, Technology and 21st Century Skills: Dispelling Five Myths

Walden University, June 2010

A report drawn from a study of more than 1,000 educators has found that teachers play a vital role in guiding young people in developing the skills they will need in their adult lives. However, in order to ensure that students are able to develop these skills, five common myths relating to technology need to be examined and dispelled. These myths are: that younger teachers are more likely to use technology than more experienced teachers; that only high-achieving students will benefit from using technology; that teachers' use of technology is unimportant given the prevalence of technology in students' lives; that teachers and leaders often have shared understandings about the role and use of technology in the classroom; and finally that new teachers feel well prepared to integrate technology into the classroom. The findings suggest the need for training in ICT to focus on the incorporation of technology into the classroom rather than on how to use the technologies themselves. See media release, report summary or full report online.

KLA

Subject Headings

Professional development
Technological literacy
Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

Interventions Early in School as a Means to Improve Higher Education Outcomes for Disadvantaged (Particularly Low SES) Students

Trevor Gale, Sam Sellar, Stephen Parker, et al.
DEEWR,  2010

This document summarises a research paper of the same title, and reviews its major findings. The focus of the research was on university outreach programs targeted to students before Year 11, and designed to improve opportunities for tertiary participation by disadvantaged students. Effective programs identified in the research tended to be long term and to begin no later than the middle years: the upper end of primary school to the lower end of secondary school. The research was funded by DEEWR. It was undertaken from August 2008 to July 2009 by the Australian National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE). Adapted from the report's Executive Summary. The full document is available online.

KLA

Subject Headings

Education research
Australia
Transitions in schooling
Secondary education

Breaking the Cycle: An International Comparison of US Mathematics Teacher Preparation

Jacqueline Babcock, Philip Babcock, Jean Buhler, et al.

The Teacher Education and Development Study examined the classroom- and practicum-based preparation of pre-service mathematics teachers in 16 countries. The pedagogical content knowledge as well as the mathematical knowledge of these teachers were assessed. US mathematics teachers, and middle school teachers in particular, received mixed results. The results indicated that US mathematics teachers receive mathematics training that is weaker than that required for success in the classroom. This is supported by weak student performance at middle years level in international assessments such as TIMSS. Teacher preparation programs need to encourage rigorous mathematics training as well as pedagogical skill development. The full report is available online.

Key Learning Areas

Mathematics

Subject Headings

Educational studies
Mathematics teaching
Teacher training
United States of America (USA)

Bayer Facts of Science Education XIV: Female and Minority Chemists and Chemical Engineers Speak about Diversity and Underrepresentation in STEM

Bayer Corporation, March 2010

This report examines the underrepresentation of women and minority groups in STEM. Online and telephone polls with 1,226 women and those from minority group backgrounds working in the fields of chemistry and chemical engineering. Most respondents were concerned about the lack of diversity in their field, as well as the difficulty of entering particular STEM fields due to bias. Many felt that this underrepresentation was in part due to weak education provision in poorer areas, stereotypes, educational costs, and the lack of action from the STEM community to encourage these groups. School science classes were found to be the most commonly cited factor that had encouraged the respondents to move into a science career. However, the respondents felt that school science provision is currently weak. Adapted from the executive summary.

Key Learning Areas

Science

Subject Headings

Careers
Socially disadvantaged
Science
United States of America (USA)

The Lexicographer's Dilemma: The Evolution of English from Shakespeare to South Park

Jack Lynch
Walker Books, November 2009

This text provides a narrative history of how notions of standard English usage emerged from specific historical and social conditions over the course of centuries. It offers an overview of a range of grammatical 'rules' and their proponents, and examines the approaches of both the prescriptivists, those who prescribe 'correct' language use, and the descriptivists, those who examine actual rather than prescribed language usage. Adapted from the publisher's description.

Key Learning Areas

English

Subject Headings

Grammar
Language and languages
English language teaching

Youth-full Productions: Cultural Practices and Constructions of Content and Social Spaces

Nancy Ares

With the central premise that young people are active agents in creating cultural practices and social spaces, this book examines different communities' languages, communication and interaction patterns, and culturally derived practices, and how these are valuable resources that youth bring to a range of situations. Chapters include: Youth as Active Agents: Counter-narrating the Source of Reform; Producing Selves and Knowledges: Reflections on Participatory Youth Inquiry; and Youth Cultural Practices and Literacies: Rejecting Deficit Views of Students and Promoting Ideological Approaches to Literacies. Adapted from the publisher's description.

KLA

Subject Headings

Socially disadvantaged
Social life and customs
Young adults