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

The Arts and Australian Education: Realising Potential

Robyn Ewing
ACER Press, January 2011

This review considers international and Australian research on the impact of the Arts on learning, and considers the meaning of quality in Arts education. It examines, through several current case studies, how education through the Arts can be a catalyst for social transformation and inclusivity, building social capital and providing both a trigger and a channel for social reform. Building on an earlier Australian Education Review, which called for new approaches to allow students to learn the flexibility and creativity they need in the 21st century, it argues that the Arts can be seen as critical, quality pedagogy. The use of such insights in schools, however, is hindered by the current fragmentation of the syllabus and the increasing focus on high-stakes testing as a measure of educational success. Adapted from the report which is available online. See also publisher’s media release.

Key Learning Areas

The Arts

Subject Headings

Arts in education
Curriculum planning

Classroom Uses of Social Network Sites: Traditional Practices or New Literacies?

Maryam Moayeri

A case study of two Year 10 English classes is described in this report. The study explored the use of the social network site (SNS) Ning on which the teachers created online classroom communities as supplements to their physical classrooms to bridge the self- and school-selected literacies of adolescents. The study revisits the notion of what constitutes literacy, and identifies the attributes of new literacies. It argues that new technologies do not automatically generate new literacies, and suggests that new technologies may even devalue other modes of learning. Adapted from the report which is available online.

KLA

Subject Headings

Literacy

Crisis in the Kindergarten: Why Children Need to Play at School

Teachers in kindergartens in the USA now usually spend two to three hours per day instructing and testing children in literacy and math, with only 30 minutes per day or less for play. In some kindergartens there is no playtime at all. The same didactic, test-driven approach is entering preschools. These methods, which are not well grounded in research, are not yielding long-term gains. Meanwhile, behavioural problems and preschool expulsion, especially for boys, are soaring. Adapted from the report which is available online.

KLA

Subject Headings

Play
Kindergartens
United States of America (USA)

Making the Links between Teachers' Professional Standards, Induction, Performance Management and Continuing Professional Development

Ruth Hart, Jennifer Jeffes, Matthew Walker

This report sets out the findings from a study in England evaluating the extent to which ‘new professionalism’ has been introduced in schools, and its impact on teaching and learning. For the purposes of the research ‘new professionalism’ is taken to include professional standards, performance management, ongoing continuing professional development and newly qualified teacher induction. Adapted from the report which is available online.

KLA

Subject Headings

Standards
Teacher evaluation
Professional development
Great Britain

Removing Barriers to Literacy

A survey in England has been conducted to identify effective approaches that might help others to improve their practice in literacy. Inspectors visited providers of child care, education and post-16 learning. The providers were selected because previous inspection evidence and data on achievement and attainment showed that they were particularly successful in enabling children and learners from disadvantaged backgrounds to make better than average progress and to achieve good standards of literacy. Adapted from the report which is available online.

Key Learning Areas

English

Subject Headings

Pedagogy
Literacy

Modern Languages: Achievement and Challenge 2007–2010

In 2008 Ofsted published The Changing Landscape of Languages: An Evaluation Of Language Learning. This report follows up achievements since then and examines the current challenges facing language education in England. Some aspects of language provision seen during this survey were better than in the schools visited during the previous survey. The primary schools in this survey were making good progress overall in introducing languages for their pupils. However, the report also highlights important weaknesses and the barriers preventing good language learning, including insufficient use of the target language in secondary schools. Adapted from the report which is available online.

Key Learning Areas

Languages

Subject Headings

Secondary education
Primary education
Languages other than English (LOTE)
Language and languages