Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan 2010–2014
MCEEDYA, June 2011
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Education Action Plan 2010-2014 was developed by the Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEECDYA) as part of the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG’s) reform agenda to improve life outcomes for indigenous Australians. The plan identifies national, systemic and local level action in six priority domains that evidence shows will contribute to improved outcomes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education. A number of the actions under the action plan will be undertaken by a key group of schools called focus schools. These are schools with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary school students with the greatest need and where efforts should be focused to make the greatest difference. Federal, state and territory governments have all committed to the 55 actions proposed in the Plan, which aim to accelerate improvements in the outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people right around the country, from those in the most remote areas, to large urban schools. The actions signed off on by all governments are linked to the following six priority domains: readiness for school, engagement and connections, attendance, literacy and numeracy, leadership, quality teaching and workforce development and pathways to real post-school options. The Plan was developed with the support of stakeholders via a wide ranging consultation process which received over 100 submissions.
Subject HeadingsEducational planning
Torres Strait Islanders
Creating Strategic Readers (2nd Ed)
The second edition describes a comprehensive literacy classroom, detailing appropriate curriculum, assessment and instruction. The author then focuses on the five essential reading components: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. The book includes numerous exciting and engaging techniques geared to students' reading levels and incorporating students' multiple intelligences. This updated, revised and expanded second edition features over 140 classroom-tested techniques, 35 new techniques, an expanded focus on educating the whole child and a motivation/engagement section for many techniques. This edition also features an accompanying CD with a wide assortment of reproducibles and assessment forms. Adapted from distributor's description. Available from Curriculum Press.
Key Learning AreasEnglish
The rise of K–12 blended learning: Profiles of emerging models
Innosight Institute, May 2011
Blended-learning environments combine online learning at a distance with participation in an adult-supervised school environment. A small but growing number of schools in the USA are starting to introduce blended learning into their core programming for mainstream students. This paper profiles 40 organisations that are blending online learning with brick-and-mortar classrooms. These represent a range of operators, including state virtual schools, charter management organisations, individual charter schools, independent schools, districts, and private entities. In all of these cases, the students experienced online delivery with some control over the time, place, path and/or pace. The paper discusses emerging models for blended learning, technological trends, and suggests steps for success. Adapted from publisher's description, which links to the full report (7MB) online.
Teaching and learning
United States of America (USA)
Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: An American Agenda for Education Reform
The report contrasts the strategies that appear to be driving the policy agendas of the most successful countries with the strategies that appear to be driving the current agenda for education reform in the USA. It concludes that the strategies driving the best performing systems are rarely found in the USA, and, conversely, that the education strategies now most popular in the USA 'are conspicuous by their absence in the countries with the most successful education systems'. It argues that nations with, or aspiring to, very high wage economies need to foster high skills and creative capacities throughout their working populations, rather than just among elites. This cannot be achieved using the traditional model, ie by sorting students, by giving only some students intellectually demanding curricula, 'by recruiting only a few teachers who are themselves educated to high levels, and by directing funding toward the easiest to educate and denying it to those hardest to educate'. It also means recruiting most of its teachers from the group of young people who are now typically going into the non-feminised professions. Recruiting from that pool requires a nation not just to offer competitive compensation but also to offer the same status in the society that the non-feminised occupations offer, the same quality of professional training and the same conditions of work. These reforms in turn require revisions to many other factors, including the standards for entering teacher education courses, the institutions conducting the training, the type of candidates recruited, the training courses themselves, the structure and the amount of teacher pay, the authority of teachers, and the way they teach. Adapted from paper. The full paper is available online. See also article in Education Week 27 May 2011.
Subject HeadingsEducation philosophy
United States of America (USA)
Middle School Mathematics Professional Development Impact Study: Findings After the Second Year of Implementation
IES, May 2011
This study examines the impact of intensive mathematics professional development (PD) for year 7 teachers in 12 educational districts within the USA. The PD, covering knowledge and teaching skills, covered topics including fractions, decimals, per cent, ratio, and proportion. It included over 100 hours of support in the form of summer institutes, seminars, and in-school coaching. The PD was evaluated after two years of implementation. The evaluation found no evidence that the intensive PD resulted in improved teacher knowledge. There were no significant impacts on teachers' scores on a specially constructed teacher knowledge test or on either of the subscores. There was no evidence that the intensive PD had led to improvements in student achievement in rational numbers knowledge. Students taught by teachers in the intensive PD group and students taught by teachers in the control group performed similarly on a rational numbers test. The intensive PD was implemented as intended. One of the factors limiting its value was teacher turnover. Adapted from publisher's description, linked to the full report and executive summary online.
Key Learning AreasMathematics
Subject HeadingsProfessional development
United States of America (USA)
Sexuality Education in Australian Secondary Schools 2010: Results of the 1st National Survey of Australian Secondary Teachers of Sexuality Education
The 1st National Survey of Secondary Teachers of Sexuality Education involved nearly 300 secondary school teachers from every jurisdiction in Australia including government, Catholic and independent schools. The resulting report describes the content of sexuality education, perceived barriers and challenges, school policy requirements, and teachers' views on sexuality education and how it could be improved. According to this sample the vast majority of sexual health teachers in Australia are female Health and PE teachers aged 20 to 39. Most deliver sexuality education without external support. Survey respondents identified a great variation in teachers' knowledge about what and how to teach sexuality education. They felt that teachers and students would benefit from the provision of consistent pre-service training in basic and effective teaching approaches in sexuality education ensuring that students receive reliable and consistent messages. The full report is available online (1.5MB pdf). See also undated statement from La Trobe University and ABC's PM program 27 May 2011.
Subject HeadingsSex education
Indigenous Education Strategies for Government Schools
The Victorian Auditor-General's Office, June 2011
The Wannik strategy was launched in February 2008 by Victoria's Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD), as a means to overcome poor educational outcomes for Koorie (Aboriginal) students. The aim of the strategy is to improve education outcomes for Koorie students by changing the culture and mindset of the government school system, by implementing structural reforms, and by making better use of mainstream efforts and programs. The objective of the audit was to determine the effectiveness of DEECD's implementation of the Wannik strategy and to establish whether it is achieving its aim. The audit concluded that at the beginning of the fourth year DEECD cannot demonstrate whether the Wannik strategy is on track to improve education outcomes for Koorie students. Adapted from the publisher's description. The full text and summary are availalable online. See also article in The Age 2 June 2011.
Subject HeadingsEducational evaluation