BER Implementation Taskforce, July 2011
The Building the Education Revolution (BER) program has delivered economic stimulus and major new investment in school infrastructure across Australia. Over 23,670 construction projects have been delivered with 92% completed and 98% of funds committed. In the vast majority of cases the program was much appreciated by school principals and their communities. BER has, however, also been the subject of valid complaints from approximately 3% of school communities. The Taskforce has observed a number of issues related to the construction industry, including deficiencies in the quality of workmanship, project management, public works capacity and in the framework of private certification. The Taskforce has recommended that the Productivity Commission undertake a major review of the construction industry. The Taskforce is also disappointed with the low level of inclusion of environmentally sustainable design features in BER projects and has made two recommendations to improve these features in future programs, including developing a national mandatory policy on air conditioning and a national benchmark on predictive energy use and CO2 emissions. Adapted from BER media statement 8 July 2011. The full report is available online.
Subject HeadingsEducational evaluation
Based on the premise that children succeed when their social interactions are valued, this book supports learning strategies that use play-based exercises to encourage learning; recognise the power of maths, science, technology and computers in early learning; encourage hands-on experiences driven by the learner's own choice; respect children's unique home backgrounds and the important role of family; and accommodate the different ways that children develop and learn. This book aims to explain how to reconcile the early childhood knowledge that children bring to school with the needs of a more formal education experience. Adapted from distributor's description.
Transitions in schooling
Britain's All-Party Parliamentary Group for Education (APPG) reports on research into the barriers to literacy learning. Evidence was obtained from 584 teachers and from educational stakeholders including teachers' unions, literacy associations, publishers and outreach organisations. The report emphasises that literacy policy should focus on instilling a love of reading in order to increase children's motivation, wellbeing and attainment. The APPG also found that literacy policy should not be the responsibility of the Department for Education alone: social factors such as parental involvement and health issues such as eye care are significant contributors to children's reading success. The government's focus on systematic synthetic phonics was found to be at odds with the views of many within the education community, who believe that it risks making reading a dull exercise for English classes. The report identified that 'phonics' and 'reading' are being used interchangeably by policymakers, but reading isolated words is not reading for meaning. Many respondents also wanted to dispel the myth about how phonics is currently used. Most teachers already use phonics to teach reading, but they do so by blending phonics with other reading strategies. However, 'for cash-strapped schools the incentive to take advantage of the matched funding offered for phonics products and training will push them in the direction of synthetic phonics'. Adapted from publisher's description, which is linked to the full report available online.
English language teaching
University of North Texas, December 2008
This doctoral dissertation reports on a study of the relationship between Californian school library media programs and student achievement. The study used data from California criterion-referenced state-wide tests, publically available school and community demographic data, and a state survey of school library programs. Total library services were significantly related to student achievement at all levels when controlling for all school and community variables. Multiple regression analyses identified an increasing relationship between availability of library programs and student achievement by grade level, after controlling for all school and community variables. Statistically significant correlations were also found between certificated staffing levels and student achievement at each grade. Adapted from publisher's description.
Subject HeadingsEducational evaluation
United States of America (USA)
Corwin, February 2011
Published jointly with the Ontario Principals' Council, this volume aims to help principals navigate high-stakes interactions with staff, parents, students, and system leaders. Case studies examine risk areas and suggest steps by which to master techniques for active listening, assertive communication, providing effective feedback staying calm, problem solving and mediation. Also included are scripts, sample dialogues, style inventories, checklists, and resources for practicing skills learned from the case studies. Adapted from publisher's description.
Subject HeadingsSchool principals
Charles Sturt University, June 2011
A research project based in regional and urban NSW has investigated how to help families with complex needs to help their children's transition to school. The project was a collaboration involving academics from CSU, the University of Western Sydney, Community Services in the NSW Department of Human Services, and Mission Australia. It was funded by the Australian Government. Practices that supported this transition included providing families with information about school, recognising challenges in the neighbourhood or community, professionals acting as mediators for families in interactions with schools and other services, and transition to school programs. Processes that supported the transition emphasised continuity of support across the transition to school, alignment of funded programs across the transition, cross-sector collaboration, support that changes as family needs change, service flexibility and responsiveness to each family’s changing situations, adaptation of services and support to local contexts, and professional development opportunities for staff. Adapted from CSU media release and the full report, which is available online.
Subject HeadingsParent and child
Transitions in schooling