Exploring Young People's Views on Science Education
NFER, September 2011
Research commissioned by the Wellcome Trust aims to provide a deeper understanding of young people's attitudes to science education. The study had three main strands: a brief review of relevant British literature over the past ten years; case studies in 20 schools, involving interviews and focus groups with a total of 240 students, and consultation with 20 young people aged 16 and above who have left education. In addition, teachers from eight of the 20 case-study schools agreed to participate in short telephone discussions with research staff to reflect upon and comment on the findings from the research. Almost two-thirds of participants said that they find science lessons 'fairly' or 'very' interesting, and 90 per cent felt that compulsory teaching of science in school up to the age of 16 is important. Around 80 per cent felt that having a good understanding of science would improve their career prospects. However, a need for better careers guidance was identified to ensure that young people are equipped with all of the options available to them for a career in, or from, science. Almost 40 per cent had difficulties in making direct links between what they learn in the classroom and how they apply this to everyday situations. Many felt they were learning science solely to pass an exam, identifying this as a demotivating factor in engagement with the subject. Adapted from the report, which is available online.
Key Learning AreasScience
Global School Partnerships Programme: Impact Evaluation
NFER, 9 August 2011
The Global School Partnerships programme is funded by Britain's Department for International Development (DFID) with the aim of motivating young people's commitment to a fairer, more sustainable world. In September/October 2010 NFER conducted, for DFID, a 'snapshot' evaluation to assess the impact of the Global School Partnerships (GSP) programme on the learning and attitudes of pupils throughout Britain in relation to global issues. Involvement in the GSP programme was shown to have a significant positive effect on student awareness, attitudes and response at both primary and secondary school level. Most significant differences were observed in schools in the third grant year, where partnerships were well established and the principles and values promoted by the GSP programme had had time to become embedded in whole-school policy, but significant effects were also found in other grant years. Adapted from publisher's description. The full report is available online.
Subject HeadingsEducational evaluation
Discussion Paper Consultation on School Viability
Dept of Education Tasmania, September 2011
This paper outlines some of the key issues associated with continuing to deliver a high-quality education system in the context of a declining Tasmanian school-aged population, and the need to allocate educational resources effectively for all students. Literature searches at an international and national level demonstrate that there is no universally-agreed process or common approach to this issue. However, research into school viability in different jurisdictions across the world does suggest some common issues and considerations that can provide a useful way forward for any jurisdiction that is considering issues around school viability. Adapted from the paper, which is available online.
Teaching 2030: What We Must Do for Our Students and Our Public Schools – Now and in the Future
Teachers' College Press, January 2011
The 12 authors call on US policymakers, and the public, to work with teachers in creating a dynamic and flexible learning environment for students and teachers, and powerful new ways to define and measure school success; transforming public education through digital technologies while reinventing brick and mortar school buildings into 24/7 hubs of community support for students and families; re-imagining teaching as a well-compensated career with many pathways, assuring that every child has qualified and effective teachers and that teaching expertise is constantly spread, in and out of cyberspace; and establishing a new leadership force of 600,000 classroom experts, who continue to teach students regularly while also serving as teacher educators, policy researchers, community organisers, and trustees of their profession. Adapted from publisher's description.
Subject HeadingsEducational planning
United States of America (USA)
School Libraries: What's Now, What's Next, What's Yet to Come
Smashwords, October 2011
This free publication, available in pdf and e-book formats, is a crowdsourced collection of over 100 essays from around the world about trends in school libraries. It has been written by librarians, teachers, publishers and library vendors. Topics include reading, emerging and multiple literacies, electronic games, collection development, physical libraries, virtual libraries and professional learning. Foreword by R. David Lankes, Professor and Dean's Scholar for the New Librarianship, School of Information Studies Syracuse University.
Subject HeadingsSchool libraries
Enhancing the Retention of Young People to Year 12, Especially through Vocational Skills
ACE, June 2010
New national research has found that the way in which VET programs are designed, delivered and supported can improve the success rate of school and trade centres across Australia, and potentially keep students productively participating in school up to year 12. The research report, 'Enhancing the retention of young people to year 12, especially through vocational skills', profiles nine Trade and Vocational Colleges and examines why students, particularly those in vocational courses, fail to complete year 12. Adapted from publishers' description. The full report is available online.
Subject HeadingsEducational planning
Retention rates in schools
VET (Vocational Education and Training)