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Curriculum & Leadership Journal
An electronic journal for leaders in education
ISSN: 1448-0743
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National Safe Schools Week 2007

Hosted by DEST, the National Safe Schools Week will run from 25 May - 1 June 2007. Highlights include the 2007 National Safe Schools Week Teacher Education Event on Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 May 2007 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Gold Coast. The event will bring together selected staff from schools involved in National Safe Schools Framework projects funded under the Australian Government Quality Teacher Programme (AGQTP). Staff will have an opportunity to share learnings from their projects, display and discuss the resources developed, enjoy presentations from experts in the field of teacher education and safe schools, and workshop new ideas and concepts.

New ACSSO report calls for more support to public schools

The Australian Council of State School Organisations has released a new report, titled Blueprint for Tomorrow's Schools. It covers the issues of professional development for teachers and parent representatives, family school partnerships, curriculum and teaching methods, ICT learning at home and in the community, school design, practising and learning values at school and at home, and school governance. See report in The Australian, 1 May 2007 and background information on the ACSSO website.

Language teaching 'neglected in Australian schools'

A draft report from the Australian Council of State School Organisations (ACSSO) claims that language teaching has suffered 'systematic neglect' in Australian schools, partly due to a shortfall of qualified language teachers. The report criticises the National Plan for Languages Education in Australian Schools 2005–08, suggesting that it has 'no priorities and no funding commitments'. The full report is expected to be available online in late May. See 'ALP accent on foreign language skills', Australian Financial Review, 17 April 2007.

Victorian primary class sizes 'lowest on record'

Class sizes in Victorian Government primary schools across all year levels are the lowest on record, with an average of 22.3 students per class, Education Minister John Lenders has announced. The latest primary class size data also shows that Prep-to-Year-2 class sizes have continued to decrease, reversing an upward trend during most of the 1990s. See Ministerial media release, 30 April 2007.

Faster Internet for SA schools

South Australian students will soon have faster, more reliable Internet access as part of the State Government's $16m e-Education program. See Ministerial media release, 26 April 2007.

Calls to re-install Geography in US schools

A bill before the US Congress proposes the introduction of US Department of Education grants for the K-12 Geography curriculum, improvements to the K-12 Geography curriculum and additional teacher training and instructional materials. The move reflects increasing concern over a lack of Geography teaching in the USA. See article from the Columbia News Service in the Orlando Sentinel, 26 April 2007.

New mental health service for school students

The Reach Out! mental health website for young people has now launched the Reach Out! Teachers’ Network, a service designed to support teachers working with the growing number of Australian students dealing with mental health issues.

Conditions more important than pay for US teachers: report

A report from the California State University Centre for Teacher Quality suggests that more time for lesson planning, reductions in paperwork and reduced 'restrictions on teaching itself' would increase teacher retention. Researchers also suggest that state and federal accountability systems are demotivating and causing teachers to leave the profession. See article in KPBS, 27 April 2007.

Education for sustainable development conference

The Education for Sustainable Development: Local and Global Issues and Action conference for teachers will be held on 5 June 2007. The conference has been organised by the Education Faculty at Deakin University, Warrnambool campus. Schools will be invited to showcase work in undertaking sustainable development. See announcement from Deakin University, 23 April 2007.

Study to explore young women's participation in sport

Victoria University has been granted $60,000 by the State government for a new research project entitled: Young Women's Participation in Physical Activity at Transitional Life Stages. The study will follow two cohorts of young women at school and monitor their involvement in physical activity from Year 7 to Year 9 and from Year 11 to one year after completing school. See media release from Victoria University.

Online portal for teachers launched in USA

A new website for K–12 teachers in the USA has been developed by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). The site provides access to PBS resources and services, including free lesson plans, videos, blogs and advice on integrating media and technology into learning. See article in eSchool News, 1 April 2007.

Benefits of educational software in doubt in the USA

A recent study by the Department of Education in the USA shows that educational software has no significant impact on student results. Fifteen reading and maths programs were tested with a sample of 9,000 students, and results between those who used the software and those who did not were compared. Some believe the results are due to poor training and implementation of software in classrooms. See article in The Washington Post, 5 April 2007.