Teaching the gifted and talented student

Compiled by Di Alperstein and Jennie Marston. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia, 2013

“The readings have been selected to provide you with explicit educational skills to guide you in implementing challenging and differentiated programs for the many gifted special groups you will identify in the classroom. In a field as complex and challenging as this, it is not possible to cover everything. Instead, chapters from three texts have been chosen for their rich variety of ideas related to historical background, theoretical approaches, definitions, models, frameworks, strategies and philosophies which make up the field of gifted education” (Introduction).

Every teacher matters: inspiring well-being through mindfulness

By Kathryn Lovewell. St Albans, Herts: Ecademy Press, 2012

“A Mindful teacher is one who not only practises the art of Mindfulness for herself, but also threads Mindful Awareness Practices throughout her lesson. This will empower her not only to manage stress but also to enrich learning. This book offers an alternative to fear-based school discipline and promotes a peaceful approach to teaching-and-learning relationships. It is not a quick fix to the system of highly pressured, demanding, and relentless measurement of education. It is rather a springboard into a fresh approach that acknowledges and supports those at the forefront of cultivating minds” (Introduction, p. xix-xx).

Connecting with geography: strategies for an inquiry classroom

By Marianne Ward. Carlton South, Vic: Education Services Australia, 2014

“How do we teach geography in ways that are fresh, engaging and appropriate? What tools do we have at our disposal to enliven the geography classroom? How can we refine and develop students’ geographic skills, knowledge and understanding? Designed for primary teachers who are not geography specialists, Connecting with geography: strategies for an inquiry classroom provides practical, adaptable scaffolds to make geography inquiry stimulating and accessible” (back cover).

The experience of education: the impacts of high stakes testing on school students and their families: a qualitative study

By Johanna Wyn, Malcolm Turnbull and Lyndall Grimshaw. Rydalmere, NSW: The Whitlam Institute within the University of Western Sydney, 2014

This 35-page report finds: “NAPLAN is (a) not universally regarded by educators as a useful tool and (b) has identifiable negative implications for the quality of education that children and young people experience in Australian schools. This undermines its explicit purpose of improving the quality of Australian education.… While Australian educational policies and laws do not explicitly refer to the notion of acting ‘in the best interests of children and young people’, it would be expected that accountability reforms would address the best interests of children. We conclude that NAPLAN is not in the best interests of young Australians (page 6)”.

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