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March 31, 2009

New Study: Health Risks Quadruple for Native Babies

The infant mortality rate for native babies in Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand is up to four times that of non-native newborns, a groundbreaking study says.

New comparisons released yesterday also show elevated rates of sudden infant death, injury, suicide and accidental death among aboriginal children in all four countries.

Dr. Janet Smylie, a researcher who works through St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto, says the international replication of startling native health gaps among such diverse populations suggests social deprivation - not genetics - is to blame.

"Approximately one-third of aboriginal children come from low-income households" where nutritious food is often in short supply, she said. "Poor water quality and substandard, overcrowded housing also contribute to health problems."

Continue reading the rest of this article from globeandmail.com

March 30, 2009

Book Launch Today: Seda's Story

Students, faculty and staff are invited to the book launch today (March 30) of Seda's Story, A Memoir, edited by classical studies associate professor Bonnie MacLachlan.

The event will be held in the Community Room of the Faculty of Education from 4:00 pm to 6:00 p.m.

This information is from the Western News story:

Seda's Story is a collection of writings by a young Persian Canadian woman who was sexually and physically abused by a family member from childhood through her teen years. MacLachlan met 'Seda,' who has been renamed to protect her identity, when she was a student at The University of Western Ontario. She collaborated with Seda's family to have her writing published posthumously, together with contextual accounts and a select bibliography of material that addresses the effects of abuse, self-abusive behaviour and experiences of psychotherapy.

March 27, 2009

New Book: School-Based Research: A Guide for Education Students

This book, authored by Elaine Wilson, will help new teachers beginning to use research literature to ask questions about published work, by considering the standpoint from which questions are asked, what sorts of answers are deemed researchable, and the audience to whom results are to be addressed.

It also contextualizes methodological issues alongside key ideas which teachers are likely to be concerned with, such as ability grouping, pupil voice, pupil behavior, teaching approaches, and pupil motivation.

Focused clearly on the needs of the new classroom researcher, this book is a thorough and thoughtful guide to the research process.

School Leadership: Recent Books

The Education Library has added the following books to our research collection located on the lower (stacks) level:

Essentials of School Leadership (Second Edition)

Fundamental Concepts of Educational Leadership and Management

Leading A Digital School: Principles and Practice

Learning for Leadership: Building a School of Professional Practice

Stories of Mentoring: Theory and Praxis

Teacher Education and Teacher Educators: Recent Books

The Education Library has added the following books to our research collection located on the lower (stacks) level:

Current Issues in Teacher Education: History, Perspectives, and Implications

Visions for Teacher Educators: Perspectives on the Association of Teacher Educators' Standards

Special Education: Recent Books

The Education Library has added the following books to our research collection located on the lower (stacks) level:

What Mothers Say about Special Education: From the 1960s to the Present

What Really Works in Special and Inclusive Education: Using Evidence-Based Teaching Strategies

Adolescents: Recent Books

The Education Library has added the following books to our research collection located on the lower (stacks) level:

An International Look at Educating Young Adolescents

Schooled Bodies?: Negotiating Adolescent Validation Through Press, Peers and Parents

African-American Women and Girls: Recent Books

The Education Library has added the following books to our research collection located on the lower (stacks) level:

Sisters of Hope, Looking Back, Stepping Forward: The Educational Experiences of African-American Women

Swimming Against the Tide: African American Girls and Science Education

Children's Literature: Recent Books

The Education Library has added the following books to our research collection located on the lower (stacks) level:

Critical Approaches to Food in Children's Literature

Relentless Progress: The Reconfiguration of Children's Literature, Fairy Tales and Storytelling

Art and Arts Education: Recent Books

The Education Library has added the following books to our research collection located on the lower (stacks) level:

Arts Education for Gifted Learners

Real-World Readings in Art Education: Things Your Professors Never Told You

Why Our Schools Need the Arts

March 25, 2009

People We Know: Wayne Martino

Faculty of Education Professor Wayne Martino has been recognized as one of Western's Faculty Scholars. The award was established "to honour and celebrate outstanding scholarly achievements at a critical point in the career of a faculty member at Western." Criteria for the award include: excellence in research, teaching and service.

Professor Martino
has achieved international prominence in the area of boys' schooling, gender and sexuality. His latest book, Boys' and Schooling: Beyond Structural Reform has had international impact in the field of gender equity and social justice. Click here for a list of other books by Professor Martino.

700 and counting....

This is the 700th post to this blog.

New Book: Contemporary Theories of Learning: Learning Theorists ... In Their Own Words

In this definitive collection of today's most influential learning theorists, sixteen world-renowned experts present their understanding of what learning is and how human learning takes place.

Professor Knud Illeris has collected chapters that explain both the complex frameworks in which learning takes place and the specific facets of learning, such as the acquisition of learning content, personal development, and the cultural and social nature of learning processes. Each international expert provides either a seminal text or an entirely new précis of the conceptual framework they have developed over a lifetime of study.

Elucidating the key concepts of learning, Contemporary Theories of Learning provides both the perfect desk reference and an ideal introduction for students. It will prove an authoritative guide for researchers and academics involved in the study of learning, and an invaluable resource for all those dealing with learning in daily life and work. It provides a detailed synthesis of current learning theories... all in the words of the theorists themselves.

The theories of:

Knud Illeris

Peter Jarvis

Robert Kegan

Yrjö Engeström

Bente Elkjaer

Jack Mezirow

Howard Gardner

Peter Alheit

John Heron

Mark Tennant

Jerome Bruner

Robin Usher

Thomas Ziehe

Jean Lave

Etienne Wenger

Danny Wildemeersch & Veerle Stroobants

New Book: Framing Research on Technology and Student Learing in the Content Areas: Implications for Educators

Framing Research
(edited by Lynn Bell, Lynne Schrun, and Anne D. Thompson) is targeted at individuals or small teams of educational researchers who are interested in conducting high quality research addressing the effects of technology-enhanced instruction on student learning.

The book summarizes and unpacks the methodologies of a variety of research studies, each situated in the context of school subject areas, such as science, mathematics, social studies, and English/language arts, as well as in the contexts of reading education, special education, and early childhood learning.

Taken together, the analyses provide guidance on the design of future technology research grounded in student learning of K-12 curriculum. The conclusions also serve as a tool for teacher educators seeking to prepare teachers to integrate technology effectively in their instruction and to motivate reluctant teachers to overcome perceived inconveniences connected with technology use.

People We Know: Ron Hansen

Ron Hansen has published an article, "The Roots of Technical Learning and Thinking: Situating TLT in Schools" in the Journal of Technology Education (Volume 20, Issue Number 1, Fall 2008).

The article begins:

Technical thinking is defined as an aptitude, ingenuity, and affliction for
solving practical problems through experience (Autio, Hansen, 2002). From the
beginning of civilization such thinking has been a significant part of human
existence (Burke & Ornstein, 1995; White, 1962). Learning associated with it is a
natural instinct for most people, young and old, who work in a technical field,
pursue a practical hobby, or teach practical subjects. Historically the learning
process, when formalized, involves apprenticing with a master who passes along
the knowledge and competence by showing, doing, and discussing. Today such
formal apprenticing is considered by many to be misplaced and inefficient.Why
can't the knowledge and competencies associated with technical thinking be
taught using computers and books?

New Book: A Teacher's Guide to Classroom Research (Fourth Edition)

The fourth edition of this bestselling book by David Hopkins is a practical guide for teachers who wish to conduct research in their classrooms and for schools that wish to improve their practice. Classroom research, as described in this book, will enable teachers to enhance their own or their colleagues' teaching, to test the assumptions of educational theory in practice and to implement and evaluate whole school developments. Click here to find other books by the same author.

New Book: Methods of Educational and Social Science Research: The Logic of Methods (Third Edition)

As the new subtitle indicates, the book emphasizes the logic of methods to provide the student a solid basis for future methodology changes, enhancing the integrated approach of the previous edition.

Among the author's (David R. Krathwohl) many goals are for users to: understand research's contribution to knowledge building as a social process through which findings become accepted as knowledge; acquire the background to read, analyze, and understand research using a variety of approaches as well as the hallmarks necessary to evaluate each method; and realize that the responsibility for ethical research is fundamentally theirs and that value choices are involved, beginning with the choice of research problem.

Updates to the new edition include an extensive example of the use of the computer in the literature search and a new chapter on the reflective researcher.

The expanded treatment of qualitative research includes the pros and cons of using software in qualitative analysis.

Conceptual analysis, an important concept missing from the second edition, has returned by request because of its widely employed logic in both qualitative and quantitative methods.

The author has acknowledged the troublesome nature of the concepts internal validity and external validity and has more clearly defined these important foundational concepts as Internal Integrity and External Generality.

Useful tools to facilitate learning include additional reading lists, important terms and concepts, tips on effective research methods and hallmarks of methods, application problems and exercises, a glossary, and an appendix on writing a research proposal.

A web site is available with auxiliary learning enhancements and updates.

New Book: Test Success in the Brain-Compatible Classroom (Second Edition)

This research-based resource by Carolyn Chapman and Rita King is packed with practical tips and tools needed to change attitudes about testing and improve test readiness and performance. Educators will find a wealth of useful ideas and suggestions for preparing students for tests, creating positive test environments, and helping students deal with test anxiety.Put these easy-to-implement techniques to work in your classroom throughout the year and transform each test experience of achievement and learning!

Click here to find out what other books by Carolyn Chapman are available in the Education Library.

New Book: Teaching With The Brain In Mind (Second Edition)

Since Teaching with the Brain in Mind was first published in 1998, it has inspired thousands of educators to apply brain research in their classroom teaching.

Now, author Eric Jensen is back with a revised and updated (2005) edition of his classic work, featuring new research and practical strategies to enhance student comprehension and improve student achievement.

Eric Jensen is a trainer and workshop presenter as well as the author of numerous books. Find out the titles of his newest books by clicking here.

People We Know: Boba M. Samuels

Boba M. Samuels has published an article in Mind, Brain and Education.

Boba'a article is titled "Can the Differences Between Education and Neuroscience be Overcome by Mind, Brain, and Education? (Volume 3 Issue 1 March 2009 p 45-55)

Abstract - This article describes the efforts of a small group of educators and neuroscience researchers to build a model for making connections across mind, brain, and education. In working towards a common goal of sharing, strengthening, and building useable knowledge about learning and development, more attention needs to be directed to questions of mutual interest to educators and neuroscientists. Efforts to understand historic differences between education and neuroscience, philosophical differences underpinning these fields, and differences in perspectives on knowledge also need to be considered. Other steps to creating a transdisciplinary field, such as collaborative conference presentations and the inclusion of various other disciplinary experts can improve the context for educator and researcher interactions as well as outreach to local communities. These activities represent concrete mechanisms by which links might be forged between educators and researchers within the context of the new field of Mind, Brain, and Education.

March 20, 2009

New Book: A Buddhist in the Classroom

In this book the author brings a Buddhist perspective into the classroom to explore the ethical quandaries, lived experiences, and intimacy of teaching.

Addressing such topics as attention, community, rage, wonder, consumerism, and simple kindness, Brown demonstrates how this centuries-old tradition can inform and enrich classroom life.

Readers do not have to be Buddhists to appreciate the gifts of this tradition and Brown's fresh perspective on education. Stories from Buddhist texts offer illustrative teaching moments, and an archive of practical tools and suggestions make this book a valuable reference.

New Book: Getting to the Heart of Leadership: Emotion and Educational Leadership

Understanding the close relationship between leadership and emotion is essential for school leaders. This book discusses why emotion is such a powerful component of leadership, and how better knowledge of emotion and leadership can sustain leaders.

The author examines the part school leaders play in creating, modifying, and sustaining the emotional coherence of the whole school. Containing real-life narratives of how leaders experience emotion and meaning in their daily interactions, the reader is invited to engage with how school climate depends on the personal emotional quality of the leader and their knowledge of other social relationships in the school.

The book introduces such issues as the role of life history, memory, shame and loss, as well as the role of emotion in dealing with difficult people and situations. Through case studies primary and secondary leaders' reflect on the influence of their lives on leadership and emotion, and vise versa.

New Book: Leadership and Intercultural Dynamics

This work will explore issues related to educational leadership in various settings in the twenty-first century. It argues that the context for leadership within many nation states and international scenarios involves interaction between multiple and diverse social cultures.

A further proposition is that the dominant leadership theory and discourse in the past reflects forms of western hegemony and mono-cultural assumptions drawn largely from the Anglo-American worldview.

It argues that such frameworks have limited validity in multicultural societies such as Australia, Britain, Canada, Europe and the United States and with indigenous communities within such nations. These societies contain significant populations which do not share the core values which inform established leadership practice and institutional paradigms in such nations.

The consequence can often be insensitivity towards non-mainstream cultures, inappropriate structures, failed interventions and alienation of individuals from major institutions and traditions

New Book: War or Common Cause? A Critical Ethnography of Lanaguage Education Policy, Race, and Cultural Citizenship

This book on bilingual education policy represents a multidimensional and longitudinal study of "policy processes" as they play out on the ground (a single school in Los Angeles), and over time (both within the same school, and also within the state of Georgia).

In order to reconstruct this complex policy process Kimberly S. Anderson impressively marshals a great variety of forms of "discourse." Most of this discourse, of course, comes from overheard discussions and spontaneous interviews conducted at a particular school - the voices of teachers and administrators.

Such discourse forms the heart of her ethnographic findings. Yet Anderson also brings an ethnographer's eye to national and regional debates as they are conducted and represented in different forms of media, especially newspapers and magazines.

She then uses the key theoretical concept of "articulation" to conceptually link these media representations with local school discourse. The result is an illuminating account of how everyday debates at a particular school and media debates occurring more broadly mutually inform one another.

New Book: Mathematics Teachers at Work: Connecting Curriculum Materials and Classroom Instruction

This book compiles and synthesizes existing research on teachers' use of mathematics curriculum materials and the impact of curriculum materials on teaching.

In response to this rapidly growing field of research, the book places a particular emphasis on - but not restricted to - those materials developed in response to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Principles and Standards for School Mathematics.

March 18, 2009

New Book: The Principal as Mathematics Leader

Mathematics teaching and learning have changed so significantly over the past two decades that school leaders may find it difficult to keep up.

Part of the Leading Student Achievement series, this book provides solid support for leading mathematics instruction school-wide.

Appropriate for school leaders who would like a stronger foundation in mathematics education as well as for experienced mathematics coaches and leaders, this guide outlines research related to mathematics education and offers:

Strategies for observing and evaluating mathematics instruction in classrooms

Suggestions for supporting teacher growth and development, including co-teaching, lesson study, and job-embedded professional learning

Tools and templates to use in working with faculty

The Principal as Mathematics Leader
is an essential resource for all who are committed to achieving results through stronger mathematics programs.

New Book: Innovations in Transformative Learning: Space, Culture and the Arts

This book addresses the disparity between transformative learning theory as espoused and practiced in the classrooms of the academy, and its application beyond.

This book articulates new models of transformative education that integrate transformative learning theory with other models of change and development. The three editors and eleven contributors draw on both theory and practice to illustrate how transformative learning has been introduced to a variety of settings and cultures, and synergistically integrated with theories of communication, participatory action research, and communities of inquiry and practice.

Organized around the themes of creating space for learning; looking though the lenses of culture, diversity, and difference; and animating awareness through the expressive and performative arts, this collection will broaden awareness and aid scholars, students, and practitioners in using transformative learning as an approach to adult learning and social and organizational change in a range of settings.

People We Know: John Snake

John Snake dreamed about completing graduate studies in a First Nations community, but he never thought it would happen in his lifetime. A member of Delaware Nation, the 60-year-old is now living his dream. He is a University of Western Ontario student in the M.Ed. program focusing on leadership for First Nation schools, taught at Walpole Island.

The program was launched in 2007 and has 15 students, mostly teachers or administrators in or around First Nations communities. The students study part-time at Walpole Island and online, as well as complete a research project.

The program was designed to help prepare students for leadership roles within their schools and communities, and examine policy and practice in First Nations' education.

Read the entire Western News article about Mr. John Snake here and for more information about Western's Faculty of Education's M.Ed. program, click here.

New Book: Handbook of Research in School Consultation

The field of school consultation, which is centered principally in school psychology and cuts across related disciplines such as special education and school counseling, has never had a comprehensive volume that examines its research perspectives and methodologies, its models of practice, and its future research directions.

This book is intended for researchers, graduate students, and practitioners in school psychology and related human service disciplines, including special education, counselor education, counseling psychology, and school social work.

People We Know: Donna Kotsopoulos and Duane Heide

Donna Kotsopoulos and Duane Heide are co-authors of an article in the journal "Teaching Children Mathematics" (Volume 15, Issue Numbers 7, March 2009). Their article is titled "You Had To Be There!". Engaging in dialogue about the implications of mathematics demonstration classrooms becomes a form of professional development for teachers in communities of practice.

Donna Kotsopoulos completed her MEd and her PhD at Western's Faculty of Education.

New Book: Returning to Study for a Research Degree

Are you thinking about returning to university to do a research degree?
Do you have concerns about balancing your career with your studies?
How can you maximise your learning, and ultimately your career prospects, through the choices you make now and during your research degree?

If these questions resonate with thoughts you are having, then this book can help. It is written to answer the specific needs and concerns of those who return to study at research degree level during their career and as a part of their own professional and personal development.

This book provides practical guidance to help returning students to balance study, work, leisure and family life as well as suggesting strategies that will help them to enhance their skills, develop critical awareness and become more creative.

This is a substantially rewritten and updated version of a previous book by Stuart Powell (Returning to Study, 1999) which now focuses entirely on study for research degrees and incorporates his many years of experience working with individual research degree students and managing research degree provision at institutional level.

With examples from a wide variety of subject disciplines, this book is essential reading for anyone seeking grounded advice on the issues facing returning students.

New Book: Education Research on Trial: Policy Reform and the Call for Scientific Rigor

Many have attacked education research as failing to meet standards of scientific rigor. The thoughtful essays in this book offer an analysis of this debate on the failings of education research.

Education research is a scientific field in crisis. The foundations of the current crisis is a long-time perception that too much of the work of educational researchers fails to meet minimum standards of scientific rigor. This perception constitutes the "bad reputation" from which the field of education research suffers. Long-simmering scientific doubts became a full-blown crisis, however, when critics - mostly critics from outside the field - recently launched charges that education research has failed to provide a solid evidence base for the improvement of educational practice, in part because educational researchers have been preoccupied with the wrong questions and in part because much of their research has been based on the wrong research methods. We see, then, that the crisis of confidence in the quality of education research goes hand in had with a crisis of confidence in the quality of American education. The solution to both sets of shortcomings, critics maintain, is to pose different research questions and address them with more "rigorous" scientific methods. The charges about the shortcomings of education research and the proposed means of improving it are the subject of this book.

New Book: The Politics of Inquiry: Education Research and the "Culture of Science"

In The Politics of Inquiry Benjamin Baez and Deron Boyles critique recent trends in education research to argue against the "culture of science."

Using the National Research Council's 2002 report "Scientific Research in Education" as a point of departure, the authors contend that the entire discourse on education science reflects a number of distinct but mutually constitutive political forces or movements that use science and education to shape what we can think, and, thus, what we can become.

Statistics Canada: Education Matters: Insights on Education, Learning and Training in Canada

The March 2009 issue of Education Matters: Insights on Education, Learning and Training in Canada, Vol. 5, no. 5 is now available.

Statistics Canada Study: Child Luring Through the Internet 2006 and 2007

From The Daily, Thursday March 12, 2009:

Police services across Canada reported 464 incidents of child luring over the Internet during the two-year period of 2006 and 2007.
Read more.

The article "Child luring through the Internet," is now available in Juristat, Vol. 29, no. 1, March 2009.

Ontario Ministry of Education: New Mandatory Reporting Bill Would Make Schools Safer

From an Ontario Ministry of Education News Release:

Every Ontario student has the right to feel safe and be safe when they go to school.

As part of its efforts to make schools even safer, Ontario is introducing new legislation that would require school staff to report serious student incidents, such as bullying, to the principal. It would also require that principals contact the parents of the victims.

If passed, Ontario would be the first province in Canada with legislation of this kind; making schools even safer and leading the way for its students to succeed.

Read the entire News Release

March 12, 2009

New Book: Digital Simulations for Improving Education: Learning Through Artificial Teaching Environments

Artificial instructional methods now provide the learning community with exercise specific teaching skills and learning situations that strengthen educator instincts and intuition about best practices.

Digital Simulations for Improving Education: Learning Through Artificial Teaching Environments contains research and current trends used in digital simulations of teaching, surveying the uses of games and simulations in teacher education.

An essential resource for teachers, educational technologists, and simulation developers, this book helps solve problems in teaching and learning through introduction of the potential and benefits of practice with digital simulations.

New Book: Solutions and Innovations in Web-Based Technologies for Augmented Learning: Improved Platforms, Tools and Applications

The proper exploitation of Web-based technologies towards building responsive environments that motivate, engage, and inspire learners, and which are embedded in the business processes and human resources management systems of organizations, is highly critical. Accordingly, the research field of technology-enhanced learning continues to receive increasing attention.

Solutions and Innovations in Web-Based Technologies for Augmented Learning: Improved Platforms, Tools, and Applications provides cutting-edge research on a series of related topics and discusses implications in the modern era s broad learning concept.

Addressing diverse conceptual, social, and technical issues, this book provides professionals, researchers, and practitioners in the field with up-to-date research in developing innovative and more effective learning systems by using Web-based technologies.

Educational Leadership Theme Issue: Literacy 2.0

The March 2009 issue of Educational Leadership (Volume 66, Number 6) is a theme issue focusing on Literacy 2.0.

All of the articles are interesting:

Orchestrating the Media Collage: New Forms of Expression Emerge When Sound, Moving Images, and Text Coalesce.

Mastering Multitasking: Does Multitasking Overtask the brain? How Should Teachers Respond?

Let's Talk 2.0: What Exactly does Literacy 2.0 mean, and how are 2.0 Media Altering Our Learning?

Becoming Network-Wise: Using Social Media Wisely and Collaborating Well Online are Worthy Goals for Students and Adults

The Importance of Deep Reading: The Expert Brain Needs Nurturance and Guidance

The Best of Both Literacies: Three Ways to Bolster Students' Literacy Levels in an Online Environment

Are Digital Media Changing Language: Our Shifting Attitudes about Language May Signal Lasting Change

Welcome to Our Virtual Worlds: The Right Games Put the Real World at Students' Fingertips

Stepping Beyond Wikipedia: Student Need to Know that Research Might Begin But Not End, with a Wikipedia Search

Rethinking Online Reading Assessment: Having New Skills to Learn Means Having News Skills to Evaluate

Plagiarism in the Internet Age: Beyond the Logistics of Citation, Students must Learn How to Think about the Information They Find

Special Topic: Going Graphic: Suggestions for Incorporating Graphic Novels in the Classroom and Advice on Judging Which Books Work When

My Favourite: The Joy of Blogging: A Weekly Blogging Class Enhances Students' Communication Skills

R U Safe?: Eight Graders Mentor 6th Graders in Web Safety


Perspectives...The World at Our Fingertips
What The Research Says About...Teaching Media Literacy
The Learning Leader...Three Challenges with Web 2.0
All about Assessment...Diagnosing the Diagnostic Test
The Principal Connection...Teaching Two Literacies
Special Report...Video Games and Civic Engagement
Educators' Guide to Slang...Are you 404 or just lol?

New Book: Supporting Content Area Literacy with Technology

To make content area learning more engaging and meaningful for all students Kathleen S. Puckett, and William G. Brozw present teachers with a basic framework for pairing literacy strategies with readily available classroom technology.

Drawing on concepts of universal design, and flexible curriculum access, the authors explore legislation authorizing the use of technology for learners with diverse abilities and offer teachers tools to make technology work in their classroom.

Their evidence-based procedures, explicit instruction strategies, and authentic activities guide teachers in integrating curriculum with English/language arts, social studies, science, and math to reduce the barriers to learning and improve student achievement.

Interesting Articles in Education Forum (OSSTF/FEESO)

The Winter 2009 issue of Education Forum (Volume 35, Issue 1) has a couple of articles that caught my eye:

Skills for Surviving the 21st Century: Media Literacy is Absolutely Essential (Pages 20 - 23). The first sentence of this article reads:

"Let's acknowledge at the outset the controversy over new media: the paradigm shift to digital, multi-sensory modes of communication has us in a tizzy."

New Media Opportunities: Bringing the Internet Age into the Classroom Doesn't Have to Mean Compromising Quality (Pages 32 - 35). The author, Rod Heikkila teaches for the Thames Valley District School Board.

New Book: Connected Minds, Emerging Cultures: Cybercultures in Online Learning

As the title indicates, this book highlights the shifting and emergent features that represent life online, specifically in and around the territory of e-learning.

Cybercultures in themselves are complex conglomerations of ideas, philosophies, concepts, and theories, some of which are fiercely contradictory.

As a construct, "cyberculture" is a result of sustained attempts by diverse groups of people to make sense of multifarious activities, linguistic codes, and practices in complicated and ever-changing settings. It is an impossibly convoluted field. Any valid understanding of cyberculture can only be gained from living within it...

New Book: Using Web 2.0 Tools in the K-12 Classroom

From blogs to wikis, invite Web 2.0 tools into your classroom!

In this invaluable resource you will find a host of Web 2.0 tools available on the Internet today, plus teaching and learning strategies to use them in the K-12 classroom.

New Book: Introducing Media Studies

Introducing Media Studies explores the complex relationship between the media, ideology, knowledge, and power. It provides a scintillating tour of media history and presents a coherent view of the media industry, media theory and methods in media research. It explains how "the audience" is constructed and how it in turn interprets the content and meaning of media representation.

March 11, 2009

Earth Hour starts on Saturday March 28th, 2009 at 8:30 pm

Join the world in celebrating Earth Hour!

Turn off your lights on Saturday March 28, 2009 at 8:30 pm.

Millions of Canadians will turn off their lights on March 28th for Earth Hour in support of action on climate change.

We hope to make Earth Hour even bigger this year but we need your help!

Encourage your friends and family to participate.

Get your business or workplace involved.

Check out how schools and school boards in Ontario are celebrating Earth Hour.

New Book: From Lullabies to Literature: Stories in the Lives of Infants and Toddlers

The ability to use language (speak, read, write) is not something that children suddenly or automatically develop. It is a culmination of experiences with language that begin at birth. Sharing stories (oral storytelling, books) and other "story experiences" (conversations, songs, poems, rhymes) with infants and toddlers is critical to building their emerging literacy skills. At the same time, it expands their experience and understanding of the world and is a wonderful opportunity for fostering close relationships between child and parent. Sprinkled with helpful and delightful vignettes and ideas for stories to share, From Lullabies to Literature explains how the many types of stories are best used with very young children, with particular focus on using books, and how caregivers can plan and provide story experiences most effectively, including partnering with families.

Western Staff Member Blogging from the Aboriginal Policy Research Conference (APRC) in Ottawa - March 9th to March 12th 2009

From the Western News:

The University of Western Ontario, along with The National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), are hosting the third Aboriginal Policy Research Conference (APRC) in Ottawa this week.

Western's Senior Media Relations Officer, Jeff Renaud, will be in Ottawa for the week and will be blogging each day from the conference.

The goal of the Aboriginal Policy Research Conference is to provide Aboriginal leaders and policy makers a chance to become aware of the implications of this research for both public policy and Aboriginal peoples across Canada.

People We Know: Katina Pollock: "Teaching Students Through Experiential Learning "

Katina Pollock was profiled in a recent Western News article:

"When Katina Pollock worked as a skating instructor to help finance an education degree, she had no way of knowing she would go from teaching in a rink to teaching at The University of Western Ontario."

Read the entire Western News article.

New Book: Improving Literacy Instruction with Classroom Research

Teaching reading skills effectively can be a complex and challenging process for many educators. Theresa A. Deeney provides a detailed primer that illustrates how to create and implement classroom action research projects focused on assessing and strengthening literacy instruction.

Improving Literacy with Classroom Research presents a comprehensive overview of the classroom research cycle, which involves noticing a problem, initiating an inquiry, planning for and implementing change, analyzing and reflecting on the results, and developing an action plan. The author includes:

Guidelines, charts, tables, and information to help educators initiate their own projects

Recommendations for collecting and analyzing data

Research about five core areas of reading instruction - phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension

Examples of authentic teacher research projects focused on literacy skills and instructional practices.

This guide shows how to use teacher inquiry and reflection to bring about significant improvements in literacy instruction

New Book: Literacy Leadership Team: Sustaining and Expanding Success

The Literacy Leadership Team: Sustaining and Expanding Success
provides clear and practical time-proven practices to assure that schools are consistently developing an "informed eye" when developing literacy curriculum and programs. This unique book provides a wealth of information to assist not only the literacy coach as a lead learner, but the entire literacy leadership team to focus on positive change or forward shifts in schools.

This long-awaited resource presents a detailed framework for developing, implementing, and sustaining a successful literacy leadership team. Based on the authors' personal experiences, practice, and research, The Literacy Leadership Team outlines an action plan for literacy change. It advises each literacy team member to bring his or her own knowledge and experiences and offers the information and motivation for clarifying the mission of a school literacy leadership team. The book provides educators with procedures and practices for implementing its mandate for building capacity, sustaining professional learning, understanding literacy processing and instructional practice, utilizing resources and expanding success, and building "an ongoing, job-embedded, professional learning community

But, what about the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)?

Most media reports of President Obama's first major educational reform statement since taking office noted that the President did not dwell on NCLB:

He only barely mentioned the re-authorization of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind Act, which introduced sweeping reforms that schools are struggling to meet without the funding to match. Obama said his administration would "later this year" ensure that schools get the funding they need and that the money is conditioned on results.

( Please note: This is but one of many media accounts of the content of the President Obama's educational statement. This particular quote is found in an msnbc news piece, although variations of the theme - little mention of the Bush instituted NCLB Act - were found in almost every major news piece about the speech)

Obama-Biden Education Plan

President Obama and Vice President Biden believe that our kids and our country can't afford four more years of neglect and indifference. At this defining moment in our history, America faces few more urgent challenges than preparing our children to compete in a global economy. The decisions our leaders make about education in the coming years will shape our future for generations to come. Obama and Biden are committed to meeting this challenge with the leadership and judgment that has been sorely lacking for the last eight years. Their vision for a 21st century education begins with demanding more reform and accountability, coupled with the resources needed to carry out that reform; asking parents to take responsibility for their children's success; and recruiting, retaining, and rewarding an army of new teachers to fill new successful schools that prepare our children for success in college and the workforce. The Obama-Biden plan will restore the promise of America's public education, and ensure that American children again lead the world in achievement, creativity and success.

Read MORE.

President Obama and Educational Reform - First Major Statement - Tuesday March 10th 2009

Yesterday, President Obama gave his first major speech on American education and school reform.

The voucher system, charter schools, the length of the school day and the length of the school year, the need to close the achievement gap, and the need to reduce the dropout rate were all mentioned. As well, President Obama raised the issue of merit pay for the better teachers.

Click here for some Education Library resources about the school voucher system.

Click here for some Education Library resources about charter schools.

Click here for some Education Library resources about merit pay for teachers.

Click here for Education Library resources related to the topic of closing the achievement gap.

Click here for resources in the Education Library related to the issue of understanding and reducing dropout rates.

Click here for the list of three current books available at the Education Library about the length of the school year and year-round schooling.

March 10, 2009

New Book: Using Wikis for Online Collaboration: The Power of the Read-Write Web

How can online instructors and course designers' instruction harness the popular Web 2.0 tool, the wiki, for successful collaboration and learning outcomes?

This book focuses on using wikis in the active learning processes that are the hallmark of collaborative learning and constructivism.

It provides both the pedagogical background and practical guidelines, tools, and processes for accomplishing these goals with special emphasis on wikis and other collaborative design tools.

This book supports the effective design and delivery of online courses through the integration of collaborative writing and design activities.

Using Wikis for Online Collaboration is a practical resource for learning to harness the power of wikis to create a shared environment where online students can actively participate in the integration and co-creation of knowledge.

This important book shows how to plan, design, and facilitate collaborative wiki projects into effective online courses.

Written by James and Margaret West, Using Wikis for Online Collaboration offers

Information on the technology and infrastructure needed for implementing a wiki

Guidelines for selecting wiki services and software

Ideas for preparing online students for success using wikis

Advice on pedagogical issues when creating wikis

Tips for planning and designing the wiki project framework

Suggestions for managing the collaborative writing process

Suggested projects that support cognitive processing and knowledge construction

Guidance for creating complex activities that highlight critical thinking and analysis

Using Wikis for Online Collaboration is the seventh book in the Jossey-Bass Guides to Online Teaching and Learning series. It offers concrete and practical resources to help higher education practitioners meet the challenges of the online learning environment.

New Book: Learning Cultures in Online Education

This book will enable researchers and practitioners to construct a wealth of new ideas about globalised virtual learning environments and in particular the implications for learners, teachers and institutions.

With the growth of trans-national education online, more learners are experiencing learning environments characterised by cultural diversity.

This timely book presents a view of recent thinking and practice related to globalised virtual learning environments, and suggests new ways of understanding the meanings that are created when learners, teachers, and institutions set out to create learning communities online. In doing so it will help to construct a new idea, that of the learning culture, which will be of particular relevance to researchers and practitioners in the rapidly expanding field of global online education.

People We Know: Allen Pearson: Supporting Research on Teaching at Western

Dr. Allen Pearson wrote the following article published in the March 5th 2009 issue of the Western News:

The article begins:

"A developing trend in post-secondary education is the increased emphasis on research on teaching in the university setting.

A number of faculty members and librarians at Western are actively engaged in research projects based on innovations that have been introduced in our classrooms or on ideas that they have about how to improve the quality of learning and engagement in their classrooms."

Read the entire Western News article.

New Books about Race

We have added the following books to the Education Library's research collection. These books can be found on the lower level of the Education Library.

Breaking Bad Habits of Race and Gender: Transforming Identity in Schools

The National PTA, Race & Civic Engagement, 1897-1970

Race and Education

Racially Equitable Teaching: Beyond the Whiteness of Professional Development for Early Childhood Educators

Our Schools / Our Selves Theme Issue: Sex Ed and Youth

The Winter 2009 issue of Our Schools / Our Selves (Volume 18 Number 2) is a theme issue concerned with "Colonization, Sexuality and Communities of Colour".

Our Schools / Our Selves is published four times a year by The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

We have also recently added the "Canadian Guidelines for Sexual Health Education" to the Education Library's collection. This booklet is a revised edition of the the 2003 Canadian Guidelines for Sexual Health Education, and is published by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

New Book: How to Change 5000 Schools: A Practical and Positive Approach for Leading Change at Every Level

Not long ago, public education in Ontario, Canada, was in deep trouble. Student achievement was stagnating, labor disruptions were rampant, and public satisfaction with the schools was low. In 2003, a new provincial government initiated a series of reforms that embodied a positive, outcome-focused agenda for public education. Today, student outcomes have improved, labor disruption has vanished, and teacher morale is high.

In this book, Ben Levin, former deputy minister of education for the province of Ontario, draws on his experience overseeing these and other major system-wide education reforms in Canada and England to set forth a refreshingly positive, pragmatic, and optimistic approach to leading educational change at all levels.

Ben Levin holds a Canada Research Chair in Education Leadership and Policy at the University of Toronto. Ben Levin is the author of numerous articles and three books and writes a regular column, "In Canada" for Phi Delta Kappan.

March 8, 2009

Education Exhibit in Western Archives

"Readin', 'Ritin' and 'Rithmatic", Western Archives Resources in Ontario Educational History

This display features materials on Ontario educational history from the
local history holdings of Western Archives. Specific materials include architectural drawings, photographs and postcard views of school buildings, authorized Ontario
textbooks, school histories, and primary documents such as teaching certificates,
school registers and examinations.

International Women's Day 2009 - March 8

Annually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women's craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more.

So make a difference, think globally and act locally!!
Make everyday International Women's Day.
Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.

People We Know: Janice Wallace

Janice Wallace is a chapter contributor to the new book "Emotional Dimensions of Educational Administration and Leadership" (see posting below). The title of her chapter is "Let's Get Personal": Disrupting Gender Norms in Eductional Organisations" (Pages 174 - 185).

Janice Wallace is Associate Dean, Undergraduate Teacher Education and an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta. She received her PhD at OISE/University of Toronto and she received her MEd at the Faculty of Education, the University of Western Ontario.

New Book: Emotional Dimensions of Educational Administation and Leadership

"Emotional Dimensions of Educational Administration and Leadership" explores foundational theories for emotional dimensions of educational administration and leadership as they influence our understanding, analysis and practice in the field. It covers a broad range of topics, such as ethics, authority, personality, social justice, gender discrimination, organisational culture, decision-making, accountability and marketisation.

The first section, 'Theoretical Foundations', includes discussion of the early modern romantic philosophy that produced the heroic notion of leadership, the idealist philosophy of Hegel, existential concerns through Kierkegaard, the contributions of psychoanalysis, and Habermasian critical theory.

The second section, 'Types of Emotional Analysis', includes examinations of the material culture, emotional economies, the politics of emotion, and the relationship between emotion and rationality.

The last section, 'Critical and Contemporary Issues', includes critiques of the fear arising from accountability regimes, the political economy of the market model, a feminist critique of ideologies reflecting emotional investments, narrative expressions for the emotional context of teamwork, the problem of narcissism, and the emotional dimensions of role engagement.

This volume explores an area that is only just re-emergent in the last few years.

The collection demonstrates the relevance to practical issues and problems internationally, both within the organisational context and extra-organisationally with a focus on the application of emotional factors as they affect our understanding of, and practice in, educational organisations. The emotions of education affect the implementation of political values and culture within organisations.

New Book: Curriculum Leadership: Strategies for Development and Implementation (Second Edition)

Curriculum Leadership: Strategies for Development and Implementation (Second Edition) is a much-needed, highly informative, and easy-to-read account of curriculum development and implementation for those aspiring to become curriculum decision makers. This important book-which helps bridge curriculum's rich historical past to today's global education world-is essential for educational leaders in the planning, alignment, and development of curriculum to meet state, national, and international standards

March 7, 2009

English Drama Media Special Issue: Teaching Poetry

English Drama Media: The Magazine of the National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE) devotes the February 2009 issue to the teaching of poetry.
Two articles particularly interested and intrigued me:

Poetry Online: Teaching Poetry Through the Poetry Archive (Page 21), The authors write about the rich resources of the Poetry Archive.


From Chaucer to Eminem: Rap and the Oral Tradition in Poetry Teaching (Page 29). The authors write about the potential of Hip-Hop in the poetry classroom.

Objectives of the National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE)

The National Association for the Teaching of English will work to:

Promote standards of excellence in the teaching of English from Early Years to University

Promote innovative and original ideas that have practical classroom outcomes

Support teachers' own professional development through: access to current research publications national and regional conferences

Provide an informed national voice on matters concerning the teaching of English and its related subjects

Encourage sharing and collaboration between teachers and learners of English and its related subjects

People We Know: David C. Young

Read David C. Young's article, Interpretivism and Education Law Research: A Natural Fit in the February 2009 issues of Education & Law Journal (Volume 18, Number 3).

David C. Young is an Assistant Professor, School of Education, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Noval Scotia.

Greg. M Dickinson is the Editor in Chief of the Education and Law Journal.

This journal is also available online.

New Book: Using Action Research to Improve Instruction: An Interactive Guide for Teachers

This comprehensive, easy-to-understand book provides a guide to action research methods grounded in sources of data. Its highly interactive format enables readers to more quickly design and carry out successful action research in the classroom.

Action research is increasingly used as a means for teachers to improve their instruction, yet for many teachers the idea of doing "research" can be somewhat intimidating. This book offers a comprehensive, easy-to-understand approach to action research in classroom settings. This engaging and accessible guide is grounded in sources of data readily available to teachers, such as classroom observations, student writing surveys, interviews, and tests. Organized to mirror the action research process, the highly interactive format prompts readers to discover a focus, create research questions, address design and methodology, collect information, conduct data analysis, communicate the results and to generate evidence-based teaching strategies. Engaging in these decision-making processes builds the skills essentaila to action research and promotes a deeper understanding of teaching practice.

This text` is a must read for teachers interested in how they can use etheir current knowledge of instruction and assessment to meaningfully engage in action research.

New Book: Generalizing from Educational Research: Beyond Qualitative and Quantitative Polarization

Tackling one of the most critical issues in education research today - how research methods are related to value and meaningfulness - this front line volume achieves two purposes. First, it presents an integrated approach to educational inquiry that works toward a continuum instead of a dichotomy of generalizability, and looks at how this continuum might be related to types of research questions asked and how these questions should determine modes of inquiry. Second, it discusses and demonstrates the contributions of different data types and modes of research to generalizability of research findings, and to limitations of research findings that utilize a single approach. International leaders in the field take the discussion of generalizing in education research to a level where claims are supported using multiple types of evidence.

This volume pushes the field in a different direction, where the focus is on creating meaningful research findings that are not polarized by qualitative versus quantitative methodologies. The integrative approach allows readers to better understand possibilities and shortcomings of different types of research.

New Book: Doing Children's Geographies: Methodological Issues in Research with Young People

"Doing Children's Geographies" provides a useful resource for all those embarking on research with young people. Drawing on reflections from original cutting-edge research undertaken across three continents, the book focuses on the challenges researchers face when working with children, youth and their families.

The book is divided into three sections. The first section provides alternatives to some of the difficulties researchers face and highlights methodological innovations as geographers uncover new and exciting ways of working. The second part specifically addresses the issues surrounding children and youth's participation providing critiques of current practice and offering alternatives for increasing young people's involvement in research design. Finally, the book broadens to a consideration of wider areas of concern for those working with children and youth. This section discusses the nature of childhood in relation to research, the place of emotions in research with young people and the process of undertaking applied research.

This book was previously published as a special issue of "Children's Geographies".

March 3, 2009

Looking forward to ... Earth Hour on Saturday March 28th, 2009

Join the world in celebrating Earth Hour!

Turn off your lights on Saturday March 28, 2009 at 8:30 pm.

Millions of Canadians will turn off their lights on March 28th for Earth Hour in support of action on climate change.

We hope to make Earth Hour even bigger this year but we need your help!

Encourage your friends and family to participate.

Get your business or workplace involved.

Check out how schools and school boards in Ontario are celebrating Earth Hour.

New Book: Complexity Theory and the Philosophy of Education

A collection of scholarly essays, Complexity Theory and the Philosophy of Education provides an accessible theoretical introduction to the topic of complexity theory while considering its broader implications for educational change.

* Explains the contributions of complexity theory to philosophy of education, curriculum, and educational research

* Brings together new research by an international team of contributors

* Debates issues ranging from the culture of curriculum, to the implications of work of key philosophers such as Foucault and John Dewey for educational change

* Demonstrates how social scientists and social and education policy makers are drawing on complexity theory to answer questions such as: why is it that education decision-makers are so resistant to change; how does change in education happen; and what does it take to make these changes sustainable?

* Considers changes in use of complexity theory; developed principally in the fields of physics, biology, chemistry, and economics, and now being applied more broadly to the social sciences and to the study of education

Why is the education system so resistant to change?
How does change in education occur?
When change does happen, what does it take to make it sustainable?

Social scientists, and social and education policy makers, are beginning to frame their understanding of these questions in terms of complexity theory.

Developed initially as an approach to the fields of physics, biology, chemistry and economics, complexity theory is now being applied more broadly to the social sciences and to the study of education.

Complexity theory takes the view that complex systems are best regarded in their entirety--as wholes. It is a theory that engages with dynamic systems or ecologies, with the complex web of interrelated and contingent factors that contribute to particular outcomes or phenomena.

This volume provides an accessible theoretical introduction to the topic of complexity theory while considering its broader implications for educational change. Essays from a distinguished group of experts illuminate the contributions of complexity theory to the philosophy of education, curriculum theory and practice, and educational research. The book will challenge many prevailing viewpoints in education and provide new insights into our understanding of education.

New Book: Philosophical Documents in Education (Third Edition)

Philosophical Documents in Education (Third Edition) masterfully argues that students can better understand and practice their profession by reading, contemplating, and discussing the great philosophic tradition in education.

An edited anthology of 18 primary source materials in educational philosophy, this book provides a wide range of both historical and contemporary viewpoints.

Works by philosophers of numerous perspectives---including Socrates, Plato, Artistotle, St. Augustine, Erasmus, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Catharine Macaulay, Hannah Arendt, John Dewey, Cornel West, Maxine Greene, Paulo Freire, Kieran Egan, Jane Roland Martin, Nel Noddings, Matthew Lipman, Gareth Matthews, and Parker J. Palmer---expose readers to philosophical views from diverse populations and convictions.

With fresh perspectives, a comprehensive and contextualizing introduction, and updated pedagogy including revised timelines and new chapter questions, this revered resource is more vital than ever for today's teachers.

New Book: The Future of Education: Reimagining Our Schools from the Ground Up by Kieran Egan

This engaging book presents a frontal attack on current forms of schooling and a radical rethinking of the whole education process.

Kieran Egan, a prize-winning scholar and innovative thinker, does not rail against teachers, administrators, or politicians for the failures of the school. Instead he argues that education today is built on a set of mutually exclusive goals that are destined to defeat our best efforts.

Egan explores the three big ideas and aims of education--academic, social, and developmental growth--and exposes their flaws and fundamental incompatibility.

He then proposes and describes a process called Imaginative Education that would dramatically change teaching and curriculum while delivering the skills and understanding that we all want our children to acquire.

His speculative narrative of education from 2010 to 2060--executed with wit and verve--shows how we might very well get there from here.

Unlike most books dealing with fundamental educational ideas, this one also details how its new proposal can be implemented in everyday classrooms.

Here is a list of other Kieran Egan books.

March 2, 2009

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel)!

In honour of his birthday, re-read some of his classics today. Click here for a list of Dr. Seuss resources available in Western Libraries.