Exploding the Myths of School Reform

David Hopkins

ACER Press

ISBN 9781742860985

RR $44.95 at the ACER online shop

David Hopkins is Emeritus Professor at the Institute of Education, University of London and Director of Education for the Bright Tribe Trust.

In this, his latest book, established and emerging ideas about effective school and system improvement are scrutinised. 

He confronts real-world challenges and perspectives from research, policy and practice, and draws on international benchmarking studies to support its objectives and claims.

Each of the 10 chapters addresses a perceptible fallacy – such as the myth that poverty determines performance – and sets out ways that school boards, principals and teaching staff can implement change.

299 pages plus a comprehensive Bibliography and Index make this a valuable work to have on hand and refer to.

Emotional Literacy for Adolescent Mental Health

Experiental counselling

Patricia Sherwood

ACER Press

ISBN 9781742861036

RR $39.95 at the ACER online shop

Prof Sherwood recognises that traditional talk therapy may not always be the best approach when the adolescent’s need for personal privacy is important and verbal communication is often confined to peers in whom young people feel they can trust.

In this book, she describes a diversity of non-verbal experiental exercises, skills and interventions for working with adolescents. 

The activities are drawn from the artistic therapies, including drama and movement, clay therapy and sand play as well as meditation and nature-based and animal-assisted therapies.

Nine of the 10 chapters describe an individual adolescent’s situation and discusses how one or other non-verbal techniques was used to tease out the root cause of the problem. 

The ‘set the scene’ pages are followed by detailed descriptions of a series of exercises designed to help the patient.

This is an interesting book and worth reading, however this reviewer’s conclusion was that helping adolescents with serious issues requires special skills – ‘do-it-yourself’ psychology is not a good idea.

Literacy in 3D

An integrated perspective in theory and practice

Editors Bill Green and

Catherine Beavis

ACER Press

ISBN 9781742860381

RR $49.95 at the ACER online shop

Literacy in 3D brings together an authoritative collection of essays by academics, policy makers and educators from across Australia. 

Each draws on Bill Green’s influential ‘3D’ model of the cultural, critical and operational dimensions involved in literacy, pedagogy and practice. 

The essays are the work of 10 well-recognised authors and there is an interesting foreword by Prof Claire Wyatt-Smith Dean (Academic): Arts, Education and Law Griffith University.