Following is a guide to recent reports in education and related fields.
Teacher Training And Sexuality.
Undergraduate programs do not adequately prepare teachers to provide schoolchildren with instruction on AIDS and sexuality, a new study says. A survey of 169 colleges and universities found that only one in seven institutions required a health education course for all prospective teachers, and none required future health education teachers to take a course covering AIDS and HIV, the virus that causes the deadly disease. Researchers from the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States and Columbia University conducted the study, which appeared in the December/January issue of the SIECUS Report. Individual reprints of Teaching Our Teachers To Teach: A SIECUS Study on Training and Preparation for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Sexuality Education is available free with a self-addressed, stamped envelope from SIECUS, 130 W. 42nd St., Suite 350, New York, NY 10036-7802.
Teaching methods that work are the focus of a new handbook from the Educational Research Service and the Alliance for Curriculum Reform. The guide offers nearly 100 proven practices for improving instruction in specific subject areas, such as the arts, foreign language, mathematics, science, and language arts. In addition to sketching those practices, the book summarizes the research on their effectiveness. "In education, we need to understand, carefully select, and use combinations of teaching practices that together increase the probability of helping students learn, knowing that these practices may not work in all classrooms at all times,'' writes Gordon Cawelti, the book's editor. The Handbook of Research on Improving Student Achievement is available for $40 from the Educational Research Service, Publication Sales Department, 2000 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201; (703) 243-2100.
Urban Middle Schools.
When it comes to reforming urban middle schools, entire school districts, not just individual schools, must be committed to change, concludes a report from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation. The report summarizes a $9.4 million project that targeted middle schools in five large urban districts: Baltimore; Louisville, Ky.; Milwaukee; Oakland, Calif; and San Diego. It analyzes the success and failure of the projects in each city. Believing in Ourselves is free from the Office of Communications, Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, 250 Park Ave., New York, NY 10177-0026; (212) 551-9100; fax (212) 986-4558.
School To Work.
A handful of exemplary school-to-work programs across the nation, how they have grown, and how communities have both contributed to and benefited from them are the focus of a new report from Jobs for the Future. The Boston-based nonprofit organization develops policies to help students make a successful transition from school to work. Copies of a 22-page executive summary of Promising Practices: A Study of 10 School-to-Career Programs are available for $10 each. The entire report may be ordered, for $35, prepaid, from Jobs for the Future, 1 Bowdoin Square, Boston, MA 02114.
Bishops On School Reform.
The nation's Roman Catholic bishops have weighed in on the national debate on education reform, releasing a document that outlines six principles to guide such efforts. "Principles for Educational Reform in the United States,'' released by the Washington-based National Conference of Catholic Bishops and the United States Catholic Conference, highlights the need for students to be the central focus of education, the importance of parental rights and responsibilities, and the moral and spiritual needs of students. The pamphlet is available by calling the Catholic conference's publishing and promotion service at (800) 235-8722.
Colleges And K-12.
Key state lawmakers believe improving connections with elementary and secondary education should be a top priority for colleges and universities, according to a recent study by the National Education Association. The study's findings were drawn from 1995 interviews with 58 House and Senate education committee chairmen in 49 states. The legislators believe colleges and universities should pay more attention to issues such as teacher education, K-12 reform, and work force preparation, the NEA researchers report. The Politics of Remedy: State Legislative Views on Higher Education is available free of charge. Contact: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
College Freshmen With Disabilities.
More than 142,000 college freshmen--about one of every 11 first-time full-time students--reported last year that they had a disability, according to a report by the American Council on Education. In general, freshmen with disabilities were more likely to enroll in two-year than four-year colleges, had been out of high school longer than their nondisabled peers, and said they would need extra time to complete their education goals. College Freshmen With Disabilities: A Triennial Statistical Profile is available for $15 each, or multiple copies for $12 each, from the HEATH Resource Center, Department CFD, American Council on Education, 1 Dupont Circle, Washington, DC 20036; (202) 939-9322.
A compendium of teacher education reform initiatives at public universities aims to show that those institutions are active in improving the K-12 educational experience. The book, published by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the Teacher Education Council of State Colleges and Universities, describes 213 tested programs that go beyond the routine in improving teacher preparation. Changing Course: Teacher Education Reform at State Colleges and Universities is available for $14 for AASCU and TESCU members, $18 for nonmembers, plus $4 shipping and handling, from AASCU Publications, 1 Dupont Circle, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036.