New In Print

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

Asking Questions: A Practical Guide to Questionnaire Design, by Seymour Sudman and Norman M. Bradburn (Jossey-Bass Inc., Publishers, P.O. Box 62425, San Francisco, Calif. 94162; 415 pages, $18.95).

Questionnaires are used extensively today, in such areas as academic and vocational testing, psychological assessment, and program evaluations. Designed for anyone who must elicit information in written form, this book describes the process of questionnaire design, including examples from actual surveys. The authors provide guidance on: determining what information is needed; phrasing questions to minimize bias and distortion; using existing questionnaires to design new tests; and validating new questionnaires. Includes three questionnaires that show key principles in questionnaire construction and a list of references for additional information on the topic. Mr. Sudman teaches at the University of Illinois, Urbana. Mr. Bradburn teaches at the University of Chicago and is director of the National Opinion Research Center there.

Making Policies for Children: A Study of the Federal Process, edited by Cheryl D. Hayes (National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20418; 281 pages, paper $13.95).

There are more than 260 government programs that benefit children, and the government's role in protecting children is a part of the American heritage, according to the editor of this report, the product of a 30-month study sponsored by the Administration for Children, Youth, and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services. Written to give educators and legislators a framework for participation in policymaking, the report analyzes: the formulation of federal policies affecting children and their families; the identification of factors that might influence the content of such policies in the future; and the issue of how policymakers can pursue their interests more effectively. Ms. Hayes is executive officer for the committee on child development, research, and public policy at the National Academy of Sciences.

The Emerging Science of Individualized Instruction: A Survey of Findings on Learning Styles, Brain Research, and Learning Time with Implications for Administrative Action, by John Lindelow (ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, College of Education, University of Oregon, Eugene, Ore. 97403; 47 pages, paper $4.75).

Individualized instruction is coming of age, the author of this book claims. In a study of recent research on this "emerging science," the author builds a case for individualized instruction in today's schools. Chapter I focuses on research on learning styles, including how students perceive, analyze, interpret, and respond to learning situations. Chapter II discusses advances in brain research, including information on the growth stages of the brain. Chapter III covers learning time and the links between learning, time, and individualized instruction. The final chapter addresses what administrators can do to put these findings into practice. Mr. Lindelow is a freelance writer specializing in educational management.

Guides and Directories Action for Educational Equity: A Guide for Parents and Members of Community Groups, by James E. Crowfoot, Bunyan I. Bryant, and Mark Chesler (Institute for Responsive Education, 605 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, Mass. 02215; 189 pages, paper $9).

The authors of this guide present an "action plan" for citizens interested in forming a group to work on educational issues such as bilingual education, sex equity, and special-education services. Claiming that organized citizen activism must make up for such threats to progress as political conservatism and fiscal retrenchment, the authors discuss: forming a core goup, identifying goals and developing programs to meet them, implementing strategies, dealing with conflicts along the way, and following up on school change.

Alternative Careers for Teachers: The Complete Job-Changing Handbook for Educators, by Marna L. Beard and Michael J. McGahey (Arco Publishing Inc., 215 Park Ave. South, New York, N.Y. 10003; 223 pages, paper $9.95).

Assuring that "there is life after teaching," the authors of this guide provide information for teachers on changing their jobs in the current market. Topics covered include: analyzing marketable skills, researching the job market, writing resumes, preparing for interviews, and making the transition to a job outside the teaching world. Includes a list of 150 jobs in the federal government; a guide to federal career literature; and a chart matching personal interests with job characteristics.

Foreign Travel-Study Programs: What Students, Parents, Teachers, and Principals Should Ask (National Association of Secondary School Principals, 1904 Association Dr., Reston, Va. 22091; 12 pages, paper $1--for more than one copy, call nassp for shipping and handling charges).

An introduction for those involved in planning travel programs for students, this brochure includes suggested questions to ask tour-plan operators to avoid fraudulent programs, financial loss, and educationally weak experiences. Among its recommendations are: obtain written agreements, refrain from endorsing specific programs, and require agencies promoting travel-study programs to register with school authorities.

Sights and Sounds of Life in Schools: A Resource Guide to Film and Videotape for Research and Education, by Frederick Erickson and Jan Wilson (Institute for Research on Teaching, 252 Erickson, College of Education, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich. 48824; 84 pages, paper $6).

For teachers, administrators, inservice-training staff members, policymakers, researchers, and others who want to use and manufacture films and videotapes about American schools for conferences, training seminars, and program planning. The guide provides information on: making and showing films for staff development and research; perspectives and expectations that viewers bring to films; networks of documentary-film products, distributors, and researchers; an introduction to basic educational issues; and consumer-protection information about producing commercial and research films on schools.

Other Resources Resource Materials for School Improvement Initiatives: A Bibliography, compiled by Bettye Fox Boone (Southeastern Public Education Program, #501-1338 Main St., Columbia, S.C. 29201; 20 pages, paper $3).

This resource bibliography lists 131 books, articles, pamphlets, newsletters, research papers, and organizations on school-improvement initiatives. Classified by subject, the guide covers: the characteristics of effective schools, teachers, and principals; information on involvement, parent/citizen advisory-council operations, and citizen resources and newsletters; effective assessment guides and instruments; school administration, school boards, and school budgets; handicapped students; and curriculum and testing.

The Preparation and Selection of School Principals, by Lynn M. Cornett (Southern Regional Education Board, 1340 Spring St., N.W., Atlanta, Ga. 30309; 20 pages, paper $3).

Based on the premise that "the success or failure of a public school depends more on the principal than any other single person," this report presents the findings of a group of principals, faculty members in educational-administration programs, personnel from state departments of education, and school-board members from the sreb states who met last year to discuss the selection and training of school principals.

World Study and Travel for Teachers, 28th edition, by Richard J. Brett (American Federation of Teachers, 11 Dupont Circle, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036; 99 pages, paper $4).

If you're a teacher and would like to study comparative business management in Peru or culture and civilization in Finland, this resource book will introduce you to 240 travel-study programs offered by 92 American colleges and universities in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and other areas. Entries are organized by geographical area and are listed by the following categories: arts, education, language, literature, pure sciences, religion, social studies, technology, and specific subject areas.

--Anne Bridgman

Vol. 02, Issue 33

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories