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ÆSOP exceptional outcomes in ESL / literacy education

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Product Description

By David Baxter, Paul Brock, Wayne Sawyer

Published: 2007
ISBN: 978-1-921214-12-7
Pages: 74
Imprint: Post Pressed


A module of the ÆSOP Series - An Exceptional Schooling Outcomes Program

English as a Second Language and Literacy are joint concerns of many Australian schools. This is particularly so many neighbourhoods suffering socioeconomic disadvantage.

Addressing the demands of ESL/Literacy is an enormous challenge. Herein, the authors describe how three public high schools have risen to the occasion with sustained, exceptional achievements by their students. Intensive, detailed case studies of the schools - each located in a socioeconomically disadvantaged area of Sydney - reveal many similarities (and also some distinguishing differences). Common to each is systemic support, staff stability, whole-school involvement and visible, optimistic leadership by Principal and Head Teacher. Each school satisfies the definition of Stanley Fish's interpretive community - that 'remarkable unanimity of values, attitudes, practices and schema for interpreting any practice event or phenomenon and conventions of behaviour'.

These exceptional schools are 'engines of change' in that the very professionalism that sustains them results in a continual quest for improvement and frequent questioning of established practices.

Table of Contents


  • Why the ÆSOP study?
  • Educational and social advancement
  • Abbreviations
  • Glossary


An Exceptional Schooling outcomes project

  • Chief Investigators/Project Team
  • Dimensions of Achievement and Success
  • Research Questions
  • Background Literature
  • Selection of Sites
  • Visits to Sites
  • Analysis of Data
  • This Report

The Participation Schools

  • Metropolitan Girls School (MGS2)
  • Metropolitan Intensive English Centre (MIEC)
  • Metropolitan Comprehensive School (MCS2)

Key Programs and Principles in the  ESL/Literacy sites

  • MGS2
  • Identification of students with Literacy difficulties
  • Literacy support programs
  • Support staff
  • Professional development
  • Whole-school approaches and genuine whole-school commitment to Literacy
  • English and Literacy
  • Other aspects of curriculum
  • The historical process/staff stability
  • School culture
  • Leadership
  • Contribution at a systems level
  • MIEC
  • Integrity
  • Links
  • Environment
  • Practice
  • MCS2
  • School level practices
  • School leadership
  • Faculty "resources"
  • Classroom practices
  • System level and other extra-school resourcing

Summery of findings from the ESL/Literacy sites

  • Whole School Factors
  • The School as Interpretive Community
  • Pedagogy and Curriculum in Literacy and ESL
  • Conclusion

Conclusions from the ESL/Literacy sites

  • Introduction
  • Systems Support
  • The Role of the Leader
  • Whole School Approaches to Pedagogy and Curriculum
  • Staff Stability
  • Developing the Team as a Community Focused on Academic Achievement
  • The Adelaide Goals
  • Conclusion


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