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[ Contents Vol 5, 1989 ] [ QJER Home ]


Edwards, Peter (1989) Seven Keys to Successful Study. Hawthorne, Victoria, ACER.

Janice Chee
The Redland Community College

There are many guides to successful study on the market. They are usually directed at the student, however, in my experience, it is only the motivated student or adult student returning to study who tends to use them. This guide is aimed at the secondary and TAFE student as well as adult literacy and ESL classes.

There are seven 'keys' or skills: Purpose, Listening, Reading, Adapting Rate, Note-taking, Graphics and Mernory Techniques. Each key is introduced with a rationale as to why this skill is useful, hints are given and then examples follow so the student can practise the skill. The material in the exercises covers many subject areas including mathematics, literature, economics and history. There is a special business section in the chapter on reading. The answers to the exercises are included as is a score sheet to allow self evaluation. It is suggested that students begin with the first key, Pupose, which helps students to be aware of their own study habits, strengths and weaknesses then move to other keys depending on the skills that need practice.

The sections on developing reading skills (Keys 3 and 4) are particularly well set out and offer students a manageable way of dealing with text. These sections link smoothly with the note-taking key which offers a number of strategies. Key 6, Graphics, illustrates graphs, maps, illustrations and cartoons with exercises and hints on using graphic material in assignment work.

The appendices include hints on test preparation and technique, definitions of important test words (always a useful list for students), writing a paper (although only one strategy is suggested) and study techniques.

Seven Keys to Successful Study is a readable guide suitable for Year 10+. It is clearly set out with a comprehensive index. Although aimed at the individual student, the workbook format would make it a useful classroom text in study skill courses or for small group work.


Bowler, Peter (1989) Your Child From One To Ten. Hawthorn, Victoria, ACER.

Jayne E. Kelly

Peter Bowler's book Your Child From One To Ten is a thoughtful, well presented volume about the development of children and what to expect from their varying stages. Its format provides an easy-to-access guide to information. Of particular use is the summary at the end of each chapter outlining the expected level of physical and social advancement at a given age.

The language is clear and precise and should remain well within the grasp of the average parent. The book itself is well set out with clear, uncluttered print. The cover features a photograph of a very attractive kindergarten group on a well contrasted red and yellow background. The book is of a very handy and compact size and makes an excellent companion to a busy parent.

As a parent of two young children, both under school age, I found the early chapters of greatest interest. As a first-time parent I found many other publications to be duanting because of the volume and complexity of their content. Bowler's book, however, I found easy to read as each chapter took no more than 10 minutes to work through. It was, therefore, quite useful as a quick reference, the information sought being easily attainable.

I found the areas concerning social development and personality to be most useful and have not found this information to be present in many books of this nature. At what age a child will be likely to show his strength of will or independence is of much greater interest to parents than the age at which he will roll over or sit up.

Thefact that it was written andpublished in Australia enhances its appeal as the projected ages for entering preschool or school corresponded with the reality of our lives.

An interesting inclusion is the summary list of possible toys to be given to a specified age group. Information of this kind is probably too diverse to be dealt with in such a brief manner. It may be useful to people who do not have their own children.

Some areas of the book were non-specific and at times read merely like lists of milestones in physical development. It lacked practical advice on points of discipline or coping with illness or trauma. For example, Dr Christopher Green's book, 'Toddler Taming', deals with situations that commonly cause stress to the family and offers sound, easily adaptable advice.

Although I found the guidelines of Bowler's advice to be, at times, a little too cautious, I felt quite satisf~ed that the book achieved its aim. I would recommend it to be of greatest use to new parents and people dealing with children for the first time.

It would certainly be a useful reference for anyone needing to gain information quickly on aspects of physical, social and educational development.


Decentralisation and the Curriculum: Effects of the Devolution of
Curriculum Decision Making in Australia
Research Monograph No.35
Andrew Sturman

ISBN: 0 86431 051 X Pages: 280 Price: $24.95
Publication release date: July 1989

Educational administration has been in a state of change in most Australian states and territories in recent years and the concepts of devolution and participation in decision making, particularly curriculum decision making, have emerged as key issues in educational reforms. This book contrasts the developments in three Australian states in order to examine what the effects on the curriculum have been as a result of the historical changes that have led to greater decentralisation of curriculum decision making.

Much of the logic for advocating greater devolution and participation in curriculum decision making has centred on the likely beneficial effects that such change would have on the development of curricula suited to the individual needs of students and schools. It has been argued that appropriate curriculum development is unlikely to take place unless those participants who know most about the needs of students (in particular teachers and parents) become more involved in decision making. The major contribution of this book is the attempt to investigate what the effects are, if any, of changing the locus of control for curriculum decision making.

The book addresses the effects of four different types of decentralisation that have emerged in Australia: regionalisation, school-based decision making, parent or community participation in curriculum decision making, and teacher-based decision making.

Available from: ACER Customer Services, PO Box 210, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122, telephone: (03) 819 1400.

Please cite as: QIER (1989). Publication reviews and Notices 5(3). Queensland Researcher, 5(3), 54-57. http://www.iier.org.au/qjer/qr5/bookrevs-notices5-3.html

[ Contents Vol 5, 1989 ] [ QJER Home ]
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