News bulletins from the Australian Council for Educational Research published
Measuring and rewarding school improvement
There is now a widely held view that the most effective strategy for improving countries’ educational performances is to improve the day-to-day work of schools.
ACER chief executive Professor Geoff Masters was commissioned by the Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations to provide advice on the best ways to measure school improvement, and on the approaches announced in the Australian Government 'Reward for School Improvement' initiative.
400 000 university students to have their say
Around 400 000 students from 40 universities are set to have their say on core aspects of their university experience, in what will potentially be Australia’s largest ever survey of higher education, which opened in July.
The University Experience Survey (UES) is being conducted to help universities and government learn more about students’ experiences at university, and how they can improve teaching and learning.
Australia achieves above OECD average tertiary participation
Australia’s higher education is more accessible than in many other OECD countries, especially when age is considered, according to a research briefing paper released by ACER.
The ACER Joining the Dots research briefing paper also revealed that Australia’s relatively high bachelor degree attainment levels are now above the OECD average. This is a recent phenomenon compared with other nations that have been achieving higher attainment for a number of generations.
Re-modelling special education
A Melbourne school is a pioneer and international leader in the field of special needs education, according to a new ACER Press book launched in July by Victoria’s Minister for Education, the Hon Martin Dixon.
An Extraordinary School: Re-modelling special education tells the story of Port Phillip Specialist School, an innovative school catering for children aged two to eighteen years with a wide range of severe disabilities.
Focus on university teaching to maintain student learning standards
University academics need to be prepared for teaching if universities are to maintain high standards during the expansion and diversification of the higher education sector, according to a new book published by ACER Press.
University Teaching in Focus: A learning-centred approach, co-edited by the University of Western Australia’s Professor Lynne Hunt and Professor Denise Chalmers, was launched at the conference of the International Consortium for Educational Development (ICED) in Thailand in July.
Realising the power of professional learning: whole school improvement seminar
ACER Institute is hosting a Leading Thinkers seminar on professional learning as an essential element for whole school improvement and creating better outcomes for all students. The seminar, presented by New Zealand education expert, Professor Helen Timperley, will draw on a 10 year research and development project in over 300 schools that have demonstrated substantial and consistent improvements in student achievement. The seminar is being held in Melbourne on 7 August, in Brisbane on 23 August and in Sydney on 24 August 2012. Further information is available on the ACER Institute website.
Time still remains for Victorian business and community leaders to register to become a Principal for a Day on Wednesday 22 August 2012. Principal for a Day is a collaboration between schools and their communities that aims to increase and strengthen relationships, based on knowledge and understanding, between the private sector and education. It is a unique opportunity for business and community leaders to shadow a school principal to gain a first hand behind-the-scenes experience of the strengths and challenges facing our schools every day.
ACER and children's development organisation Plan Australia are hosting a forum for researchers, practitioners and policy makers interested in the field of inclusive education to consider inclusive literacy interventions in the Australian and international development arenas.
Focusing on how inclusive literacy interventions can support the most marginalised children, the forum will include case studies from South Africa, Papua New Guinea and Indigenous Australia. Deputy Executive Dean of the College of Education at the University of South Africa, Professor Veronica McKay, will deliver a keynote presentation on the development of a South African school workbook development project that currently provides ‘lesson-a-day’ learning materials in all official languages for approximately six million children.
ACER and the LH Martin Institute are co-hosting the 2012 National Student Engagement Conference, on the topic ‘Enhancing retention and outcomes in a competitive environment’. The conference will bring together stakeholders from across the sector to discuss how Australian tertiary education can assure and enhance students’ engagement in effective educational practices to boost quality and productivity.
The 2012 National Student Engagement Conference takes place in Melbourne on 30-31 October. Two half-day pre-conference workshops will address using technology to engage students and using student voice data for change. Further information, including a list of speakers and registration details, is available from: www.acer.edu.au/highereducation/courses-and-conferences/
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