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Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research

Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)

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Full-Text Articles in Education

Improving Young Children's Learning In Economically Developing Countries: What Works, Why, And Where? Scoping Review, Jen Jackson, Syeda Kashfee Ahmed, Toby Carslake, Petra Lietz Aug 2019

Improving Young Children's Learning In Economically Developing Countries: What Works, Why, And Where? Scoping Review, Jen Jackson, Syeda Kashfee Ahmed, Toby Carslake, Petra Lietz

Monitoring Learning

This scoping review responds to the increasing interest in improving early childhood education and care (ECEC) in economically developing countries. It examines available research in relation to the question: What effective interventions have been implemented recently in economically developing countries to improve children’s learning in the years before school? As much of the research underpinning ECEC interventions has focused on economically developed countries, it is timely to review available research about the effectiveness of interventions in the economically developing world. The ECEC interventions were categorised as Income supplementation (n=8); Parent-focused interventions (n=37); Child-focused education and nurturing care ...


Feeling Safe At School – What Does The Research Say?, Sue Thomson Mar 2019

Feeling Safe At School – What Does The Research Say?, Sue Thomson

Teacher columnist- Sue Thomson

Most people would argue that children should feel safe at school. For some children, school is possibly the only place in which they feel safe. However, when we see reports of school shootings and large-scale violence in school communities in other countries, we are reminded that this is not universal. On a more day-to-day level, bullying, and cyberbullying in particular, can significantly influence students’ perceptions of school safety. However, the ramifications of bullying on students’ levels of stress and wellbeing are not always considered as elements of school climate.


Growth To Achievement: On-Demand Resources For Teachers, Christine Cawsey Am, John Hattie, Geoff N. Masters Ao Mar 2019

Growth To Achievement: On-Demand Resources For Teachers, Christine Cawsey Am, John Hattie, Geoff N. Masters Ao

Monitoring Learning

A central finding of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools (the Excellence Review) was that learning progressions can help teachers tailor their teaching to support students’ achievement through continuous learning growth. Aligned, online and on-demand assessments, combined with professional learning and resources, will aid the use and interpretation of learning progressions in order to maximise the learning growth and attainment of every student every year. The Commonwealth Minister for Education and Training has established an expert reference panel to shape a shared vision for this important work and provide advice on how to take it forward. The ...


Queensland Teacher Workload Study: Final Report To The Queensland Teachers’ Union, Sheldon Rothman, Lawrence Ingvarson, Darren Matthews Dec 2018

Queensland Teacher Workload Study: Final Report To The Queensland Teachers’ Union, Sheldon Rothman, Lawrence Ingvarson, Darren Matthews

Teacher Workforce and Careers

The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) conducted an online survey of members on behalf of the Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU). The survey was open to teachers, school leaders (principals and assistant principals) and heads of program working in Queensland government schools. It was based on one conducted for the Victorian branch of the Australian Education Union (AEU) in 2016 and the AEU – Tasmanian Branch in 2017. The survey of the work of union members in Queensland government schools focussed on the hours of work by school staff, staff perceptions of their work, and the relationship between work practices and ...


Stem: What’S Holding Females Back?, Sue Thomson Nov 2018

Stem: What’S Holding Females Back?, Sue Thomson

Teacher columnist- Sue Thomson

While the 20th century saw women stride ahead in their participation in education and the workforce, there are still gender differences apparent in some areas of education. In particular, females do not enrol in higher mathematics, science, or ICT, or move into STEM-based careers to the same extent as males. We rightly celebrate great achievements for women in science, such as the Nobel Prizes awarded in Physics to Donna Strickland and in Chemistry to Frances Arnold this year, but why are these achievements such a rarity?


Pisa Australia In Focus Number 4: Anxiety, Marina Schmid Oct 2018

Pisa Australia In Focus Number 4: Anxiety, Marina Schmid

OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA Australia)

The pressure to get good grades is one of the most frequently cited sources of stress for school age children and adolescents (OECD, 2017). Both schoolwork-related anxiety and test anxiety have been shown to have a negative impact on student academic performance and general well-being. As students move into the later years of schooling, the academic demand on them increases and they are expected to manage this along with their emotional responses to it. Alongside the assessments of students’ performance in reading, mathematics and scientific literacy, PISA also collects information about their experiences of schooling – their worries, their interests and ...


Acer 2016-2017 Annual Report, Australian Council For Educational Research (Acer) Oct 2018

Acer 2016-2017 Annual Report, Australian Council For Educational Research (Acer)

Annual Reports

No abstract provided.


Integrating The Findings From The National Assessment Of Student Achievement Into The Policy Process: An Experience From Nepal, Lekha Nath Poudel, Gopal Prasad Bhattarai Oct 2018

Integrating The Findings From The National Assessment Of Student Achievement Into The Policy Process: An Experience From Nepal, Lekha Nath Poudel, Gopal Prasad Bhattarai

Assessment and Reporting

This paper presents the experiences from Nepal on how the findings from the National Assessment of Student Achievement (NASA) have been integrated into policy processes. The purpose of this brief paper is twofold: to give an overview of the process of the National Assessment of Student Achievement, and to describe how the results were disseminated to different stakeholders to incorporate the findings into the design of policy processes. In doing so, the case study highlights how the assessment findings have been used to design and implement policies and programs in education.


Validating Professional Standards For Teachers: A Practical Guide For Research Design: Snapshot Literature Review, Jen Jackson, Yung Nietschke Oct 2018

Validating Professional Standards For Teachers: A Practical Guide For Research Design: Snapshot Literature Review, Jen Jackson, Yung Nietschke

Teaching Standards and Teacher Evaluation

This report aims to establish a strong evidence base for planning a validation study of professional standards for teachers. It presents findings from a rapid "snapshot" review of relevant research literature, to identify previous examples of validation studies, and extract lessons from these about worthwhile methods and considerations in research design. This review was originally conducted to inform the design of a validation study of the draft Myanmar Teacher Competency Standards Framework, but may also have wider relevance to other education systems pursuing similar standards-based reforms. This report presents findings from the literature review. It is divided into four sections ...


Pisa Australia In Focus Number 3: Motivation, Catherine Underwood Sep 2018

Pisa Australia In Focus Number 3: Motivation, Catherine Underwood

OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA Australia)

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) has collected information about student motivation in each cycle, but the types of motivation focused on has varied over the cycles in line with the major domain (or the main focus) of the assessment for that cycle – reading, mathematical or scientific literacy. The focus of PISA 2015 is on science learning. It collected data about students’ achievement motivation in relation to science learning using their responses to the following five items measured on a four-point Likert scale (strongly agree; agree; disagree; and strongly disagree): I want top grades in most or all of ...


Using The Principal Performance Improvement Tool, Australian Council For Educational Research (Acer) Sep 2018

Using The Principal Performance Improvement Tool, Australian Council For Educational Research (Acer)

Teaching and Learning and Leadership

The Principal Performance Improvement Tool (PPIT) has been developed to assist school principals and others who aspire to this role to reflect on their current leadership practices. The tool is informed by international research into the kinds of leadership that result in improved teaching and learning. It also draws heavily on the lived experiences of practicing school principals. This booklet is a brief introduction to the PPIT.


Assessment Of University Support Services For Regional And Remote Students On Transition To University: Final Report, Darren Matthews, Gina Milgate, Leyna Clarke Aug 2018

Assessment Of University Support Services For Regional And Remote Students On Transition To University: Final Report, Darren Matthews, Gina Milgate, Leyna Clarke

Higher Education Research

This report details the development and piloting of an Assessment of university support services for regional and remote students on transition to university. The project forms part of the Australian Government’s response to the Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education led by Emeritus Professor John Halsey. In its recommendations, the Review highlighted how critical it is to “Support RRR [regional, rural and remote] students to make successful transitions from school to university, training, employment and combinations of them”. In relation to this recommendation, this project is designed to support the Australian Government’s response to the Halsey ...


Learning Progressions In Acer's Work, Charlotte Waters Jul 2018

Learning Progressions In Acer's Work, Charlotte Waters

Monitoring Learning

This document has been developed to provide background to ACER’s learning progressions; to explain the terminology that is being used in this work; and to describe how learning progressions are being incorporated into various aspects of ACER’s work.


What Remuneration Levels Should Apply To Highly Accomplished And Lead Teacher Certification, Lawrence Ingvarson Jun 2018

What Remuneration Levels Should Apply To Highly Accomplished And Lead Teacher Certification, Lawrence Ingvarson

Teacher Workforce and Careers

This expert witness report was commissioned by the Queensland Teachers’ Union in April, 2018 as part of evidence to be presented in a submission to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission. The purpose of this report was to review research that would assist the Commission in arriving at its decision regarding appropriate remuneration levels for certified Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers.


Designing Rubrics For Authentic Assessment, Kathryn Richardson, Anne-Marie Chase Jun 2018

Designing Rubrics For Authentic Assessment, Kathryn Richardson, Anne-Marie Chase

Teacher Education

This presentation looks at the steps in developing authentic rubrics, from determining the constructs that will be assessed; breaking down the constructs into a set of broad capabilities that need to be observed; transferring capabilities into indicative behaviours (indicators or criteria); and determining the different levels of proficiency.


Pisa Australia In Focus Number 1: Sense Of Belonging At School, Lisa De Bortoli May 2018

Pisa Australia In Focus Number 1: Sense Of Belonging At School, Lisa De Bortoli

OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA Australia)

PISA has established a profile of what 15-year-old students can do and what they are like as learners. Gaining an understanding about the non-cognitive aspects, including students’ motivation, engagement and beliefs, for achieving success in school and in the future is another important goal of PISA. This report seeks to explore an aspect of students’ more general attitudes towards school, specifically their sense of belonging at school.


Students Who Like To Read – What Does The Research Say?, Sue Thomson May 2018

Students Who Like To Read – What Does The Research Say?, Sue Thomson

Teacher columnist- Sue Thomson

What do Year 4 students think about reading? Is it fun? Do they think they learn anything? Sue Thomson explores these questions in her first Teacher column.


Gonski’S Model For Schools, Geoff N. Masters Ao May 2018

Gonski’S Model For Schools, Geoff N. Masters Ao

Teacher columnist – Geoff Masters

The recent Gonski report calls for a new model of school education. This is a big call. What is this new model? Professor Geoff Masters AO discusses. In delivering his recent report David Gonski described the report’s recommendations as a package of reforms to underpin a new model to improve performance in Australian schools.


Single-Sex Schooling And Girls’ Achievement In Australia, Katherine Dix May 2018

Single-Sex Schooling And Girls’ Achievement In Australia, Katherine Dix

Gender Issues

Data from research studies such as the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), and NAPLAN have been utilised to compare girls’ and boys’ academic achievement in single-sex and co-educational schools. The data sets, which inform policy monitoring by identifying key performance measures and evaluating progress towards educational goals for Australian students by international standards, are examined to identify any gender biases in Australian and international trends in reading and mathematics for Years 3-4 to Year 9 students. The effects of socio-economic status, year level and ...


Pirls 2016 Australian Year 4 Data [Spss], Sue Thomson, Kylie Hillman, Marina Schmid, Sima Rodrigues, Jessica Fullarton May 2018

Pirls 2016 Australian Year 4 Data [Spss], Sue Thomson, Kylie Hillman, Marina Schmid, Sima Rodrigues, Jessica Fullarton

Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS)

This dataset (SPSS zipped) is a data source for the report PIRLS 2016: Reporting Australia's results. Refer to the readme.txt file for details.


Pirls 2016 Australian Year 4 Data [Sas], Sue Thomson, Kylie Hillman, Marina Schmid, Sima Rodrigues, Jessica Fullarton May 2018

Pirls 2016 Australian Year 4 Data [Sas], Sue Thomson, Kylie Hillman, Marina Schmid, Sima Rodrigues, Jessica Fullarton

Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS)

This dataset (SAS zipped) is a data source for the report PIRLS 2016: Reporting Australia's results. Refer to the readme.txt file for details.


Pirls 2016 Reporting Australia's Results Data Tables [Excel File], Sue Thomson, Kylie Hillman, Marina Schmid, Sima Rodrigues, Jessica Fullarton May 2018

Pirls 2016 Reporting Australia's Results Data Tables [Excel File], Sue Thomson, Kylie Hillman, Marina Schmid, Sima Rodrigues, Jessica Fullarton

Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS)

This Excel file contains data pertaining to the report PIRLS 2016: Reporting Australia's results (2017). This report provides the Australian results from PIRLS 2016.


Challenges In Stem Learning In Australian Schools, Michael J. Timms, Kathryn Moyle, Paul R. Weldon, Pru Mitchell May 2018

Challenges In Stem Learning In Australian Schools, Michael J. Timms, Kathryn Moyle, Paul R. Weldon, Pru Mitchell

Policy Insights

Australian STEM education seems caught in a whirlpool of problems that are contributing to one another. Student engagement and performance in STEM are declining, but we do not have the supply of qualified teachers we need to improve learning. The STEM curriculum is unbalanced and fragmented, leading to less interest among students. It is not possible to break out of the downward cycle from within the current system and it requires policy changes that address the issues raised in this report. This means developing well-considered, systemic and joined-up policies that address the following challenges: Improving student outcomes, building the STEM ...


The Unesco Institute For Statistics Reporting Scales Concept Note, Australian Council For Educational Research (Acer) May 2018

The Unesco Institute For Statistics Reporting Scales Concept Note, Australian Council For Educational Research (Acer)

Monitoring Learning

Measurement of learning achievement is essential to monitor how well education systems are delivering on the promise of universal quality education. This promise is reflected in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Number 4 (Target 4.1): By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes. Goal 4 can only be meaningful if there is a shared global understanding of quality education, and relevant and effective learning. The various indicators associated with SDG Target 4.1 attempt to translate its key constructs into measurable ...


Challenges In Stem Learning In Australian Schools: Literature And Policy Review, Michael J. Timms, Kathryn Moyle, Paul R. Weldon, Pru Mitchell May 2018

Challenges In Stem Learning In Australian Schools: Literature And Policy Review, Michael J. Timms, Kathryn Moyle, Paul R. Weldon, Pru Mitchell

Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation

This literature and policy review outlines the complex context related to STEM learning in Australian schools and focuses on student outcomes, the teacher workforce and the curriculum. This paper also sheds light on possible policy directions by examining lessons from other countries. STEM education is a broad enterprise that starts in early childhood education, continues through the years of schooling and extends into tertiary education supported by contributions from extracurricular and enrichment activities, science centres and museums. However, the focus in this document is on primary and secondary schooling. Australian STEM education seems caught in a whirlpool of problems that ...


Sharing Session #2: Penilaian Pendidikan Berbasis Kinerja [Performance Based Educational Assessment], Acer Indonesia May 2018

Sharing Session #2: Penilaian Pendidikan Berbasis Kinerja [Performance Based Educational Assessment], Acer Indonesia

Assessment and Reporting

Topik untuk Sharing Session ini adalah mengenai Penilaian Berbasis Kinerja di Ruang Kelas: (i) Apa yang dimaksud dengan PBK, (ii) bagaimana cara kita mendesain penggunaannya di ruang kelas, serta (iii) apa saja ragam teknik penerapannya. Topik ini menarik untuk diangkat karena sepertinya ada demand untuk memahami dengan lebih baik cara penerapannya di kegiatan pembelajaran. Seperti sudah kita ketahui bersama, Kurikulum 2013 menerapkan model pembelajaran yang menekankan pada pencapaian kompetensi peserta didiknya. Metode pembelajaran seperti ini tentunya memerlukan metode penilaian yang berbeda dari sebelumnya. Karena tidak semata menghitung jumlah jawaban benar atau salah di atas kertas, tapi bagaimana guru mampu menilai ...


What Is 'Equity' In Education, Geoff N. Masters Ao, Ray J. Adams Apr 2018

What Is 'Equity' In Education, Geoff N. Masters Ao, Ray J. Adams

Teacher columnist – Geoff Masters

Equity in education is often viewed as equivalence or sameness. A more useful way to view equity is through the lens of ‘fairness’.


Learning Progressions As An Inclusive Solution To Global Education Monitoring, Ray J. Adams, Jen Jackson, Ross Turner Apr 2018

Learning Progressions As An Inclusive Solution To Global Education Monitoring, Ray J. Adams, Jen Jackson, Ross Turner

Monitoring Learning

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) mark a welcome shift in global discussion of education, because now we are talking not only about getting children into school, but also about making sure that they are learning. At the same time, the SDGs introduce a new layer of complexity, because we need to define what quality education means in a way that is meaningful across international contexts.

This short paper describes how the development of global learning progressions provides an innovative solution, to balance the need for flexibility and consistency in global monitoring of learning.


Principal Performance Improvement Tool, Geoff N. Masters Ao Apr 2018

Principal Performance Improvement Tool, Geoff N. Masters Ao

Teaching and Learning and Leadership

What is a highly effective school principal, and what do they do that makes them so effective? The Principal Performance Improvement Tool sets out to answer these questions. It provides a point of reference that principals can use to reflect on their current practices and to identify areas in which their work could be still more effective.


Development Of Reporting Scales For Reading And Mathematics: A Report Describing The Process For Building The Uis Reporting Scales, Ross Turner, Ray Adams, Ursula Schwantner, Dan Cloney, Claire Scoular, Prue Anderson, Alexander Daraganov, Jen Jackson, Sandra Knowles, Gayl O'Connor, Pam Munro-Smith, Stavroula Zoumboulis, Pauline Rogers Apr 2018

Development Of Reporting Scales For Reading And Mathematics: A Report Describing The Process For Building The Uis Reporting Scales, Ross Turner, Ray Adams, Ursula Schwantner, Dan Cloney, Claire Scoular, Prue Anderson, Alexander Daraganov, Jen Jackson, Sandra Knowles, Gayl O'Connor, Pam Munro-Smith, Stavroula Zoumboulis, Pauline Rogers

Monitoring Learning

As a technical partner of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, ACER-GEM has created reporting scales for reading and maths, with the intention of enabling countries to examine and report the outcomes of their assessment activities using a common framework. This report gives the theoretical and contextual background to the scales, and describes the steps in the drafting process.