Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Education Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 18 of 18

Full-Text Articles in Education

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 ...


Lifting Achievement Levels And Improving The Return On Australia’S Investment In Schooling : Submission To The Review To Achieve Educational Excellence In Australian Schools (Chair: Mr David Gonski), Australian Council For Educational Research (Acer) Nov 2017

Lifting Achievement Levels And Improving The Return On Australia’S Investment In Schooling : Submission To The Review To Achieve Educational Excellence In Australian Schools (Chair: Mr David Gonski), Australian Council For Educational Research (Acer)

Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation

Many students in our schools are not learning as well as they could because they are not being given learning opportunities at an appropriate level of challenge. Instead, students are grouped by year level (age) and teachers deliver curricula assumed to be appropriate for all students in the same year of school. However, the most advanced ten per cent of students in any year of school are five to six years ahead of the least advanced ten per cent. For less advanced students, the year-level curriculum is often too far ahead. Many are judged to be underperforming year after year ...


Evaluation Of The In2science Peer Mentoring Program: Final Report, Julie Kos, Jacynta Krakouer, Sheldon Rothman Mar 2017

Evaluation Of The In2science Peer Mentoring Program: Final Report, Julie Kos, Jacynta Krakouer, Sheldon Rothman

Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation

Large-scale studies of 15-year-old school students show associations between students’ attitudes toward science learning and their levels of achievement (Ainley, Kos, & Nicholas, 2008). One model for improving students’ attitudes towards science and mathematics learning has been the provision of peer mentoring. The In2science program uses a peer mentoring approach to engage secondary school students in science and mathematics study. Working with the classroom teacher, university students serve as mentors and help students with their learning and build relationships in a small group or a whole class. Mentors talk to students about studying science (or another STEM area) at university and ...


Independent Evaluation Of Asic’S Implementation Of The Helping Our Kids Understand Finances Initiative, Robert Simons Jul 2014

Independent Evaluation Of Asic’S Implementation Of The Helping Our Kids Understand Finances Initiative, Robert Simons

Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation

In May 2013, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) commissioned the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) to conduct an independent evaluation of its implementation of the Helping Our Kids Understand Finances (HOKUF) initiative. The purpose was to conduct an independent evidence-based assessment of whether ASIC implemented the HOKUF initiative in a way that met the following key criteria: 1) Appropriate – the extent to which the program developed by ASIC was useful and ‘fit for purpose’ in supporting the delivery of the consumer and financial literacy content aligned to the Australian Curriculum. 2) Effective − the extent to which the ...


Snapshot Of School–Community Partnerships In Australian Schools, Sharon Clerke May 2013

Snapshot Of School–Community Partnerships In Australian Schools, Sharon Clerke

Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation

Schools across Australia are increasingly connecting and engaging with community groups to create opportunities for their students. From marine parks to art galleries, radio stations to local councils, aged care to football clubs, neighbourhood houses to garden centres, the possibilities for collaboration are endless. Schools are reaching out into the broader community to build exciting and innovative relationships that are designed to have a positive impact on student learning.

This report describes some of the ways that schools and community groups are collaborating using information contained in Impact Award applications submitted by schools in 2010 and 2011. The NAB Schools ...


Partnering For Success, Sharon Clerke Apr 2013

Partnering For Success, Sharon Clerke

Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation

The NAB Schools First Awards are the result of a partnership between two not-for-profits, the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA), and a large banking corporation, the National Australia Bank (NAB). The Awards project is a national criteria-based awards program which has been rewarding outstanding school–community partnerships since 2009. These Awards reflect a significant investment in education and by 2013, the fifth year of the Awards, will have awarded over $18 million to support more than 500 school–community partnerships around Australia.

This report presents a snapshot of the impact the Awards ...


Partnering For School Improvement : Case Studies Of School-Community Partnerships In Australia, Sharon Clerke Jan 2013

Partnering For School Improvement : Case Studies Of School-Community Partnerships In Australia, Sharon Clerke

Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation

The case studies in this booklet illustrate the creative ways in which Australian schools are responding to local needs by establishing and building partnerships with community organisations and businesses. These partnerships have been formed to share resources, both human and material. They are providing students with access to breakfast clubs, homework and tutoring programs, after-school fitness and sporting activities, and other programs designed to re-engage students. Local businesses that want students to know more about employer expectations and the realities of the workplace are providing work placements and work experience, traineeships and apprenticeships. Some schools are partnering with other educational ...


Startsmart Impact Report, Commonwealth Bank Foundation Jan 2013

Startsmart Impact Report, Commonwealth Bank Foundation

Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation

The Commonwealth Bank Foundation’s school-based, financial education program, StartSmart, was developed with the assistance of education experts and launched in 2007. The StartSmart program – is a series of interactive, financial literacy workshops delivered in classrooms by a team of facilitators which works in partnership with school teachers to deliver effective financial education. The program extends to students in primary, secondary and vocational education settings. The Commonwealth Bank Foundation engaged the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) to undertake an evaluation of the StartSmart program. The purpose of this research was to measure the impact of StartSmart on students’ financial ...


Measuring And Rewarding School Improvement, Geoff N. Masters Apr 2012

Measuring And Rewarding School Improvement, Geoff N. Masters

Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation

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. This view follows several decades of significant increases in government expenditure on school education in developed countries, often with little or no accompanying evidence of improvements in the quality or equity of educational provision. A number of countries have introduced incentives – both rewards and sanctions – in an attempt to ‘drive’ improvements in the work of schools. Many of these incentive schemes have followed the model adopted in business of specifying and measuring desired outcomes, holding ...


Preparing 21st Century Learners : The Case For School-Community Collaborations, Michele Lonsdale, Michelle Anderson Mar 2012

Preparing 21st Century Learners : The Case For School-Community Collaborations, Michele Lonsdale, Michelle Anderson

Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation

Highly effective schools have high levels of parent and community engagement. ‘Community’ here includes parents, business and philanthropic organisations, and various services and not-for-profit groups. How ‘engagement’ is defined and what it looks like in practice will vary from school to school. But, as the growing body of research makes quite clear, support from those beyond the school gates is an essential part of preparing learners for the twenty-first century. Schools are expected to prepare students for a complex and rapidly changing world. In addition to teaching subject content, schools are expected to develop young people who are information and ...


Children’S Independent Mobility : And The Mobile Phone: 8 To 12 Year Olds, Catherine Underwood Dec 2011

Children’S Independent Mobility : And The Mobile Phone: 8 To 12 Year Olds, Catherine Underwood

Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation

Children who know how to use a mobile phone, as opposed to those who don’t, are more likely to move about their neighbourhood without adult supervision, research from the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) suggests. The study, by ACER Research Fellow Ms Catherine Underwood, examined the extent to which knowing how to use a mobile phone is correlated with children’s physical activity and ability to move through their neighbourhood without adult supervision, also known as independent mobility. More than 800 Victorian primary school children aged between 8 and 12 years participated in the research, of which 84 ...


Evaluation Of The Sporting Chance Program, Michele Lonsdale, Jenny Wilkinson, Stephanie Armstrong, David Mcclay, Sharon Clerke, Jocelyn Cook, Kanat Wano, Robert Simons, Gina C. Milgate, Meredith Bramich, Australian Council For Educational Research (Acer) Oct 2011

Evaluation Of The Sporting Chance Program, Michele Lonsdale, Jenny Wilkinson, Stephanie Armstrong, David Mcclay, Sharon Clerke, Jocelyn Cook, Kanat Wano, Robert Simons, Gina C. Milgate, Meredith Bramich, Australian Council For Educational Research (Acer)

Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation

The objective of the Sporting Chance Program is to encourage improved educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students (boys and girls) using sport and recreation. Such outcomes may include an increase in school attendance, strengthened engagement with school and improved attitudes to schooling, improved achievement in learning, increased retention to Year 12 or its vocational equivalent and greater parental and community involvement with the school and students’ schooling. The program comprises two elements:

• School-based Sports Academies (Academies) for secondary school students; and

• Education Engagement Strategies (EES) for both primary and secondary school students.

The purpose of the research ...


Final Report: The Benefits Of School–Business Relationships, Michele Lonsdale, Alana Deery, Sharon Clerke, Michelle Anderson, Emma Curtin, Pat Knight, Meredith Bramich Mar 2011

Final Report: The Benefits Of School–Business Relationships, Michele Lonsdale, Alana Deery, Sharon Clerke, Michelle Anderson, Emma Curtin, Pat Knight, Meredith Bramich

Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation

In January 2011, the Australian Council for Educational Research was contracted by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) to collate information gleaned from a range of sources and prepare a report that made clear the benefits associated with stronger relationships between schools and businesses. ACER was also asked to assess the existing evidence base in an Australian context and identify ways in which this could be strengthened. Given the complex demands faced by schools in the twenty-first century, and the limited nature of the resources available to meet these demands, schools and governments are increasingly looking to ...


School-Community Partnerships In Australian Schools, Michele Lonsdale Feb 2011

School-Community Partnerships In Australian Schools, Michele Lonsdale

Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation

This report is based on an analysis of the data provided by Australian schools in their 2009 Schools First Impact Award applications. The data described the nature of the partnerships that schools had established with community and business groups, the reasons for these partnerships, the kinds of programs that were developed and implemented, and the effectiveness of the partnership/program.

These applications are a rich source of information about school–community partnerships in Australia. The report is organised around the following seven questions:

What types of schools established partnerships?

Who partnered with schools?

What were the main reasons for setting ...


First Interim Report Of Schools First: Evaluation Of The 2009 Awards, Robert Simons Nov 2010

First Interim Report Of Schools First: Evaluation Of The 2009 Awards, Robert Simons

Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation

Schools First is a national awards program initiated by the National Australia Bank (NAB) in partnership with the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) and the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). NAB has committed $15 million in awards funding over three years to recognise and encourage excellence in school-community partnerships. The program was launched in October 2008 by the then Hon Julia Gillard, MP, and is being implemented from 2009-2011 inclusive. Schools First builds on the growing recognition that the task of raising young people who are resilient, adaptable and well-adjusted, rests on the shoulders of the entire community. It ...


Output Measurement In Education, Andrew Dowling Dec 2008

Output Measurement In Education, Andrew Dowling

Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation

Governments can no longer justify their performance in education in terms of inputs; that is, in terms of the amount of new money they have provided, or the number of new teachers they have employed, or the range of new computers they have installed. It has been observed that ‘today, educators need to show how they have transformed current and new dollars into student achievement results, or the argument that education needs more - or even the current level of - money will be unlikely to attract public or political support’. Output measures, particularly those related to student achievement, are the new ...


Australia's School Funding System, Andrew Dowling Dec 2007

Australia's School Funding System, Andrew Dowling

Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation

Australian governments spend over $30 billion on primary and secondary schools each year.1 Yet the process of school funding, including the way in which amounts are calculated, distributed and reported upon, is unavailable not only to the wider public but to some extent even to those working in education. Although Australia’s total spending on schools is small by international standards (given the size of its population), it is significant enough to warrant a more transparent process.


Evaluation Of School-Based Arts Education Programmes In Australian Schools, Jennifer Bryce, Juliette Mendelovits, Adrian Beavis, Joy Mcqueen, Isabelle Adams Jan 2004

Evaluation Of School-Based Arts Education Programmes In Australian Schools, Jennifer Bryce, Juliette Mendelovits, Adrian Beavis, Joy Mcqueen, Isabelle Adams

Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation

This report presents evaluations of four Australian school-based arts programmes: Arts@Direk (SA), Boys’ Business (NT), Indigenous Music Education Programme (NT), and SCRAYP – Youth Arts with an Edge (Vic). Arts@Direk and SCRAYP provided a focus on drama, while Boys’ Business and Indigenous Music Education Programme (IMEP) concentrated on music. There was a range of ages from Year 4 to Year 10 and a diverse range of backgrounds amongst the participating students. The study investigated the impact of each arts programme on students’ academic progress, engagement with learning and school attendance. It also considered which attributes of arts programmes were ...