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Science and Mathematics Education

Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)

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Thinking Maths: Learning Impact Fund Evaluation Report: Evaluation Report And Executive Summary, Katherine Dix, Hilary Hollingsworth, Toby Carslake Sep 2018

Thinking Maths: Learning Impact Fund Evaluation Report: Evaluation Report And Executive Summary, Katherine Dix, Hilary Hollingsworth, Toby Carslake

Literacy and Numeracy

Thinking Maths is a three-term structured professional learning program for Years 6 - 9 mathematics teachers to engage middle school students’ mathematics learning. The Thinking Maths program has been developed by the South Australian Department for Education based on its Teaching for Effective Learning (TfEL) Framework. The program aims to address a significant drop in students’ mathematics performance in NAPLAN from Years 7 to Year 9. Thinking Maths supports teachers to improve students’ learning of mathematical content during the transition between Primary and Secondary school. Years 6 - 9 teachers participate in five professional learning days at 4 - 5 week intervals over ...


Thinking Maths: Learning Impact Fund Evaluation Report: Addendum To The Evaluation Report, Katherine Dix, Hilary Hollingsworth, Toby Carslake Sep 2018

Thinking Maths: Learning Impact Fund Evaluation Report: Addendum To The Evaluation Report, Katherine Dix, Hilary Hollingsworth, Toby Carslake

Literacy and Numeracy

Thinking Maths is a three-term structured professional learning program for Years 6 - 9 mathematics teachers to engage middle school students’ mathematics learning. The Thinking Maths program has been developed by the South Australian Department for Education based on its Teaching for Effective Learning (TfEL) Framework. The program aims to address a significant drop in students’ mathematics performance in NAPLAN from Years 7 to Year 9. Thinking Maths supports teachers to improve students’ learning of mathematical content during the transition between Primary and Secondary school. Years 6 - 9 teachers participate in five professional learning days at 4 - 5 week intervals over ...


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 ...


Class 3 Proficiency In Afghanistan 2015-16 : Outcomes Of A Learning Assessment Of Mathematical And Reading Literacy, Danielle Anzai, Pam Munro-Smith, Sally Robertson, Maurice Walker, Alexander Daraganov Jul 2018

Class 3 Proficiency In Afghanistan 2015-16 : Outcomes Of A Learning Assessment Of Mathematical And Reading Literacy, Danielle Anzai, Pam Munro-Smith, Sally Robertson, Maurice Walker, Alexander Daraganov

Monitoring Trends in Educational Growth (MTEG)

This report presents the results of an assessment of mathematical and reading literacy of Class 3 students in 15 provinces in Afghanistan. The data were collected between late 2015 and mid-2016. The report also describes the growth in mathematical and reading literacy between Class 3 and Class 6. The Class 6 data were collected from the 2013 assessment in 13 provinces in Afghanistan.


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 ...


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 ...


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.


Knowing Growing Showing Literature Review, Tony Dreise, Troy Meston Mar 2017

Knowing Growing Showing Literature Review, Tony Dreise, Troy Meston

Indigenous Education Research

Throughout the world, young people are having to learn about consumer and financial literacy, especially in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis which hurt many families and communities, including young people. This global challenge naturally extends to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in Australia who are particularly vulnerable to financial stress and consumer scams.

There is not a great deal of literature directly on the topic of Indigenous financial literacy particularly as it pertains to quality teaching and learning. This paper explores Indigenous financial literacy and its wider contexts and seeks to pull three important conceptual and ...


Knowing Growing Showing Indigenous Consumer And Financial Literacy: Research To Practice, Tony Dreise, Troy Meston Mar 2017

Knowing Growing Showing Indigenous Consumer And Financial Literacy: Research To Practice, Tony Dreise, Troy Meston

Indigenous Education Research

This framework document underpins Knowing Growing Showing, a suite of teaching, learning and assessment material to support teachers to tailor and customise the delivery of consumer and financial literacy to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners from early schooling to secondary schooling.

Knowing Growing Showing draws upon the literature and evidence in Indigenous consumer and financial literacy and education and then translates it into advice to facilitate culturally responsive and effective teachers of Indigenous learners. The research provides the foundation from which Knowing Growing Showing resources (lesson guides, assessment advice, and teaching material) have been devised. More specifically, it provides ...


Timss 2015: Reporting Australia’S Results, Sue Thomson, Nicole Wernert, Elizabeth O'Grady, Sima Rodrigues Mar 2017

Timss 2015: Reporting Australia’S Results, Sue Thomson, Nicole Wernert, Elizabeth O'Grady, Sima Rodrigues

TIMSS 2015

The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) is an international comparative study of student achievement directed by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). TIMSS 2015 represents the sixth such study since TIMSS was first conducted in 1995. Forty-nine education systems were tested at Year 4 level and 39 tested at Year 8 level. In Australia, TIMSS is managed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and is jointly funded by the Australian Government and the state and territory governments. The goal of TIMSS is to provide comparative information about educational achievement across countries ...


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 ...


Pisa 2015: Reporting Australia's Results, Sue Thomson, Lisa De Bortoli, Catherine Underwood Mar 2017

Pisa 2015: Reporting Australia's Results, Sue Thomson, Lisa De Bortoli, Catherine Underwood

OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA Australia)

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international comparative study of student achievement directed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). PISA measures how well 15-year-olds, who are nearing the end of their compulsory schooling in most participating educational systems, are prepared to use the knowledge and skills in particular areas to meet real-life opportunities and challenges. PISA 2015 is the sixth cycle of PISA since it was first conducted in 2000. Seventy-two OECD countries or partner economies participated in PISA 2015. In Australia, PISA is managed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and ...


Review Of The Piaac Numeracy Assessment Framework: Final Report, Dave Tout, Diana Coben, Vince Geiger, Lynda Ginsburg, Kees Hoogland, Terry Maguire, Sue Thomson, Ross Turner Jan 2017

Review Of The Piaac Numeracy Assessment Framework: Final Report, Dave Tout, Diana Coben, Vince Geiger, Lynda Ginsburg, Kees Hoogland, Terry Maguire, Sue Thomson, Ross Turner

Transition and Post-School Education and Training

The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) is an international assessment of the proficiency of adults (aged 16-65 years) in key information processing skills (reading, numeracy and Problem Solving in Technology-Rich Environments). The PIAAC Survey of Adult Skills has revealed that a considerable number of adults in OECD countries possess only limited literacy and numeracy skills. The OECD is currently reviewing the content of the frameworks and cognitive assessment instruments for the 2nd cycle of PIAAC ready for delivery in 2021-22. This report is the result of a review of the numeracy construct and assessment in PIAAC ...


Pisa 2015 : A First Look At Australia’S Results, Sue Thomson, Lisa De Bortoli, Catherine Underwood Dec 2016

Pisa 2015 : A First Look At Australia’S Results, Sue Thomson, Lisa De Bortoli, Catherine Underwood

OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA Australia)

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international comparative study of student achievement directed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). PISA 2015 represents the sixth such study since PISA was first conducted in 2000. Seventy-two OECD countries or partner economies participated in PISA 2015. In Australia, PISA is managed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and is jointly funded by the Australian Government and the state and territory governments. The goal of PISA is to measure how well 15-year-olds, who are nearing the end of their compulsory schooling in most participating educational systems ...


Timss 2015 : A First Look At Australia's Results, Sue Thomson, Nicole Wernert, Elizabeth O'Grady, Sima Rodrigues Nov 2016

Timss 2015 : A First Look At Australia's Results, Sue Thomson, Nicole Wernert, Elizabeth O'Grady, Sima Rodrigues

TIMSS 2015

The goal of TIMSS is to provide comparative information about educational achievement across countries to improve teaching and learning in mathematics and science. It is designed, broadly, to align with the mathematics and science curricula in the participating education systems and countries, and focuses on assessment at Year 4 and Year 8. It also provides comparative perspectives on trends in achievement in the context of different education systems, school organisational approaches and instructional practices; and to enable this, TIMSS collects a rich array of background data from students, schools and teachers, and also collects data about the education systems themselves ...


Fostering Understanding Of Early Numeracy Development, Kate Reid, Nicola Andrews Sep 2016

Fostering Understanding Of Early Numeracy Development, Kate Reid, Nicola Andrews

Monitoring Learning

In 2012, the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) began the Longitudinal Literacy and Numeracy Study: Transitions from Preschool to School (LLANS:TPS). The study is part of a program of longitudinal literacy and numeracy research at ACER that started with a seven-year longitudinal study of children’s developing literacy and numeracy throughout primary school, which began in 1999 with a cohort of 1000 children from 100 schools around Australia (Meiers et al., 2006). The original Longitudinal Literacy and Numeracy Study (LLANS) developed new instruments for assessing children’s literacy and numeracy understanding in the first three years of primary ...


Counting On It : Early Numeracy Development And The Preschool Child, Kate Reid Jul 2016

Counting On It : Early Numeracy Development And The Preschool Child, Kate Reid

Student Learning Processes

Children think mathematically long before they start school. Before children start learning mathematics at school, they show informal understanding of many numeracy concepts. This is informal numeracy knowledge, that is, skills that children develop before starting school that do not depend on written mathematical notation (Purpura & Napoli, 2015). For example, children’s numeracy knowledge is evident in their developing counting skills. It is also evident in their capacity to compare, share, order, estimate and calculate different quantities. Fundamental skills in recognising and responding to numerical cues are apparent in infancy, and, at a very basic level, may be innate. Early numeracy skills influence achievement in school mathematics (Malofeeva, Day, Saco, Young, & Ciancio, 2004; Purpura & Napoli, 2015; Starkey, Klein & Wakeley, 2004). Understanding the importance and development of preschoolers’ numeracy skills is fundamental for those involved in early years education so they can support and encourage children to develop their skills in early learning contexts, and provide appropriate school-entry teaching and learning (Floyd, Hojnoski, & Key, 2006). This review synthesises current research ...


Translating Stem Education Research Into Practice, Christine Rosicka Jun 2016

Translating Stem Education Research Into Practice, Christine Rosicka

Professional Development for Teachers and School Leaders

This translational research project from the Centre for Education Policy and Practice sought evidence-based practical applications, programs or interventions that can be implemented in the primary classroom to address STEM learning. A literature search for STEM education interventions in primary years was undertaken in order to identify integrated STEM programs that have had a proven impact on student outcomes. This paper outlines the scope and methodology of the review. It then considers the findings in terms of four key themes and translates them into short messages for teachers. The recent literature on STEM education was found to centre around four ...


Gender And Sex Differences In Student Participation, Achievement And Engagement In Mathematics, Sarah Buckley Apr 2016

Gender And Sex Differences In Student Participation, Achievement And Engagement In Mathematics, Sarah Buckley

Student Learning Processes

Research in neuroscience, psychology and education explores gender differences in achievement and learning in many different ways with different implications for educators and policymakers. This paper presents some of the literature from these three research fields. Rather than being an exhaustive review, This paper provides a brief synthesis of relevant issues when considering gender in education. The paper has three main sections. The first section presents data on gender differences in mathematics participation, achievement and engagement in Australia. Note that for the purposes of this paper, the term ‘engagement’ will be used to describe students’ motivated involvement with mathematics, particularly ...


Work Integrated Learning In Stem In Australian Universities: Final Report: Submitted To The Office Of The Chief Scientist, Daniel Edwards, Kate Perkins, Jacob Pearce, Jennifer Hong Jun 2015

Work Integrated Learning In Stem In Australian Universities: Final Report: Submitted To The Office Of The Chief Scientist, Daniel Edwards, Kate Perkins, Jacob Pearce, Jennifer Hong

Higher Education Research

The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) undertook this study for the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS). It explores the practice and application of Work Integrated Learning (WIL) in STEM, with a particular focus on natural and physical sciences, information technology, and agriculture departments in Australian universities. The project involved a detailed ‘stocktake’ of WIL in practice in these disciplines, with collection of information by interview, survey instruments, consultation with stakeholders and literature reviews. Every university in Australia was visited as part of this project, with interviews and consultation sessions gathering insight from more than 120 academics and support ...


Thinking It Through: Australian Students’ Skills In Creative Problem Solving, Lisa De Bortoli, Greg Macaskill Sep 2014

Thinking It Through: Australian Students’ Skills In Creative Problem Solving, Lisa De Bortoli, Greg Macaskill

OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA Australia)

In every PISA survey, students from every participating country are assessed in the core domains of mathematics, science and reading literacy. In addition to assessing these literacy domains, the OECD proposes additional assessments in other domains. In PISA 2003, a paper-based assessment of cross- disciplinary problem solving was first assessed, when it was included as a core domain. In PISA 2012, problem solving was once again assessed, this time as an optional computer-based assessment.

The focus of the PISA 2012 assessment of problem solving was: Are today’s 15-year-old students acquiring the problem-solving skills that will prepare them to meet ...


Reducing Mathematics Anxiety, Catherine Pearn Jul 2014

Reducing Mathematics Anxiety, Catherine Pearn

Teacher articles

Catherine Pearn discusses how to approach maths anxiety in the classroom. The symptoms of mathematics anxiety vary from expressing a dislike of mathematics to an adult who had to exit a lecture theatre in a hurry when numbers are displayed on a screen.


A Teacher's Guide To Pisa Mathematical Literacy, Sue Thomson, Kylie Hillman, Lisa De Bortoli Aug 2013

A Teacher's Guide To Pisa Mathematical Literacy, Sue Thomson, Kylie Hillman, Lisa De Bortoli

OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA Australia)

This report focuses on mathematical literacy and is one of a series of three reports on Australian students' performance in PISA. The report provides an overview of the PISA mathematics framework and Australia's results in the PISA 2003 international assessment. Also included are mathematics items released for public viewing after the PISA 2003 assessment and examples of responses, marking guides and comparisons of results with other countries. The context behind achievement, e.g. attitudes, engagement and learning strategies, is also presented.


A Teacher's Guide To Pisa Scientific Literacy, Sue Thomson, Kylie Hillman, Lisa De Bortoli Aug 2013

A Teacher's Guide To Pisa Scientific Literacy, Sue Thomson, Kylie Hillman, Lisa De Bortoli

OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA Australia)

This report focuses on Australian students' performance on the PISA items that have been released in Scientific Literacy. It includes an overview of the PISA Scientific Literacy Framework, Australian students' results in the 2006 international assessment, examples of responses and marking guides and the context behind achievement, e.g. attitudes, engagement and motivation, and recognition of environmental issues.


Deconstructing Maths Anxiety: Helping Students To Develop A Positive Attitude Towards Learning Maths, Sarah Buckley Jul 2013

Deconstructing Maths Anxiety: Helping Students To Develop A Positive Attitude Towards Learning Maths, Sarah Buckley

Student Learning Processes

Higher maths ability is often believed to go hand-in-hand with greater levels of general intelligence. At the same time, many students have a negative attitude towards maths. Maths anxiety is defined in the research literature as feelings of concern, tension or nervousness that are experienced in combination with maths. In 2005, researchers in the United States estimated that approximately 20 per cent of the US population were highly maths anxious. Given the cultural similarities between the US and Australia, we can assume that the percentage would be comparable here. Research in education, cognitive psychology and neuroscience shows that anxiety can ...


A Shared Challenge: Improving Literacy, Numeracy And Science Learning In Queensland Primary Schools, Geoff N. Masters Apr 2009

A Shared Challenge: Improving Literacy, Numeracy And Science Learning In Queensland Primary Schools, Geoff N. Masters

Assessment and Reporting

Following the release of Queensland results in the 2008 National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) and the 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) late in 2008, the Premier, Anna Bligh, requested an independent review of literacy, numeracy and science standards in Queensland primary schools. The review was asked to examine available data on the performances of Queensland students and, drawing on international research evidence, to provide advice in the areas of curriculum, assessment and teacher quality. In particular, the review was asked to identify existing effective practices, to propose ways in which these could be scaled ...


Participation In Science, Mathematics And Technology In Australian Education, John Ainley, Julie Kos, Marina Nicholas Aug 2008

Participation In Science, Mathematics And Technology In Australian Education, John Ainley, Julie Kos, Marina Nicholas

ACER Research Monographs

This report was commissioned to update and extend the Background Data and Analysis component of the report, Australia’s Teachers: Australia’s Future – Advancing Innovation, Science, Technology and Mathematics (Committee for the Review of Teaching and Teacher Education, 2003a) that informed the Main Report (Committee for the Review of Teaching and Teacher Education, 2003b). In the five years since the 2003 review, there have been developments in science, technology and mathematics education that have been impacted on by initiatives in policy and practice as well by changes in the context. So that changes in science, technology and mathematics education can ...


Supply, Demand And Approaches To Employment By People With Postgraduate Research Qualifications In Science And Mathematics: Literature Review And Data Analysis, Daniel Edwards, T Fred Smith Aug 2008

Supply, Demand And Approaches To Employment By People With Postgraduate Research Qualifications In Science And Mathematics: Literature Review And Data Analysis, Daniel Edwards, T Fred Smith

Higher Education Research

This report is the first in a project that investigates the demand for and supply of people with science and mathematics postgraduate qualifications in Australia. This report is divided into two main parts: a literature review and a data analysis. The report uses numerous national data sets to present a picture of the supply, demand and employment dynamics of postgraduates in the natural and physical sciences in Australia. The figures indicate an increasing number of postgraduates are completing studies in these fields. However, compared with other fields of education, supply in the natural and physical sciences is increasing at a ...


Towards A Science Education For All: The Role Of Ideas, Evidence And Argument, Jonathan Osborne Jan 2006

Towards A Science Education For All: The Role Of Ideas, Evidence And Argument, Jonathan Osborne

2006 - Boosting Science Learning - What will it take?

This presentation offers a critical analysis of contemporary science education and the values on which it rests. Science education wrestles with two competing priorities: the need to educate the future citizen about science; and the need to provide the basic knowledge necessary for future scientists. It is argued that the evidence would suggest that it is the latter goal that predominates – a goal which exists at least, in part, in conflict with the needs of the majority who will not continue with science post compulsory education. The argument is advanced that there are four essential elements to any science education ...


Research And Boosting Science Learning: Diagnosis And Potential Solutions, Peter Fensham Jan 2006

Research And Boosting Science Learning: Diagnosis And Potential Solutions, Peter Fensham

2006 - Boosting Science Learning - What will it take?

In this paper I want to draw on relevant research to address the theme of this year’s conference in three ways: 1. The nature of the problem 2. Possible solutions 3. Constraints on these possible solutions