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2012

Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research

Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)

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Full-Text Articles in Education

Aqtf Quality Indicator Service : 2011-12 Report, Acer Nov 2012

Aqtf Quality Indicator Service : 2011-12 Report, Acer

Transition and Post-School Education and Training

In 2007 ACER lead a sector-side development, deployment and support of a set of instruments and reporting tools to underpin a new data-driven and outcomes-focused approach to quality assurance in Australia’s vocational education and training sector. The AQTF 2007 Quality Indicator survey resources provide building blocks for a wide range of conversations about the quality of vocational education and training. Such feedback is used in education systems and organisations to obtain information on the quality of education and training.

Broadly speaking, collecting information about performance provides a valuable source of data for RTOs to:

◗◗ gauge how well they are ...


Evaluation Of The Assessment And Rating Process Under The National Quality Standard For Early Childhood Education And Care And School Age Care, Sheldon Rothman, David Kelly, Bridie Raban, Mollie Tobin, Jocelyn Cook, Kate O’Malley, Clare Ozolins, Meredith Bramich Nov 2012

Evaluation Of The Assessment And Rating Process Under The National Quality Standard For Early Childhood Education And Care And School Age Care, Sheldon Rothman, David Kelly, Bridie Raban, Mollie Tobin, Jocelyn Cook, Kate O’Malley, Clare Ozolins, Meredith Bramich

Early Childhood Education

This evaluation of the assessment and rating process for early childhood education and care and school age care services had as its focus the validity and reliability of the process. In particular, do the items reviewed with the Assessment and Rating Instrument provide consistent and replicable measures? Would the judgements made by one authorised officer be made by other authorised officers reviewing the same service? Does the process—including use of the Instrument—allow distinctions between rating levels?

The evaluation was undertaken by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), which analysed assessment and rating data from both draft and ...


Review Of Townsville Diocese School Renewal Processes, Tony Mcgruther, Geoff N. Masters Oct 2012

Review Of Townsville Diocese School Renewal Processes, Tony Mcgruther, Geoff N. Masters

Teaching and Learning and Leadership

Townsville Catholic Education Office in Queensland (TCEO) commissioned ACER to review its current processes for school renewal. TCEO seeks to support its school leaders in the design and implementation of self renewing school improvement. This report focuses on the explicit elements of teaching and learning with a particular emphasis on forming recommendations on the evidence base applied to school led reflection. The report is based on data collected from documentation, the views of diocesan leaders, consultants, principals and the current body of research evidence informing school improvement. The recommendations are noted under the common characteristics of highly effective systems identified ...


Enhancing The Quality Of Teaching And Learning In Australian Schools : Submission To The Senate Inquiry On Teaching And Learning (Maximising Our Investment In Australian Schools), Geoff N. Masters Oct 2012

Enhancing The Quality Of Teaching And Learning In Australian Schools : Submission To The Senate Inquiry On Teaching And Learning (Maximising Our Investment In Australian Schools), Geoff N. Masters

Teaching and Learning and Leadership

International research identifies several steps that governments can take to enhance the quality of teaching and learning, and thus levels of student achievement and wellbeing, in primary and secondary schools. The steps are:

1. Restrict and raise the quality of student intakes to teacher education

2. Set and confirm the achievement of minimum standards for registration

3. Recognise and reward the development of specialist knowledge and skill


Starting School : A Strengths‐Based Approach Towards Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Children, Stephanie Armstrong, Sarah Buckley, Michele Lonsdale, Gina Milgate, Laura Bennetts Kneebone, Louise Cook, Fiona Skelton Oct 2012

Starting School : A Strengths‐Based Approach Towards Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Children, Stephanie Armstrong, Sarah Buckley, Michele Lonsdale, Gina Milgate, Laura Bennetts Kneebone, Louise Cook, Fiona Skelton

Indigenous Education Research

This paper highlights the need for a strengths-based approach to school readiness for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, in order to recognise the skills, cultural knowledge and understandings they already have when they transition to formal learning. The study, a joint project by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA), reviews the literature and uses a strength-based analysis of information from Footprints in Time: The Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC) to examine Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s abilities and knowledge at 4-6 years of ...


International Update (No. 3) June 2012 Sep 2012

International Update (No. 3) June 2012

International Update archive (2010-2012)

Table of contents for this issue: (a) Comparing school learning outcomes internationally; (b) Girls outperform boys in reading in PISA 2009+; (c) Investigating computer and information literacy; (d) Discovering civic knowledge, attitudes and engagement; (e) Expertise and networks from Australia to PNG; (d) Education systems must bridge Indigenous and Western worlds; (e) AHELO fieldwork goes live; (f) Innovative international assessment communities evolve; (g) Quality assurance research and its relevance to China; (h) Professional certification can improve teaching quality.


Ib Graduates In Australian Universities : Entry And Outcomes : A Case Study Of Two Institutions : Project Report, Daniel Edwards, Catherine Underwood Sep 2012

Ib Graduates In Australian Universities : Entry And Outcomes : A Case Study Of Two Institutions : Project Report, Daniel Edwards, Catherine Underwood

Higher Education Research

This report explores the entry into and progression through university of graduates from the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP). It focuses on two Australian universities, used as case studies for exploring the higher education pathways of IB DP graduates. The study has been conducted for the International Baccalaureate, the organisation which oversees the IB DP.

This project responds to one key element of the IB research agenda, which focuses on establishing and expanding empirical evidence related to the postsecondary transitions, academic outcomes and experiences of IB DP graduates in the tertiary education sector. This report is intended to provide ...


Effective Strategies For Implementing Differentiated Instruction, John Munro Aug 2012

Effective Strategies For Implementing Differentiated Instruction, John Munro

2009 - 2018 ACER Research Conferences

Concurrent Session Block 2


Children’S Independent Mobility : Walking To School And Road Safety Knowledge : 8 To 12 Year Olds, Catherine Underwood May 2012

Children’S Independent Mobility : Walking To School And Road Safety Knowledge : 8 To 12 Year Olds, Catherine Underwood

Children’s Independent Mobility and Active Transport

Road safety knowledge is essential for children walking to school so they can safely navigate traffic environments. At the same time walking to school increases children’s awareness of their neighbourhood and also has a positive influence on their health and wellbeing.


Preparing Australian Students For The Digital World : Results From The Pisa 2009 Digital Reading Literacy Assessment, Sue Thomson, Lisa De Bortoli May 2012

Preparing Australian Students For The Digital World : Results From The Pisa 2009 Digital Reading Literacy Assessment, Sue Thomson, Lisa De Bortoli

OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA Australia)

In PISA 2009, the assessment of digital reading literacy was offered as an international option for the first time. The digital reading literacy assessment assessed 15-year-old students’ ability to read, understand and apply digital texts. Australia and eighteen other countries or economies participated in this assessment. This report presents the results of the PISA digital reading literacy assessment for Australia. It presents the results for Australia as a whole, and where relevant makes comparisons to the other participants in the study. Results are also reported for the Australian states and territories and for different social groups within Australia. Overall, Australian ...


Students' Participation In And Valuing Of Civic Engagement At School, Wolfram Schulz, Julian Fraillon Apr 2012

Students' Participation In And Valuing Of Civic Engagement At School, Wolfram Schulz, Julian Fraillon

Civics and Citizenship Assessment

The IEA International Civic and Citizenship Education Study studied the ways in which young people in lower secondary schools are prepared to undertake their roles as citizens in a wide range of countries including Europe, Latin America, and the Asian-Pacific region. ICCS was the third IEA study designed to measure contexts and outcomes of civic and citizenship education and was linked to the 1999 IEA Civic Education Study (CIVED). A central aspect of the study was the assessment of student knowledge about a wide range of civic-related issues. ICCS gathered data from more than 140,000 Grade 8 (or equivalent ...


The Role Of Civic Participation In National And School Curricula, John Ainley, Tim Friedman Apr 2012

The Role Of Civic Participation In National And School Curricula, John Ainley, Tim Friedman

Civics and Citizenship Assessment

Civic and citizenship education is increasingly conceptualized in national curricula within a lifelong learning perspective that encompasses formal curricula (that specify content and approaches in a subject or set of subjects), non-formal curricula (through co-curricular activities in schools) and informal curricula (through a school and classroom ethos that embodies citizenship values). One review of education policies in Europe documents attempts to encourage ‘active citizenship’ supported by ‘democratic schools’ offering a ‘participatory school culture’. However, there is evidence of a gap between declarations of principle and the implementation of these principles in schools as well as between policies and practices. This ...


Some Drivers Of Test Item Difficulty In Mathematics, Ross Turner Apr 2012

Some Drivers Of Test Item Difficulty In Mathematics, Ross Turner

OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)

This paper is one of four contributions to the symposium session at the AERA’s 2012 Annual Meeting titled Exploring Reading and Mathematics Item Difficulty: Teaching and Learning Implications of PISA Survey Data. The author presents a rubric used to analyse mathematics test items developed for use in the OECD’s PISA survey. The rubric focuses on a set of mathematical competencies that are components of mathematical literacy. The work on which this report is based suggests that demand for activation of these competencies functions as a significant driver of item difficulty, which potentially has implications for the teaching and ...


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 ...


How Well Do Young People Deal With Contradictory And Unreliable Information On Line? What The Pisa Digital Reading Assessment Tells Us, Tom Lumley, Juliette Mendelovits Apr 2012

How Well Do Young People Deal With Contradictory And Unreliable Information On Line? What The Pisa Digital Reading Assessment Tells Us, Tom Lumley, Juliette Mendelovits

OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)

There is sometimes an assumption that young people, as ‘digital natives’, are able to use online information effectively, including selecting and negotiating digital texts that are not only relevant for what they need, but also are likely to provide reliable information. This paper examines the question of how well young people are in fact able to recognise whether information is likely to be trustworthy. While some small-scale work has been done in this area, this paper draws on data from the first large-scale international assessment of online reading, the Digital Reading Assessment (DRA) that was part of the Organisation for ...


A Framework For Predicting Item Difficulty In Reading Tests, Tom Lumley, Alla Routitsky, Juliette Mendelovits, Dara Ramalingam Apr 2012

A Framework For Predicting Item Difficulty In Reading Tests, Tom Lumley, Alla Routitsky, Juliette Mendelovits, Dara Ramalingam

OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)

Results on reading tests are typically reported on scales composed of levels, each giving a statement of student achievement or proficiency. The PISA reading scales provide broad descriptions of skill levels associated with reading items, intended to communicate to policy makers and teachers about the reading proficiency of students at different levels. However, the described scales are not explicitly tied to features that predict difficulty. Difficulty is thus treated as an empirical issue, using a post hoc solution, while a priori estimates of item difficulty have tended to be unreliable. Understanding features influencing the difficulty of reading tasks has the ...


Print And Digital Reading In Pisa 2009 : Comparison And Contrast, Juliette Mendelovits, Dara Ramalingam, Tom Lumley Apr 2012

Print And Digital Reading In Pisa 2009 : Comparison And Contrast, Juliette Mendelovits, Dara Ramalingam, Tom Lumley

OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)

PISA was administered for the fourth time in 2009. Since in each administration, one of reading, maths or science is chosen as the major domain, the 2009 survey marked the first time that a domain (in this case, reading) was revisited as the major focus of the assessment. This allowed a full review of the framework for reading literacy and the inclusion of new elements to reflect the way that reading has changed since 2000 (OECD, 2009). One such change is the increasing prevalence of digital texts. The assessment of digital reading in the PISA 2009 cycle, undertaken by 19 ...


Teach For Australia Pathway : Evaluation Report Phase 2 Of 3, Paul R. Weldon, Phillip Mckenzie, Elizabeth Kleinhenz, Kate Reid Apr 2012

Teach For Australia Pathway : Evaluation Report Phase 2 Of 3, Paul R. Weldon, Phillip Mckenzie, Elizabeth Kleinhenz, Kate Reid

Teacher Education

The evaluation of the Teach for Australia Pathway was commissioned by DEEWR and commenced in March 2010. The purpose of the evaluation is to assess whether the delivery of the Pathway can be modified to better achieve intended outputs and outcomes, and whether the Pathway is achieving expected outcomes.

This report (Part 2) concerns the second of three phases of the evaluation of the TFA Pathway. The first report (Part 1) was designed to provide a summary of data gathered on the operation of the Pathway in its initial stages. Data for that report were collected via site visits with ...


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 : Fact Or Fiction: 8 To 12 Year Olds - Worried About Strangers, Catherine Underwood Feb 2012

Children’S Independent Mobility : Fact Or Fiction: 8 To 12 Year Olds - Worried About Strangers, Catherine Underwood

Children’s Independent Mobility and Active Transport

The rising prevalence in the number of children who are overweight or obese is increasing in importance as a public health issue in Australia. Parental fear as a barrier to children’s independent mobility and physical activity has contributed to the decline in children’s physical activity. Timperio et al. (2004) and Veitch et al. (2006) have reported parents commonly identify ‘stranger danger’ as a barrier to children’s independent mobility within their community. In a recent VicHealth survey it was reported that 63 per cent of participants agreed parents should not let primary school age children move to and ...


Neighbourhood Satisfaction Among Residents : A Snap Shot Of 60+ Year Olds, Catherine Underwood Feb 2012

Neighbourhood Satisfaction Among Residents : A Snap Shot Of 60+ Year Olds, Catherine Underwood

Children’s Independent Mobility and Active Transport

Neighbourhood satisfaction is an important component of life satisfaction and is associated with levels of well-being among older residents. Older resident’s satisfaction plays a significant role in influencing their level of engagement and interaction with neighbours and their feeling of safety within their neighbourhood.

This ‘snap shot’ highlights the extent to which residents aged 60 years and over living in six Victorian municipalities (3 metropolitan and 3 regional) felt satisfied and engaged with their neighbourhood. The sample comprised 816 residents drawn from a total sample of 2,313 residents. The data was collected from a self-completed survey distributed as ...


Parental Neighbourhood Satisfaction : A Snap Shot Of Parents Of 5 – 12 Year Olds, Catherine Underwood Feb 2012

Parental Neighbourhood Satisfaction : A Snap Shot Of Parents Of 5 – 12 Year Olds, Catherine Underwood

Children’s Independent Mobility and Active Transport

A child-friendly neighbourhood increases children’s confidence to safely negotiate and explore their neighbourhood while enhancing their physical health and wellbeing.

This ‘snap shot’ highlights the extent to which parents of students aged 5 to 12 years living in six Victorian municipalities (3 metropolitan and 3 regional) are satisfied with their neighbourhood. The sample comprised 504 parents. Parents were asked to indicate the extent to which they agreed with a series of statements about their neighbourhood. The data came from a self-completed survey sent home from school with students. Data was collected in 2010 for VicHealth.

With 10 per cent ...


Children’S Independent Mobility And Dog Ownership : 8 To 12 Year Olds, Catherine Underwood Feb 2012

Children’S Independent Mobility And Dog Ownership : 8 To 12 Year Olds, Catherine Underwood

Children’s Independent Mobility and Active Transport

Many families are now acquiring pets to encourage children, to spend more time in the ‘real’, rather than the ‘virtual’ world. The rising prevalence in the number of children who are overweight or obese is increasing in importance as a public health issue in Australia (McCallum & Gerner, 2005). Walking and physical activity is strongly linked to improved general health and lower risks of obesity and associated health problems. A growing body of research shows that pet ownership has a number of physical health benefits. Studies now associate pets, and particularly dogs with increased levels of physical activity.


Snapshot : Current International Projects Jan 2012

Snapshot : Current International Projects

International Developments

This article gives a brief overview of ACER's current international projects including an overview of ACER's work in Spain, Norway, India, the Arab States, and Saudi Arabia.


Regional Focus : South East Asia Jan 2012

Regional Focus : South East Asia

International Developments

Foreign Ministers at the sixth East Asia Summit (EAS) in Bali, Indonesia, in July 2011 welcomed the convening of the first EAS Education Ministers meeting. The meeting of the Education Ministers of the 18 EAS countries was agreed at the previous EAS meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, in October 2010. The ministers agreed to pursue further cooperation to enhance the quality of education, and promote educational exchange and innovation in the region.


Graduate Capability, Hamish Bennett Coates Jan 2012

Graduate Capability, Hamish Bennett Coates

International Developments

Is it feasible to produce a generalisable assessment of higher education learning outcomes to demonstrate the capability of graduates? In a word, yes. Hamish Coates explains.


Regional Focus : India And Bangladesh Jan 2012

Regional Focus : India And Bangladesh

International Developments

ACER India increased the size of its workforce in 2011 and now boasts more than double the number of staff employed in 2010. The expansion increases the capacity of ACER India in terms of data analysis with a focus on international achievement studies, state monitoring programs and evaluation studies, as well as in terms of publication and marketing. The increased capacity means ACER India is well placed to independently undertake educational research and development work in India and beyond.


A Clearer Picture : National And International Testing In The Uae, Alan Egbert Jan 2012

A Clearer Picture : National And International Testing In The Uae, Alan Egbert

International Developments

The Ministry of Education of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has recently introduced the UAE National Assessment Program (UAENAP), developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) in partnership with the ministry, to monitor student achievement and progress, in order to inform policy and curriculum development for the nation.


Partner Focus : Good Neighbours, Leila Ismail Jan 2012

Partner Focus : Good Neighbours, Leila Ismail

International Developments

Researchers at ACER are ensuring Australia's international aid program in support of quality education is as smart as it can be, through its work with AusAID.


International Developments (No.2) 2012 Jan 2012

International Developments (No.2) 2012

International Developments

No abstract provided.