Monday, 8 Aug 2005

MEDIA RELEASE For immediate release Monday 8 August 2005 What is the nature of evidence that makes a difference to learning? The move to collecting more data from schools needs to be stopped and the move to making defensible interpretations about teaching and learning upgraded to priority level a leading educationalist will tell a Melbourne conference tomorrow. Professor John Hattie of Auckland University is delivering a keynote address to the tenth annual Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) conference entitled Using Data to Support Learning. “Schools are awash with data, and I have yet to find a Department or Ministry of Education which does not have so much data that debate is more concerned with issues of collecting and storing data rather than how to effectively return the data to schools,” Professor Hattie says. “While volumes of data are extruded from and about schools, teaching continues without the benefits of this data.” Professor Hattie believes many current models of data collection for the purposes of accountability are flawed and will outline an alternative model developed in New Zealand. The asTTle model is based on target setting, ensuring the implementation of the curricula and comparisons to appropriate national and local standards of performance. The evidence collected is centred on three major questions: Where are we going? How are we going? Where to next? “We must develop an accountability system that directly involves and influences the teacher and principal. Such a system is more likely to have major effects on the quality of teaching and learning,” Professor Hattie says. “By locating evidence in the classroom we can also improve the quality of information and interpretations sent to students, parents, ministries, ministers and thence the community.” He argues that the evidence collected can also be used to contest deeply held beliefs about what should be undertaken in the name of curriculum reform, including where the curriculum needs to be reformed and where it should be left alone. Professor John Hattie is the Head of the School of Education at Auckland University. He holds a recognised place as a keynote speaker and commentator on New Zealand educational issues and has a recognised reputation as an educationalist in New Zealand and overseas. ACER’s Research Conference 2005, Using Data to Support Learning, is taking place at the Grand Hyatt Hotel Melbourne from 8-9 August. ****************ENDS*************