Measures to measure improvement practices in schools

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Monday, 28 Aug 2017

Research Conference 2017

28 August 2017: Improving learning requires school leaders with the knowledge, skills and courage to develop the evaluation and monitoring capabilities of staff, according to research to be presented at Research Conference 2017 in Melbourne today and tomorrow.

Speaking at the annual research conference of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), commencing on Sunday 27 August and addressing the theme, Leadership for Improving Learning: Insights from research, Dr Linda Bendikson from the University of Auckland will report on New Zealand research showing that school leaders can improve student outcomes by aligning strategies with clear goals.

“Research shows that effective school leaders focus squarely on problems, identify clear goals and aligned strategies, and closely monitor and evaluate progress, but they also do all this courageously in pursuit of ‘small wins’,” Dr Bendikson said ahead of the conference.

Research by Drs Peter McClenaghan and Kerrie Ikin from the University of New England also reveals the importance of monitoring and evaluation.

“A determined whole-of-school approach to the evaluation of school improvement plans and their implementation not only leads to informed decision making but also to the empowerment and ‘buy-in’ of teachers in the school improvement cycle,” Dr Ikin said.

Researchers will also report on the impact of communities of practice on school improvement.

Dr Tim Wyatt from Erebus International will describe a case study showing why the New South Wales Literacy and Numeracy Action Plan is enhancing instructional leadership by building in-school capacity to analyse and use data to monitor and evaluate program effectiveness in terms of student outcomes.

Andrew Jones from the University of Melbourne and Frank Vetere from Point Cook Prep to Year 9 College, Victoria, will report on the mechanisms by which the Science of Learning Network of Schools is supporting school leaders in building communities of practice within syndicates of schools by providing timely, relevant and reliable learning research specifically related to their school improvement strategy and particular context.

Professor Lawrence Ingvarson from ACER will outline progress in the development of a professional certification system for the Principals Australia Institute for school principals and the underpinning purpose of certification to embed evidence-based approaches to monitoring and evaluation in schools.

Research Conference 2017 takes place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 27 to 29 August.

Further information is available from     


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