Friday, 24 Aug 2012


24 August 2012:  Teachers, policymakers and researchers will gather in Sydney next week to review not only what schools can do to improve outcomes for students but also how they can do it most effectively.

The 17th annual conference of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) opens on Sunday. With more than 1200 delegates attending, it is ACER’s largest conference to date.

ACER chief executive, Professor Geoff Masters, says the theme of Research Conference 2012 was chosen to highlight that school improvement is an area of high priority in Australia.

“School improvement is a key objective of all education systems and school leaders who share a common drive to deliver improved outcomes for students,” Professor Masters said.

“We know a great deal now about what it is that schools do to make a difference to the quality of teaching and learning. This conference will discuss the particular practices that research is revealing to have a powerful effect on school improvement endeavours,” he said.

The conference features four keynote addresses and 17 concurrent sessions. Speakers include:

  • ACER chief executive, Professor Geoff Masters;
  • Cambridge University Emeritus Fellow, Professor David Hargreaves;
  • NSW Department of Education and Communities Director-General, Dr Michele Bruniges AM;
  • Innovation Unit (UK not-for-profit) Board Director, Ms Valerie Hannon;
  • Educational Transformations Managing Director, Professor Brian Caldwell; and
  • University of Auckland Professor of Education Helen Timperley.

Presenters will highlight the conditions, contexts, curriculum, pedagogy and practices required for school improvement to occur.

High-impact practices that will be discussed at this conference include an explicit improvement agenda, creating a culture that promotes learning, an expert teaching team, effective teaching practices, differentiated classroom learning, analysis and discussion of data, and targeted use of resources.

The ACER Research Conference 2012, on the theme School Improvement: What does the research tell us about effective strategies?, takes place in Sydney from 26 to 28 August.

Further information is available from


Media enquiries: Megan Robinson, ACER Corporate Communications

Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)
Phone: (03) 9277 5582
Mobile: 0419 340 058

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