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1200 minds meet on school improvement

1200 minds meet on school improvement

Research 2 minute read
Teachers, policymakers and researchers gathered in Sydney earlier this month to review not only what schools can do to improve outcomes for students but also how they can do it most effectively.

With more than 1200 delegates attending, ACER's 17th annual conference was ACER’s largest to date.

ACER chief executive, Professor Geoff Masters, said 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 discussed the particular practices that research is revealing to have a powerful effect on school improvement endeavours,' he said.

The conference featured four keynote addresses and 17 concurrent sessions. Speakers included:

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 highlighted the conditions, contexts, curriculum, pedagogy and practices required for school improvement to occur.

High-impact practices discussed at this conference included 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?' was held in Sydney from 26 to 28 August. 

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