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ACER Institute: the year in review
ACER Institute alumni and faculty at the 2019 Research Conference.

ACER Institute: the year in review

ACER news 5 minute read

It’s hard to believe the year is almost over, and what a year it has been for the Australian Council for Educational Research’s Institute (ACER Institute).

There were lots of exciting developments in 2019 at the ACER Institute and in this story we take a look at some of the highlights. 

We had a chilly start to 2019 in the land of the Vikings…

The ACER Institute team was thrilled to present at the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI) in Stavanger, Norway, in January. The annual event aims to improve the quality and equity of education around the globe and sees researchers, educators and policymakers come together to share ideas and discuss all things education. 

Meanwhile, we were busy launching a new course downunder…

In January, enrolments opened for our new masters level course Understanding Rasch Measurement Theory. The course helps professionals working in education systems to develop expertise in key theories of measurement and evaluation and to better understand the methodology underpinning NAPLAN, PISA and more. The course is also popular with research students using Rasch methodology in their doctoral studies.

We were delighted that 35 students around the globe successfully completed the program in 2019. A stellar effort!

Our other professional learning courses proved popular…

Enrolments in our 2019 professional learning courses exploded. Our most highly subscribed course was Getting Started with PAT, an introductory course for teachers, school leaders and educational administrators new to ACER Progressive Achievement (PAT) assessments or those who want to refresh their understanding of the foundations of PAT.

Our Westmead Feelings Program facilitator certification course also proved popular in 2019. This award-winning program is designed for school psychologists and special needs teachers working with children with autism spectrum disorder.

Meanwhile, we had interest from far and wide in our Graduate Certificate in Education: Assessment of Student Learning. This part-time online course aims to build teachers’ expertise in administering robust classroom assessments, and in learning progressions – highly topical at the moment. Feedback from the course has been outstanding.

There were some exciting new appointments…

In February, we began consultations on appointing the Certified Practising Principal (CPP) Board. CPP is Australia’s only national principal certification, and 30 high-calibre professionals submitted expressions of interest in joining the board.

In July, Queensland Education Leadership Institute (QELi) CEO Neil McDonald became Chair of the CPP Board. With more than 25 years’ experience in educational leadership roles, Mr McDonald brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this important leadership role. You can find further details about the full membership here.

So far, 10 principals have achieved Certified Practising Principal status, including two this month, and 40 more have begun the process.

In 2019, we grew as an organisation…

In December, we were thrilled to announce plans for the Centre for School and System Improvement (CSSI). As the name suggests, the centre will provide global thought and practice leadership on school and system improvement – an area in which ACER is already a leader but which we look forward to developing further in the new year.

In 2020, ACER celebrates its 90th anniversary and, since its establishment as a not-for-profit educational research organisation in 1930, has grown into a global organisation with offices in Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom, and partnerships around the world.

Our staff explored new horizons…

In December, Professor Pauline Taylor-Guy, director of the ACER Institute and the CSSI, was selected to the British Educational Research Association (BERA) as the Special Interest Group (SIG) Convenor for educational effectiveness and improvement: a prestigious role for a highly respected educational leader.

What’s in store for the ACER Institute in 2020?

We’ll be heading to the ICSEI again in January, and this time in Marrakesh, where we will present our research with the ACT Education Directorate and Our Lady of Mt Carmel Parish Primary School, South Australia.

In 2020, we will be developing international micro-credentials in measurement and evaluation and plan to introduce services and support around our Principal Performance Improvement Tool and Education System Improvement Tool. We’ll also be launching new professional learning masterclasses related to our school and system improvement services. If you’re interested in working with us, stay tuned about our upcoming partnership and fellowship opportunities at the Centre for School and System Improvement.

Lastly, be sure to look out for our blended learning options (online and classroom learning), and new masterclasses. It’s set to be an exciting year at the ACER Institute! 

Ready for a new challenge?

If you’re looking to progress your career, we offer a wide variety of professional learning courses for educators and system leaders, policymakers, psychologists and human resources professionals.

Our next intake is in January. Check out ACER's upcoming professional learning opportunities and register today!