Sharing knowledge to strengthen education systemsResearch 12 Jul 2023 5 minute read
The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) is a partner of the Global Partnership for Education’s (GPE) Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX) Europe, Asia, Pacific (EAP) Hub. Through this partnership, ACER supports members of the KIX EAP Hub in systemic improvement.
The KIX EAP hub is a complex network that operates with the simple commitment of facilitating knowledge exchange about education policy and programming to its stakeholders. ACER’s role in this strategic partnership is to support the sharing of knowledge, innovation and best practice across 21 countries in 3 regions to strengthen education systems.
ACER supports KIX EAP Hub as a knowledge-sharing forum by hosting capacity-building workshops, providing speakers and promoting sessions with partners. KIX EAP Hub member countries use these demand-driven activities to improve their national education systems and accelerate progress towards United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 – education for all.
ACER’s recent work with KIX EAP Hub has been in 2 pivotal areas: the gender equity space and 21st-century skills. Senior Research Fellows Dr Anna Dabrowski and Dr Claire Scoular were both invited speakers at the second Education Policy and Innovation Conference, which ACER co-hosted with the Network for International Policies and Cooperation in Education and Training (NORRAG) and other partners.
The 3-day online event was attended by researchers, policymakers and practitioners from 40 countries. Experts from GPE, UNICEF, UNESCO and University College London joined in the Day 2 keynote session, a roundtable focused on progress, challenges, and opportunities for enhancing gender equity in the education sector. Dr Dabrowski emphasised the need for the lived experience of stakeholders to be incorporated into policies, practices, and programs to ensure gender equity agendas reflect changing societal norms.
In the context of 21st-century skills, Dr Scoular focused on how they can be embedded into existing education practices to increase the likelihood of producing persistent and adaptable learners. Dr Scoular discussed outcomes from a project that involved country-level education stakeholders working together to review, plan and develop their approach to integrating 21st-century skills. This important piece of research was funded through the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Centre, a long-term partnership between ACER and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
KIX Hub provides opportunities for its members to share information about educational research and practices that can be adapted for other country contexts. In a recent KIX EAP podcast, Senior Research Fellow Dr Elizabeth Cassity, outlined how ACER uses qualitative research to influence policy and practice in the Asia-Pacific region. Dr Cassity also discussed the potential for knowledge exchange in the Pacific Islands.
In October 2022, ACER helped coordinate and promote the KIX EAP Hub’s webinar on learning assessments and education reform. The webinar focused on 3 learning assessments for the Asia-Pacific region for which ACER is a technical partner: the Pacific Islands Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (PILNA); the Southeast Asian Primary Learning Metrics (SEA-PLM); and the citizen-led assessment model. Jeaniene Spink, Research Director at ACER facilitated the webinar and shared insights about how these regional assessments collect evidence on student learning outcomes and can be used to drive education reform in the Asia-Pacific.
ACER continues to be a valued partner of KIX EAP Hub and is collaborating with other partners in future knowledge-sharing activities. As ACER continues to support education system transformation in low- and middle-income countries, the KIX EAP Hub partnership is critical in providing countries with current and best-practice tools and resources.