Monday 4 August 2014

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Monday, August 4th
8:00 AM


8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

9:00 AM

Welcome to Country

Frank Wanganeen

9:00 AM - 9:05 AM

9:05 AM

Conference Opening

Christopher Pyne, Federal Minister for Education

9:05 AM - 9:30 AM

9:30 AM

Plenary 1 - Quality and Equity through Evidence-Based Practice

Geoff N. Masters, ACER

9:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Plenary 1

10:45 AM

Morning Tea

10:45 AM - 11:15 AM

11:15 AM

Session D - Achieving Quality and Equity for Māori Secondary School Students in New Zealand

Mere Berryman, University of Waikato

11:15 AM - 12:30 PM

Concurrent Session Block 1

Session E - Perspectives on Quality and Equity from Large-Scale Assessment Studies

John Ainley, ACER
Eveline Gebhardt, ACER

11:15 AM - 12:30 PM

Concurrent Session Block 1

Session F - School Attendance: Equities and inequities in growth trajectories of academic performance

Stephen Zubrick, University of Western Australia

11:15 AM - 12:30 PM

Concurrent Session Block 1

Cooperative Learning: The behavioural and neurological markers that help to explain its success

Robyn Gillies, University of Queensland and the Science of Learning Research Centre
Ross Cunnington, University of Queensland and the Science of Learning Research Centre

11:15 AM - 12:30 PM

Cooperative learning is widely recognised as a pedagogical practice that promotes socialisation and learning among students from preschool to post-secondary education and across different key learning areas and subject domains. It involves students working together in small groups to achieve common goals or complete group tasks. Interest in cooperative learning has grown rapidly over the last three decades, as research clearly demonstrates how it can be used to promote a range of achievements in reading and writing, conceptual understanding and problem-solving in science and mathematics, and higher level thinking and reasoning. It has also been shown to promote interpersonal relationships among students with diverse learning and adjustments needs and among those from culturally and ethnically different backgrounds. In fact, it is argued that there is no other pedagogical practice that achieves such outcomes. The purpose of this presentation is to highlight those factors that have been found to contribute to the success of cooperative learning, including recent research in neuroscience that helps to explain how and why students learn when they cooperate.

12:30 PM


12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

1:30 PM

Plenary 2 - The Australian Early Development Index : Predictive validity

Sally Brinkman, Fraser Mustard Centre and Telethon Institute for Child Health Research (Adelaide)

1:30 PM - 2:45 PM

Plenary 2

2:45 PM

Bubalamai Bawa Gumada (Healing the Wounds of the Heart): The search for resiliency against racism for Aboriginal Australian students

Gawain Bodkin-Andrews, Macquarie University
Rhonda Craven, Australian Catholic University

2:45 PM - 4:00 PM

Within the Australian research setting, a strong research base has emerged to articulate both the nature and impact of racism from the perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It may be argued though that quantitative approaches to this research have been limited by simplistic measures that fail to capture the complexity of racism today. This limitation may have important implications for the identification of factors that could provide a buffer against the detrimental effects of racism, and thus promote a stronger and positive sense of resilience and engagement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth. It is the purpose of this paper to summarise two studies that have sought to understand the impact of racism on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student outcomes (e.g. achievement, engagement, aspirations) and to identify factors that may limit or negate the effects of racism. Using a mixture of both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, the results identified a) a measure of racism that held strong psychometric properties for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students; b) that each dimension of racism revealed a range of significant and negative associations with educational outcomes; and c) multiple strategies to help combat racism and its negative effects.

Gender and Mathematics: Quality and equity

Sue Thomson, ACER and Science of Learning Research Centre

2:45 PM - 4:00 PM

Over the past two decades, there have been no gender differences in mathematics achievement in Australia in large-scale international surveys such as the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Similarly, when mathematical literacy was measured in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2003, there were no gender differences. However, PISA 2012 found that, while average scores in mathematics had declined in Australia, males in Australia were significantly outperforming females, and females had significantly higher average levels of anxiety about and significantly lower levels of confidence in mathematics. In light of the recent report of the Australian Council of Learned Academies, which points to an underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers in Australia, these trends are worrying, and point to the possibility of even fewer females progressing into these areas. This paper unpacks the PISA 2012 data to further investigate the achievement, attitudes and beliefs of young Australian females and males about mathematics. For whom is Australia providing a quality education in mathematics, and to what extent is this provided in an equitable way? It is hoped that a more differentiated view of the achievement, attitudes and beliefs of both males and females will assist governments in making policy decisions that will encourage participation and higher levels of achievement for females.

Early Bird Catches the Worm: The causal impact of pre-school participation and teacher qualifications on Year 3 NAPLAN cognitive tests

Diana Warren, Australian Institute of Family Studies
John P. Haisken-DeNew, University of Melbourne

2:45 PM - 4:00 PM

Using data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC), this is the first analysis for Australia to evaluate the impact of attendance at preschool programs on matched Year 3 nationwide National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) test outcomes in the domains of numeracy, reading, spelling, writing and grammar. We also disaggregate the impact of specific teacher qualifications on children’s cognitive outcomes. While one year of learning in Year 3 is represented by about 50 NAPLAN points, we find average preschool domain effects as much as 10–15 points. The impacts for NAPLAN scores in numeracy, reading and spelling domains are the strongest and are significant. The highest increases in NAPLAN scores were attained by children whose preschool teachers had diploma- or degree- level qualifications, identifying for the first time the crucial nature of teacher qualifications in driving nationally representative long-run preschool treatment outcomes.

Educational Disadvantage in Regional and Rural Schools

Stephen Lamb, Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy, Victoria University
Sara Glover, Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy, Victoria University
Anne Walstab, Victoria University

2:45 PM - 4:00 PM

While there is much to be valued in regional and rural education, studies in Australia have identified location and isolation as key dimensions of additional need in the provision and delivery of education. Forty years ago, in the report to the Australian Schools Commission, Karmel identified several aspects of educational disadvantage experienced by schools in country areas – including high teacher turnover, low retention rates, less confidence in the benefits of education, limited cultural facilities in the community, lack of employment opportunities for school completers, and a less relevant curriculum – that led to lower levels of attainment (Karmel, 1973). These issues are still relevant today. This study uses a range of indicators, including National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) results, attainment, post-school transition and student engagement and well-being data, to set out some of the dimensions of rural and urban differences in schooling. Results show that some, but not all, of the challenges facing regional and rural schools arise from the social, economic and community differences between city and rural environments.

6:30 PM

Conference Dinner (6.30pm for a 7pm start)

Lynn Arnold AO

Adelaide Convention Centre

6:30 PM

Speaker: Dr Lynn Arnold AO (Personal perspectives on Quality and Equity)