Ken Rowe, ACER

Publication Date



In 'Building teacher quality : research conference 2003 : proceedings' edited by M Meiers, pages 15-23. Melbourne : ACER


Much of the traditional and prevailing dogmas surrounding factors affecting students' experiences and outcomes of schooling throughout their primary and secondary years - especially socio-cultural and socio-economic factors - are now understood to be products of methodological and statistical artefact, and amount to little more than religious adherence to the moribund ideologies of biological and social determinism. In this paper, key findings are presented highlighting real effects from recent and emerging local and international research on educational effectiveness. For example, whereas students' literacy skills, general academic achievements, attitudes, behaviours and experiences of schooling are influenced by the background and intake characteristics, the magnitude of these effects pale into insignificance compared with class/teacher effects. This is, the quality of teaching and learning provision are by far the most salient findings from the related local and international evidence-based research indicate that what matters most is quality teachers and teaching, supported by strategic teacher professional development.