Recent research

Targeted teaching

The huge spread of student achievement in the same year levels is one of the biggest challenges facing teachers and the school system. The Grattan Institute’s new report, Targeted Teaching: How Better Use of Data Can Improve Student Learning, explores what can be done about it:

Outcomes improve if Commonwealth leaves schools to the states

The most efficient way to run, fund and regulate primary and secondary schools in Australia is for the State and Territory Governments to have sole responsibility, a report published today by the Melbourne School of Government has found.

The report, Schooling Federalism: Evaluating the Options for Reform, assessed the four reform options proposed by the Reform of the Federation Taskforce in the Prime Minister’s department for their effectiveness, feasibility, equity and more.

It found that the current system of mixed and overlapping responsibilities is one of the most complex and inconsistent in the developed world and contributes to the widening gap in outcomes between disadvantaged and advantaged students, and weakens funding and program effectiveness.

Report author, Research Fellow and PhD candidate Bronwyn Hinz from the University of Melbourne, said that if the current system continues without substantial reform it poses dire consequences for individual students and the nation.

“Stagnant or falling results in the national literacy and numeracy (NAPLAN) tests indicate new approaches are needed if we are to lift educational results.”

Analysis and research into coeducation in Australia and the UK

The question of whether single sex or coeducational schools provide the ‘best’ environment for students has been researched extensively across the English-speaking world. The abundant academic research has considered the question in terms of academic achievement, a raft of social outcomes whilst at and after school and the experience of schools that make the transition from single sex to coeducation. Whilst the research provides important lessons for schools, particularly in making the transition to coeducation, it cannot be reasonably concluded that either structure is superior on any significant criteria.

This paper seeks to provide comprehensive background information pertinent to the question of whether The Armidale School should move toward coeducation in some form.

The shared work of learning: Lifting educational achievement through collaboration

In The shared work of learning, authors Tom Bentley and Ciannon Cazaly argue that leaving the momentum of educational improvement to the status quo will result in widening inequality and stagnation in Australia.

Through a detailed analysis of three school systems, the authors demonstrate why collaboration is poised to deliver the next big wave of gains in education.

The teacher workforce in Australia: Supply, demand and data issues

This paper provides a brief overview of the current teacher workforce situation in Australia. It highlights workforce trends and projected growth, and areas where the collection and analysis of additional data may assist in the targeting of effective policy.

Demand for teachers is on the rise. The population of primary students is set to increase dramatically over the next 10 years. Secondary schools will start to see the increase flow through from 2018. Part-time employment of teachers is becoming more prevalent and the proportion of male teachers in secondary school continues to decline.

Teacher supply varies across Australian states and territories. Most states have a current, and in some cases considerable, oversupply of generalist primary teachers. The secondary workforce is more variable in terms of the availability of teachers by subject areas as well as across states. Regional and remote areas tend to experience greater difficulty attracting and retaining teachers at all levels than do their metropolitan counterparts.