ACER, March 2010
This report examines policy priorities that relate to building innovation capabilities through the use of information and communication technologies (ICT). The first section looks at the Australian policy context for digital education and highlights some emerging challenges. The second examines how digital education and economic policies intersect, and also looks at the role of commercial technologies markets in schools. The third section discusses how students build both their discipline-based knowledge and general capabilities, such as creativity, innovation and using technologies, while the fourth section looks at how students currently use technologies for learning and communicating with each other, and reflects upon the implications of these practices. The remaining sections examine what is needed to facilitate learning with technology, and the appropriate approaches to the deployment and use of ICT. The full report is available online.
Subject HeadingsEducation policy
Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
Achievement data from England's Longitudinal Study of Young People is used to examine factors thought to influence the achievement gap between students. Achievement was found to be related with students' family composition and background, parents' employment status, individual aspirations, and school context. Aspirations were found to vary with ethnicity, prior achievement, and parents' achievement. Students from low socioeconomic backgrounds were more likely to demonstrate low aspirations and low achievement. The full report is available online.
Subject HeadingsSecondary education
Improving Low-performing Schools: Lessons from Five Years of Studying School Restructuring under No Child Left Behind
Improving Low-performing Schools reports on an evaluation of the USA's No Child Left Behind law. Schools that underwent significant improvement were found to use coordinated strategies and refine them over time. They also made substantial use of data. While replacing staff sometimes led to improvement, often it resulted in a number of unintended consequences. A number of schools struggled to improve due to a range of barriers. Recommendations include increasing funding caps, ensuring that improvement methods are appropriately tailored, that support from administrators at different levels be coordinated, and be continued for a number of years. The full report is available online.
Subject HeadingsEducation policy
Education and state
United States of America (USA)
Learning Together: Improving Teaching, Improving Learning – The Roles of Continuing Professional Development, Collegiality and Chartered Teachers in Implementing Curriculum for Excellence
Continuing professional development (CPD) in Scotland is evaluated, with particular reference to the demands of Scotland's new Curriculum for Excellence. Teachers were found to be increasingly taking collegial and collaborative approaches to CPD. Evidence of distributed leadership was found across many schools. However, efforts need to be made to ensure that all CPD is based on up-to-date research and that medium- and long-term outcomes are examined. In addition, CPD needs to address all aspects of the Curriculum of Excellence to ensure that teachers are fully equipped to teach the curriculum. The full report is available online.
Subject HeadingsEducation research
Recommendations are provided to improve outcomes for underachieving students in New Zealand, as well as for extremely high-achieving students. The report calls for personalised learning, the ability to choose the school attended, and also emphasises the importance of flexibility in leadership, and accountability for institutions. It puts forward an eight-step proposal to benefit students by incorporating these elements. The proposal creates a number of implications for teachers and leaders, including issues of recruitment, training and reward, as well as for institutions, which will need to become increasingly self-managing and flexible. The full report is available online.
This report examines the high levels of youth disengagement in Britain, and seeks the factors influencing this issue, as well as ways to mitigate it. Risk factors leading to disengagement include poor literacy and numeracy skills, poor behavioural development, family circumstances and expectations, and poor school environments. While a number of high-quality programs exist to deal with disengagement, they are not widespread. Improvements need to be made to screening and assessment, special education needs provision, managing behaviour and funding provisions. The full report is available online.
Subject HeadingsSocially disadvantaged