Revolutionary research to benefit Australian classrooms

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Mandy Salisbury, Q Project Researcher
Mandy Salisbury, Q Project Researcher

A groundbreaking project underway at Monash University’s Faculty of Education could revolutionise the way teachers and educators use research evidence to improve the quality of teaching.

The five-year Q Project (Quality Use of Evidence Driving Quality Education) has been generously supported by its partner, the Paul Ramsay Foundation.

The project aims initially to benefit students and teachers in up to 200 primary and secondary schools across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. Ultimately, its drive for a national campaign championing quality evidence use in education could benefit many more teachers and students throughout Australia.

An Australia-first, it fills an important gap – little is known about how Australian schools use research, and most of the debate has focused on the quality of the evidence rather than the quality of its use.

“There’s very strong agreement that research evidence has an important part to play in school improvement and system improvement – the question is how do we do it well?” said the Project Director, Associate Professor Mark Rickinson. The Q Project aims to find out just that.

Knowing how best to identify and use research evidence could help teachers and educators deal with very real classroom-based problems such as finding ways to help disengaged students, and developing better methods of assessment. “It’s exciting, because it will be making a real contribution to Australia’s education system,” Associate Professor Rickinson said.

The project will unroll in four stages, its team working closely with school leaders, teachers, policymakers, researchers and other stakeholders.

Associate Professor Rickinson said the project, launched in November 2018, had attracted very strong interest from schools and education departments across the four states.

The Paul Ramsay Foundation’s support marks the largest grant to an education project at Monash.

If you would like to know more about enhancing educational experiences through evidence, contact Lisa Mitchell at Lisa.Anne.Mitchell@monash.edu.