EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH & INNOVATION 2011 Policy and Inter-governmental Relations

Policy and Inter-governmental Relations
Background information
•DECS Research & Innovation Framework released 2010
•DECS is invited participant in OECD project Innovative Learning Environment (ILE) : 7 SA schools met
international criteria
•DECS Innovations website
Context: Why innovation, research
and learning re-focus?
•Knowledge is recognised as central in transforming societies
and economies
•New educational possibilities are arising from ICTs
•Measuring learning outcomes highlights need for finding
new ways to change outcomes and re-focusing on the
learning environment
•Traditional schools not necessarily delivering well for 21st
century agendas & for some students/groups
Innovation may result from ‘new approaches through
continuous improvement processes, adapting ideas from
elsewhere or futures-oriented and transformative change’
(DECS Research and Innovation Framework, citing OECD)
South Australian ‘Research &
Innovation Framework’ aims
•High quality research activities using open, transparent
accountable processes
•Priority areas for research established, shared & used in
policy decision-making
•Resources focused on strategic priority areas
•DECS staff research capacity enhanced
•Communication improved between DECS, external
researchers and funding providers
Collaboration fostered with education institutions &
research bodies
Elements of DECS Research &
Innovation Framework
agreed strategic research priorities & key areas of potential
governance arrangements providing oversight, quality assurance,
accountability and review processes
business systems, including planning for research & innovation &
investment partnerships
research process: research proposals, approvals and reporting for
those undertaking research involving DECS
dissemination of research results and capacity-building to learn from
research undertaken & influence policy & implementation.
& Capacity
Strategic &
OECD project
How can today’s schools be transformed so as to become environments of
teaching and learning that makes individuals lifelong learners and
prepare them for the 21st Century?
• Analysing and synthesising current international research findings on
learning, teaching and learning environments
Identifying and analysing examples of innovative learning environments
from all over the world
Engaging with the community of policy reformers, innovators and
learning scientists to discuss how to make better use of these findings to
make OECD education systems learning driven.
OECD International Project:
Innovative Learning Environment
26 countries involved (Austria, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Israel,
Korea, Finland, Mexico (2 systems), Norway, Portugal, Sweden,
Slovenia, Spain, Germany, US (Ohio), NZ, Switzerland (2 systems)
Victoria & ACT (Australia) + South Australia
Practical Cases: 120 case studies accepted as meeting international
criteria: 7 sites from South Australia
35 detailed academic case studies undertaken including Australian
Science & Mathematics School in South Australia
OECD Research on Innovative
Learning Environments
Making learning central & encourage engagement: learner-centred
Ensure learning is social & collaborative: social, connection to community &
Being attuned to learner motivations & emotions: structured & well-designed
for inquiry & autonomous learning
Being sensitive to individual & group differences and prior knowledge:
inclusive approach
Being demanding for each learner without being excessive; assessments
involving formative feedback: personalised approach including tailored
SA sites in international
innovation project
Alberton Primary School
Birdwood High School Academy of Middle Schooling
Bridgewater Primary School
Mypolonga Primary School
Open Access College Middle Years Program
Learning Together, Fraser Park (Murray Bridge)
Australian Science and Mathematics School (ASMS)*
*ASMS also selected for detailed academic case study research
SA Innovative sites: Alberton PS
Profile: 300 students: 80% + low socio-economic, 30% Indigenous
‘Home classes’ in R-7 multi-age groups
Multi-age ‘Discovery Time’ each afternoon: multi-disciplinary choices,
inquiry, staff prompting and questioning
Daily balance/wellbeing activities after lunch
Student Learning Plans within school-wide common theme/big question
with integrated focus: developing skills for learning, communicating,
assessing against agreed criteria, and linked to graduate outcomes
Collaborative staff planning & team teaching
Student voice committees & Children’s Parliament in 8 Ministries
Weekly reflection time journals mapping learning over several years
‘Staff Tenet ‘ re expectations about performance, attitudes,
Learning and learners as central focus
Engaging learning environments: e.g. Aqua Science centre, ‘the Shed’
workshop, Deadly Designers’ Studio’, ‘The Café’
Birdwood HS Academy
of Middle Schooling
Profile: 160 students in year 8, 75% in MS Academy
(& 25% choosing traditional year 8)
120 students & six teachers within cross-curriculum team
Generally, about 80 students work within individual learning plans & choose what
they work on, assisted by 4 teacher mentors
(while about 40 students/2 teachers work on specialised areas within Master
Integrated themes & units of work
Students do daily journals recording learning successes & set goals daily
Learning Circles three times weekly with mentors: focus on learning progress
Creative passions units of work available for immersion for individuals
Technology: podcasts, software applications, wireless, Apple Macbook laptops
Focus classes – Technical Studies/Home Economics, Music, Art, Languages
Literacy & numeracy: cross curriculum & explicit leaning activities and instruction
in small groups according to ability level
Explicit criteria for assessment & flexible presentation formats & resubmissions of
work, also self- & peer-assessment
Bridgewater PS
Profile: 150 students R-7, living locally in ‘hills’ area but with 1/3rd
travelling up to 30km, also including children from Inverbrackie
seeking asylum in Australia
Multi-age organisational grouping of students according to individual
learning support needs
Personal learning plans, with core skills (literacy, maths, science, ICT)
negotiated according to interests
Enrichment topics ‘Widening Horizons’ coordinated by parents,
teachers, other specialists
Peer facilities sessions ‘Creative Ideas’, providing leadership
Focus group sessions between students and teachers for explicit
learning according to student needs
Planning meetings with mentors who assist students in understanding
their learning progress and provide planning advice
Mypolonga Primary School
Profile: 120 students R-7, 100 km from Adelaide including
about half from Murray Bridge
• Mypolonga PS Shop is a business run weekly for tourists from
Murray River paddle steamer
• Interdisciplinary curriculum involves all classes in business, craft,
tourism, oral/written language, mathematics, hospitality
• Multi-age & leadership opportunities with senior students
mentoring junior students in the shop, school tours & in literacy
• Governing Council committees have student reps
• Community partnerships in environmental issues & events focus
for hospitality
Open Access Middle Yrs Program (yrs 7-9)
Profile: Around 150-200 year 7-9s, low socio-economic plus significant
health, isolation issues
Collegial teacher teams of 3-4 teachers for every 21-24 students
(operating in groups of 8 students, small groups, or individually) [rather
than weekly telephone lesson with specialist teacher]
Teachers taking responsibility for developing teaching materials rather
than a specialised unit
Integrated, interdisciplinary curriculum based on student interests and
linked to state curriculum
Increased focus on technology role in student learning including using
Centra and online integrated learning programs, personalised learning
materials (DVDs, CDs etc)
More personalised approach in learning with individual learning plans,
involving negotiation & flexible approaches to teaching and assessment
Face-to-face workshops, mini schools, visits from teachers, camps
Learning Together: Murray Bridge
Profile: Systems wide project in eight SA sites (low-socio-economic),
operating since 2003: Children aged 0-4 and parents (aged from 14
years), learn simultaneously with secondary and early childhood
teachers involved. Fraser Park program has 239 adults (18 are under
19 yrs)
Parents/carers re-engaged in learning through focus on own children’s
learning and development (supported playgroups, parents making books
for and about their children, cooking groups, Learning Dispositions
groups, SACE eg Integrated Learning)
Children’s learning (and adults) guided by ‘Early Years Learning
Framework: Belonging, Being, Becoming’
SACE units : Community Studies independent study projects such as
‘Welfare to work’, or ‘A teenage mother’s story’ interactive book;
Integrated Learning SACE unit has focus on Learning Dispositions eg
curiosity, purposefulness
SACE Community Studies or Integrated Learning involved one day a
week focused on Learning Dispositions, Independent study, and
structured skill based work such as writing contracts for learning
Community partnerships is a key aspect
ASMS innovation features
Profile: 325 students in yrs 10-12, with special interest/aptitude for
maths & science
Purpose-built flexible & ICT-rich learning space
Collaborative relationships with teachers/students & student/student
supporting the learning process
Daily 45 minute multi-age tutor group support systems for Personal
Learning Plans, individual skill building, Partnerships with external
stakeholders (Flinders Uni & others)
Commitment to ongoing professional learning within distributed learning
Interdisciplinary curriculum focused around math/science
Holistic structures for learning
Personalisation & self-directed learning
Extensive PD offered for other SA teachers, interstate, overseas
Some Outcomes of SA Innovations
Low socio-economic students achieve above total state mean in literacy
& numeracy results
Increased attendance & significantly less behaviour issues
More student engagement & detailed assessment responses, also
reflecting higher order thinking
Staff surveys indicating increased collegiality, professional sharing,
enthusiasm for teaching
Parent/student surveys show increased satisfaction with teaching and
Student journals/self- & peer- assessment indicate increasingly
becoming independent learners
Surveys indicate increased confidence and behaviour changes related
to valuing learning and education
SA Innovations within ILE context
• includes birth -19 year olds
• intentional departure from traditional approach to better meet
learning needs - innovative
• setting(s) provide optimal learning and development in cognitive,
meta-cognitive and socio-emotional
• aims at learning and educational needs
• not reliant only single innovator (or 2 or 3): has broader
organisational foundation, for sustainability
• involves formally or informally evaluating own practice for continual
• Operating within state/national curriculum
• Stimulating learning environment, ICT use, active students
DECS Innovation Website
Innovation Characteristics: reasons project is innovative
Learner Profile: link to website profile or indication if innovation relates
to substantially different group)
Background/Processes & challenges/ advice: major steps involved in
implementing the project
Project Outcomes: specific structured data to indicate project
outcomes (e.g. NAPLAN, SACE results, attendance improvement,
satisfaction survey results, ther data)
Attachments: (photos, student work samples etc -no larger than 2MBs)
OECD Research on Effective
Learning Environments
Making learning central & encourage engagement: learner-centred
Ensure learning is social & often collaborative: social, connection to
community & resources
Be attuned to learner motivations, the importance of emotions:
structured & well-designed for inquiry & autonomous learning
Being sensitive to individual & group differences and prior knowledge:
inclusive approach
Being demanding for each learner without being excessive with
assessments having strong emphasis on formative feedback:
personalised approach including tailored feedback
Using the ILE framework to understand
Innovative approaches
to scheduling,
groupings, pedagogies,
assessment, guidance
Innovations in
the profile of the
regarding those
engaged in
teaching and
Offering new
foci for
and knowledge
Innovative uses
space and
LEARNERS: Innovations in the
profile or role of the learner:
New groupings or profiles of learners (e.g. novel age mixes)
Targeted approaches for specific groups of learners (e.g. populations on
the move)
Learner active in defining the goals
TEACHERS: Innovation of those engaged
in teaching and orchestrating learning
The “teacher”/coach/ facilitator, building trusting relationships with social
justice focus
Innovations in how teaching resources are combined or organized (e.g.
team or multi-disciplinary teachers)
Bringing in different experts or adults or peers to work with (e.g.
members of the community or non-school specialists).
New foci for content and knowledge (state,
school based or mixed curriculum)
Shifting focus of what is the primary objective of the learning (e.g.
values, multi-disciplinary approaches, creative expression, 21st century
Innovations in who defines legitimate knowledge (e.g. co-constructed
“curricula”, learner or other group definitions of content).
RESOURCES: Innovative forms and uses of
infrastructure, resources (including the
community) and technology
Innovative educational space and infrastructure
Novel pedagogical materials, sources of knowledge
Non-traditional resources applied in the learning environment (e.g.
community resources of different kinds), extra curricula
Innovative technology e.g. using innovative technology or using
technology in innovative ways (online classes, radio stations, digital
ORGANISATION: New or innovative
approaches to organizing learning
(method, setting, diversity, technology,
student responsibility, pedagogy)
New forms of scheduling: day, week, month or other
Innovative groupings e.g. abilities or size of working groups (use of
lectures, tutorials etc.)
Experimental or non-traditional pedagogical approaches, with active
learning focus (e.g. Steiner, Waldorf, Montessori) & reflecting theoretical
models such as Vygotsky, Piaget
Innovative assessment: formative assessment, in combination with
portfolios, self assessment
Particular approaches to individualisation, guidance, student
responsibility etc.
Current Action &
Next Steps in SA
Build research within SA Innovation network through initial workshop
(March), establishing innovation website & SA submissions, newsletter
communication, Regional meeting presentations, additional workshops
& school visits
Interstate/international networking: Victorian school innovation links,
United States conference presentations/ participation, International
coordinators meeting attendance
the nature of innovation ….?
•Minor modifications to
existing product
•Significant breakthrough
representing major shift in
•Swims with the tide
•Swims against the tide
•Starts with the present
and works forward
•Starts with the future and
works backwards
improvement ?
Transformation ?
From presentation by Valerie Hannon, Innovations Unit
More Information
DECS Innovations website
Dr Susanne Owen
Principal Officer, Strategic Research
& Innovation
[email protected]