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[ Contents Vol 11, 1995 ] [ QJER Home ]

1995 Annual Research Forum

Queensland Institute for Educational Research

Presentation Abstracts

Title:NESB workers' literacies as a workplace health and safety issue
Presenters:Dr Claire Wyatt-Smith, Griffith University; Geraldine Castleton, Queensland University of Technology

This presentation reports on research into non-English speaking background (NESB) workers' literacies as a workplace health and safety issue. The methodology adopted was primarily a qualitative and multi-faceted one, combining a review of relevant literature and a fieldwork component. In addition to non-participant observation, the fieldwork involved interviews with key informants and a focus group of 20 Vietnamese factory workers (10 males and 10 females) across a range of age groups. The research brought to light the pervasive effects of cultural orientations on workers' understandings about rights and responsibilities concerning workplace health and safety matters. While language is the most obvious indicator of cultural background, the research showed that it is not of sole importance and should be considered together with other indicators including religious beliefs, prior work experience in the country of origin, gender and level of education.

Title:How do my students believe they learn? Use of the Repertory grid
Presenter:Sr Annette Cunliffe, Australian Catholic University

Teachers who attempt to promote metacognitive learning strategies in their pupils usually encounter resistance because the pupils believe they should 'be taught'. One step in overcoming such resistance is to help students to recognise and discuss their implicit views. The repertory grid is one instrument which can be used to facilitate this process.

This presentation will give an example of the instrument, used to elicit students' ideas about learning science, showing completed grids from students of different ages, in their original and focused forms. Some suggestions for improvements to the grid will be made.

Title:'New federalism' and the competitive state: regulation, deregulation and the Australian teaching council
Presenter:Rhondel Johannessen, Mt Gravatt School Support Centre

As a result of economic globalisation, a market-driven ideology has become dominant in the Australian public sector in the past ten years. Further, in a federation where ostensibly constitutional responsibility for education resides with the States and Territories, the education sector has been restructured at both Federal and State levels with the federal government taking vested interest in educational outcomes and becoming increasingly involved in 'natural' educational policy decision-making.

In 1993, the federal government sponsored the creation of the Australian Teaching Council (ATC) with defined objectives, including to 'develop a national framework for a system of teacher registration to provide for national recognition of qualifications and standards, and to assist teacher mobility'.

In August 1994, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) met to have formal discussions concerning the deregulation of partially-regulated professions. Education is one such profession; currently, Queensland and South Australia are the only two States in which Teacher Registration Boards exist.

Thus, not only has the ATC been established at a time when Federal/State relations are being redefined, it is also competing with the COAG agenda and the national teacher registration/deregulation debate.

In this context, this research project will investigate the following question:

In the context of changing Federal/State relations and their impact on Australian education, what is the role, modus operandi and influence of the Australian Teaching Council, with particular reference to the conflict surrounding national registration and deregulation of teachers?

Title:Been there done that: The influence of personal perceptions on teachers' child protection decisions
Presenter:Ms Vivenne Watts, Central Queensland University

This study first describes the perceptions and personal beliefs that beginning teacher education students hold in relation to child abuse. The study then explores the influences that these beliefs have on simulated child protection decision making. Using a videotaped segment as a stimulus for a focus group discussion, the study elucidates a range of personal perceptions and beliefs about child abuse held by the students. The identification of these beliefs is a useful first step in designing a child protection training program which aims to develop professional competence in responding to abused children in the school context.

Title:A critical examination of the integration of supporting studies (related sciences and humanities) within the Bachelor of Nursing (pre-registration) course, Queensland University of Technology
Presenter:Ms Tina Green, Queensland University of Technology

This presentation reports the results of an evaluation of a specific component of the Bachelor of Nursing course (pre-registration) conducted at Queensland University of Technology. Using a framework based on the 'responsive evaluation' proposed by Stake (1975) a critical examination of the supporting studies units (related sciences and humanities) within the first year of the course was undertaken. The purpose of the study was to investigate the issues and concerns of students and faculty to determine the integration of these subjects with the total course. The goal was to provide greater understanding of the process rather than the intended outcomes and focused on teaching and learning, choices made about subject content and integration of content from these subjects to the students' nursing practice.

Participants in the study included supporting studies and nursing faculty, first and second year students. Data we've gathered through a combination of individual and group interviews, 'opinionnaires', classroom and clinical observation t o portray the first year of the course. Findings indicated a lack of congruence between the staff and students regarding content depth and relevance and diverse understanding of nursing as a profession and its educational needs. The role of teaching and assessment methods in stimulating a surface approach to learning in these subject areas was revealed by student comment and observation.

The use of an 'issues centred' evaluation facilities open discussion of concerns and generation of research questions from participants thereby ensuring that the study focuses on the perceived needs of participants for information.

Title:A curriculum model for the professional transition of health personnel: An application in clinical nursing education
Presenter:Mr Robert Thornton, Queensland University of Technology

The proposed research and course of study will design, develop, implement and evaluate a curriculum model to assist the process of professional transition of health personnel practicing in various health care settings. The process of professional transition is considered essential to meet the educational needs of the increasing numbers of health personnel. These individuals are often required to undertake additional professional requirements as their role expands concomitant with the rapid advances and altering infrastructure of the health care system. Currently educational preparation to assist the transition of health personnel to assume extended roles in minimal, unstructured and fails to incorporate the multiplicity of learning needs of this cohort. A curriculum model which aims to develop the essential knowledge, skills and attitudes required by these personnel within a minimal time frame will be constructed. The constructed curriculum model will be applied to registered nurses required to undertake the expanded role as a clinical teacher.

Title:The development of a parent screening inventory for children at risk for learning difficulties at school entry: Progress to date
Presenter:Mr John Reddington, Australian Psych. Society; Assoc Private Rac. Psychologists

The research aims to develop a valid and reliable parent multi-disciplinary screening inventory constructed to be used as a predictive instrument for children with learning difficulties at school entry, so that it can form part of an interdisciplinary screening assessment for these children within both the education and health services. The instruments will be the basis for referral, intervention and follow-up procedures in conjunction with other assessment strategies.

Title:Post Vatican II catholic lay primary principals: Personal and professional voices
Presenter:Mr Paul Hansen, Australian Catholic University

The years since the Second Vatican Council of the Catholic Church (1962-65) have been a watershed period of renewal and upheaval within Catholicism.

In Catholic education, the end of the Council heralded a period of transition from Religious (sisters, brothers, priests) governance to lay administration of Catholic schools. That process, in 1995, is now almost complete with most Catholic primary and secondary schools having lay principals.

As a group, the 'early generation' of Catholic lay principals, many of whom were ex-Religious themselves, who succeeded to principalship of Catholic schools as the Religious withdrew, have had a significant influence over the shape and direction Catholic education has taken since 1965, but little if any research data exists as to the identity of this pioneering group.

This research seeks through an edited topical life history approach to explore the identity, motivations, aspirations and ambitions of nine male lay Catholic primary principals.

The theoretical framework for the research will embrace the literature on identify, representation, changes in Catholicism and educational leadership, all from a postmodernist perspective.

The research methodology involves gathering data by means of both questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. These latter seek information on each of the subjects in a variety of roles and settings: personal data, principal as autobiographer, the principal outside the school, as school leader and the principal's spiritual self.

Duty statements for Catholic school principals, principal performance review criteria, Vatican and diocesan pronouncements on Catholic education and personal written reflections by the subject principals will be analysed and used to assist in the process of data validation.

It is hoped that the outcome of the research will provide valuable information to assist in the preparation of aspirants to principalship within Catholic education.

Title:Resources selection and use in the information age: What do teachers do?
Presenter:Mrs Jenny Krassnig [ Editorial Note: Institutional identification deleted Nov 2005 at author's request]

Teachers are faced with a challenging task in selecting and using resources today as the information superhighway is influencing the number and availability of resources which are important in the curriculum and instruction process. Using the Internet, a survey consisting of six open-ended and one partially closed-ended question was electronically mailed to eight listservs and the K12.chat.teacher newsgroup. Thirty-nine teachers from elementary to tertiary levels responded. Of these, thirty-two were from the United States, four from Australia and one each from Canada, Estonia and Israel. The qualitative data received, are being analysed using the constant comparative method to construct themes about the selection and use of teaching resources, and professional development about resource selection and technology. This analysis is still underway. Only minor problems were experienced with the technology. It is hoped to post the results on the listservs and generate more discussion on the topic.

Title:Dodgem cars, dagwood dogs and distance education: further issues in the education of Queensland show children
Presenter:Mr Patrick Danaher, Central Queensland University

This presentation provides further findings from a four year longitudinal study of the educational experiences of children on the coastal and western Queensland agricultural show circuits. Textual and visual images gleaned from over 100 interviews with show children, their parents, their home tutors and their teachers are displayed as a representation of the variety and complexity of this form of traveller education. Discussion themes include the distinctive 'show culture', social relationships and schooling experiences. A videotape produced at the 1995 Emerald show accompanies the presentation.

Title:Problem based learning and computer based education
Presenter:Ms Fiona Anne Martin, Dianne Smith, Queensland University of Technology

The authors have designed a computer module which is intended to assist students from a range of disciplines understand the skills and processes involved in problem based approaches to professional decision making.

The module utilises an everyday situation that the students might be familiar with to work through the processes identified in problem based learning (PBL). In this way the students are introduced to the skills that are required in professional practice without the need to also concentrate on specific subject content.

Through the process of identifying our educational objectives and attempting to fulfil these through the use of PBL the authors perceive that computer based education (CBE) has some limitations. The authors consider however that these can be overcome to a certain extent, by the integration of CBE with traditional teaching methods.

At the Forum the computer module - an Introduction to Problem Based Learning will be demonstrated. The demonstration will highlight the manner in which the authors have integrated the concepts of PBL with CBE technology.

Title:Identity, culture and Australian citizenship
Presenter:Dr Don Alexander, The University of Queensland

The central aim of this project is to discover how the orchestration of personal identity, cultural affiliation and Australian citizenship contribute toward the further evolution of Australian society. Australian society is presented as one, but culturally Australia is many, and there exists a tension between the implicit conformity of citizenship and the plurality of cultures. Knowledge of how people deal with increasingly demanding appeals for allegiance from cultural and citizenship sources will be essential as Australia's heterogenous population expands through immigration. This is so, particularly in the light of contestations associated with contemporary debates such as those over the flag and republicanism. This project aims to provide an understanding of these issues.

Continuing harmonious relations among the diversity of cultures requires widespread understanding among Australia's citizens, and civics education is the national venue through which 'culture' and 'citizenship' as school curriculum inclusions may be better informed. Consequently, the ultimate contribution from this project is to educate for a clearer understanding of the attractions and divisions inherent in Australia's cultures and how this relates to citizenship.

Title:Structure alignment and geometry problem solving
Presenter:Dr Mohan Chinnappan, Queensland University of Technology

This project attempts to generate discussions about how instances of successful problem solving attempts could be analysed within the structural alignment framework. (Gentner, 1983)

Title:The school administrator and staff development: a case study of an intervention in a Queensland state high school during a period of organisational restructuring
Presenter:Mr Kevin McKennariey, Cleveland District High School

A key leadership role of school administrators is staff development. Long term processes which are directed towards the improvement of classroom practice are valuable and have the capacity to improve student learning outcomes.

The Reflective Teacher Project (RTP) is an intervention which was initiated and sustained by a deputy principal in a large high school. The process centred around a commitment by teacher participants to reflect regularly and critically on their classroom practices, to write about the significant events of classroom life and to meet with other participants to talk about their practice and the thinking behind it.

As initiator, facilitator, co-participant and researcher of the RTP process, the school administrator attempted to create particular conditions which encouraged critical thinking about practice. These conditions defined the way in which both the process and its facilitation developed.

The thesis being proposed here is that school administrators develop teaching staff by initiating and sustaining systematic processes that involve them in making explicit their practices and the thinking behind such practices.

In researching the intervention, five main research questions are analysed. They relate to:

  1. Facilitation and constraints influencing long term processional development processes in schools.
  2. Characteristics of the most effective roles played by school administrators in developing teachers within their schools.
  3. Conditions under which teachers develop a more critical understanding of their work.
  4. Contributions of reflection, journal writing and regular teacher meetings to the improvement of teachers' professional knowledge.
  5. Unintended benefits and costs for participants through their involvement in the process.
Data in relation to the case study was generated using action research, participant interviews and journal analysis.

Title:Research of the National Languages and Literacy Institute of Australia adult literacy research network (Qld)
Presenter:Dr Joy Cumming, Mrs Stephanie Gunn, Griffith University

The National Languages and Literacy Institute of Australia Adult Literacy Research Network (Qld) has a commitment to strengthening the nexus between research and practice in adult literacy. This is being achieved through three processes: collaboration of practitioners, policy makers and researchers; provision of professional development activities and seminars relating research to practice; and, the preparation of publications linking research into practice. The display presents abstracts of a series of action research projects being undertaken in 1995. These projects, funded by the Qld Network, are focused on the theme of assessment issues in adult literacy and outcomes will be compiled in a publication available through NLLIA on completion.

Publications already prepared by the NLLIA Adult Literacy Network (Qld) are also displayed.

Title:The roles and places of Fijian identity in schools
Presenter:Mr Samuela Bogitini

Identity is derived from culture. Culture is not a static notion because it is subjected to changes. The Fijian society had been recently exposed to various types of changes that originate from the highest administrative level, i.e. political, social and economic. As a result, there has been a shift in policy direction, attitudes and practices. Education in particular is always the first to be affected.

Title:The development of a process for student evaluations of postgraduate supervision
Presenter:Ms Helen Edwards, Ms Tania Aspland, Queensland University of Technology

The TRAC (Teaching Reflections Collaboration)/PGS (Postgraduate Supervision) staff development group is aware of the need to develop strategies for postgraduate teaching staff to evaluate their supervisory practices. Staff do not have access to any formal evaluation of their teaching as a postgraduate-specific evaluative process has not been developed or formally included at QUT to date. Their developed evaluation process(es) would satisfy this need and be incorporated into QUT's formal feedback procedures for use by postgraduate staff.

Title:The Board of Senior Secondary School Studies and research on equity, accountability, comparability and the key competencies
Presenter:Mr Boyd Paties, Dr Reg Allen, Ms Erica Bell, Mr Nick Simpson, Ms Gail Rienstra, BSSSS

The Queensland Board of Senior Secondary School Studies is a statutory authority charged with, among other things, responsibilities relating to the certification of student achievement in the senior secondary years. Such responsibilities include advising other agencies on, providing information about, and implementing policy decisions that influence the quality of schooling outcomes. This display presents four separate projects, completed by the Evaluation, Research and Development Division of the Board, which inform discussions of: equity; accountability; comparability; and, changing educational pathways.

More specifically, these projects are:

  1. Language and equity: a discussion paper for writers of school-based assessment instruments (Draft Document) This study explores the representations of gender in the language of assessment items. It offers a point of departure for discussing gender equity issues when designing assessment instruments.
  2. Random Sampling Project 1995 (Draft Document) One aspect of the Board's quality assurance involves randomly sampling student work to offer information about how successful review procedures are in advising schools about the suitability of standards they apply and the actions they take.
  3. Comparability - a question of validity (Draft Document) This research aims to explore similarities and differences between student work awarded the same Level of Achievement in the same subject at different schools. Various community members offer views about the acceptability of such differences within a school-based assessment system.
  4. Competencies Integration Project (in progress) The feasibility of integrating assessment and reporting of the Key Competencies into the assessment and reporting of student achievement in Queensland senior secondary schools in the focus of this ongoing research.

Title:Australian south sea islander literacy research project
Presenters:Ms Robyn Cox, Central Queensland University, Mackay Campus; Mr Grant Webb, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton Campus

This project reports data collection process which was part of the National Professional Development Program English Teacher's Association of Queensland project "Developing responsive language programs in schools". The research project sought to identify aspects of literacy in one culture group. The project based in Mackay, Queensland was conducted within a primary school and its community with a high proportion of Australia South Sea Islanders. The project was undertaken with both academic and administrative support from the Faculty of Education, Central Queensland University, Mackay campus.

The project collected notions about literacy from the system, school community, teachers and children. The findings of the project are currently being presented to the immediate community and Central Queensland educational community through a number of stimulating processes, excerpts of which will be displayed with the posters.

The poster will also deal with a number of themes which emerged from the project:

Research themes:

Language themes:

Title:ESL student response to feedback on a process-orientated writing task
Presenter:Mrs Ann Dashwood, University of Southern Queensland

This study examines the responses of ESL students in a university preparation course to teachers feedback on the students' written work following a study by Ferris (1995) which showed the ESL immigrant students (from the Pacific Rim, Hong Kong and Vietnam) well acquainted with process-oriented techniques at university, where content and rhetorical issues are given more emphasis than sentence-level concerns, take their teachers' feedback seriously and pay attention to it particularly on the early drafts of written tasks. ESL writing teachers have an important role in providing feedback to students, current research in L1 and L2 student writing, and the time and effort ESL writing teachers devote to their students bear this out.

Where the feedback is part of an ongoing process of drafting and redrafting, there is an opportunity for students to find the comments valuable as a means of facilitating improvement. Fatham and Whalley (1990) have shown that student revision improves the overall quality and linguistic accuracy when the feedback is both on content and form of the essays.

This study investigates how some ESL international students (predominantly Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia treat teacher feedback, compared with the Ferris 1995 study. It examines the features of reported teacher feedback which showed a contrast between students who perceived their own writing skills as "good", with those who perceived their writing as "fair or poor'. Students in the first group tended to value highly comments on earlier drafts, particularly those related to ideas and organisation, and to mechanics in final drafts. Students in the second group were less likely to differentiate kinds of feedback, valuing teachers' comments similarly on earlier and final drafts. There appears to be a link between students' abilities to discriminate feedback, and the content and form of their essay writing.

Title:Determinants of success in undergraduate programmes for special admissions students
Presenters:Dr G Postle, Dr J Taylor, Mr D Bull, University of Southern Queensland

Many universities and TAFE colleges now provide alternative entry to their courses for students who are not school leavers. These students are often referred to as "special admissions" students and their access to tertiary programmes is now possible via a number of pathways. For example:

  1. Bridging Programmes/Tertiary Preparation Progammes
  2. Bridging Programmes (Fee Paying)
  3. Mature-Age/Direct Entry (Alternative Educational Experience/Demonstrated Aptitude)
  4. Mature-Age/Direct Entry (Appropriate work experience/"other" experience)
  5. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programmes
The study will focus on a randomly selected sample from a cohort representing each of the five pathways described above in three institutions, two universities and a TAFE college. The students selected will be in the first year of their course or programme. The first phase of the study will involve an analysis of documents and interviews with appropriate staff in each institution to establish the rationale for the design and delivery of programmes for special admissions students.

It will also involve interviews with the students and teaching staff in order to begin to establish those factors which would seem to contribute to the success or otherwise of these students.

Phases 2 and 3 of the study would involve further interviews with students and teaching staff in order to check on initial perceptions and refine emerging ideas on what seems to be crucial in providing a positive learning experience for these students.

Title:Scientific literacy for more students through collaborative research
Presenters:Ms Mary Hanrahan, Ms Sue Burroughs-Lange, Queensland University of Technology

In this research, a PhD student collaborated with a science teacher and his Year 8 science class. The goal was to address problems in the teaching and learning of science which at one level involved questions about the language of science teaching and learning, and at another level questions about ownership of the learning. One way of addressing these questions was to invite students to do regular anonymous writing in student journals. Other strategies included helping students with problems of accessing information in the text book, distinguishing between scientific terms, and handling questions in science tests.

Research methods used in this action-based research included regular classroom observation over a prolonged period, some team teaching as new strategies were trialed, and, based on these, regular unstructured conversations and audio-taped interviews between the teacher and the researcher. Thus at one level the research relationship was allowed to develop in a semi-structured manner which fitted in with the complex needs of all parties. At another level, the non-school research partner did detailed theoretical analyses on all aspects of the research using analytic memoranda and the NUD*IST software program. At yet another level, to aid the PhD candidate take a self-critical perspective, the ongoing research was also audited by several reference groups, firstly her supervisory team, secondly a seminar group studying critical social practice, and thirdly a small group of 'critical friends'. Currently, ways of establishing a similar reference group for the teacher are being investigated.

Title:Educational planning and career development study in Queensland schools (1994)
Presenter:Barry Cameron, Tertiary Entrance Procedures Authority (TEPA)

In 1994, Shaping the Future: the Report of the Review of the Queensland School Curriculum recommended that schools "be encouraged to utilise career guidance and subject selection packages for Year 10 students in their choice of subjects for Year 11" (R6.3). The Review of Tertiary Entrance in Queensland 1990 had acknowledged that "the issue of career education and counselling in schools is crucial", with two main problems being, "the shortage of human resources" and, the management of and "processing into forms accessible to student and teachers" "the great deal of information to be used in counselling students".

In mid 1994, TEPA initiated a study of programs in educational planning and career development at Years 10-12 in all Queensland secondary schools to "map" the area's policies, practices and materials and the perceptions of relevant school staff on key issues and aspects of "best practice".

The poster summarises a number of items from the draft report likely to be circulated early in Term 4 of 1995.

Title:The sibling study
Presenter:Mr Mark Lynch-Blosse, The University of Queensland

While adult criminality typically follows on from delinquent behaviours in adolescence, the risk factors associated with juvenile delinquency are not well understood. In examining the etiology of delinquent behaviours in adolescence the Sibling Study addresses three key research questions. These questions are as follows: what (non biological) attitudinal factors are determinants of juvenile delinquency; what factors of community ecology are determinants of juvenile delinquency; what is the nature of the interaction between community ecology and attitudinal factors in increasing and/or decreasing juvenile delinquency rates.

The sibling study has four distinctive aspects. Firstly there is the use of a sample of over 1400 adolescent mixed sex sibling pairs. Secondly there is the employment of a quasi-experimental research design in order to explicitly manipulate factors which routinely confound studies intended to reveal the causes of delinquent behaviours. In order to control for social class effects, sex effects, ethnicity effects, geographical context effects and the invisibility of the seriously disadvantaged/marginalised, six discrete subsamples of mixed sex sibling pairs are incorporated in the study. These six subsamples are: a general population sample from an "advantaged" suburb, a general population sample from a "disadvantaged" suburb, a sample of urban Aborigines, a "multiple offender" sample from an advantaged suburb, a multiple offender sample from a disadvantaged suburb and a sample of seriously disadvantage/marginalised siblings. The third distinctive aspect of the sibling study is its focus upon the importance of socialisation processes in adolescence, in particular, the social construction of femininity and masculinity.

Finally, the sibling study is very directly concerned with the generation of research findings which can readily be used as the basis for practical initiatives to be instituted at the community level.

Title:Capricornia educators professional development consortium
Presenter:Mr Grant Webb, Central Queensland University, Mackay Campus

This Consortium has been granted funding through the Department of Employment, Education and Training's (DEET) National Professional Development Program (NPDP) to support teachers in the implementation of effective learning and teaching practices in Literacy, Numeracy and the Key Competencies.

The Project, Enhancing Partnerships for the Implementing of Effective Literacy, Numeracy and Key Competencies Practices in Central Queensland, engages participants (teachers, parents, administrators, teacher aides) in critical reflective enquiry through the use of Action Research to:

The process provides a basis for re conceptualising current teaching practices in relation to National Statements, Profiles and Key Competencies, so that participants can confidently identify their own needs and pathways to:

Title:Investigating Language and Social Purposes in the Everyday Lives of Four Adolescents
Presenter:Michelle Knobel, Queensland University of Technology

The new Queensland Years I to 10 English syllab us aims to develop students' language abilities and uses for a wide range of 'personal and social purposes' (1994:iii); derived from explicit and implicit assumptions about students' language uses. The on-going research reported here focuses on four Year 7 students' purposes for using language in a range of school and out-of-school settings, and how these compare with classroom language teaching practices.

Each participant was observed intensively over a two-week period, and a range of methods and tools was used to collect data, including: observing and making fieldnotes, audiotaping events, interviewing, collecting texts read, viewed, drawn, and written by participants, language journals, enlisting participants as 'researchers', and informal conversations with each participant, their parents and other family members, teachers and other school personnel, friends, and classmates.

Findings suggest these young people's diverse language purposes and uses seldom matched their teachers' purposes for teaching them language. The four rarely made direct links between what they were learning about language at school and their language purposes out of school, despite teachers' efforts to make such connections explicit. Conversely, they were acutely aware of the social nature of language in their everyday lives and effectively used language to create and maintain complex social relationships.

Accordingly, this research lays open for discussion some of the implications for English language classroom teaching that arise out of differences between school and out-of-school social purposes and language practices.

Title:Assessment of Performance Program 1994: Science
Presenters:Val Ingham, John Greenup, Quality Assurance and School Review Directorate, Queensland Department of Education

The Assessment of Performance Program is a light-sample monitoring program which provides system-level measures of student outcomes in aspects of key learning areas. The primary purpose of the program is to support the Department's accountability and continuous improvement initiatives.

The method adopted falls within the psychometric tradition. Using light sampling and an Item Response Theory approach, the program is a non-intrusive and cost-efficient way of providing comprehensive student performance information across a broad range of the target learning area.

The program establishes empirical benchmark scales based on the skill/process/knowledge demands made by the test items. These scales provide a means for describing and monitoring the respective curriculum areas in general, as well as for mapping and monitoring student performance.

The 1994 Assessment of Performance Program measured student performance in aspects of science concepts and science process skills. The program involved approximately 8640 students in Years 5, 7 and 10 throughout the state. The sample reflects the whole range of state schools students following regular courses at those year levels, irrespective of special needs, language and cultural backgrounds. The test was administered in October, 1994.

Results will be reported in terms of proportions of students within each scale level, and percentile distribution of students across the scales. Comparisons of performance are made between students in Years 5 and 7 in 1994 and Years 5 and 7 students involved in the 1987 Primary Science Study. Comparisons of performance are also made between girls and boys.

The report from the study is in preparation. On completion, the report will be distributed to all Queensland state schools and interested bodies.

Title:Resource Kit: Selected Mathematical Assessment Tasks
Presenter:Quality Assurance and School Review Directorate, Queensland Department of Education

The Quality Assurance and School Review Directorate promotes a focus on continuous improvement. To support schools in the progress towards this goal a resource kit is being produced based on the Assessment of Performance Program 1993: Mathematics.

The kit aims to provide an item bank of exemplar tasks and related information from the 1993 Assessment of Performance Program (APP) in mathematics to support schools and teachers in the assessment and benchmarking of student outcomes. It will also provide schools and teachers with a valuable tool to assist the implementation of the Shaping the Future recommendations and to promote quality assurance in the assessment of student learning outcomes.

The kit contains photocopy masters of selected mathematics items from the 1993 APP. These are accompanied by information on each item which includes: Student Performance Standards (SPS) strand/organiser; Year level(s) at which the item was administered; related source book activities; performance demands of the item; scoring criteria used in the 1993 APP; and statewide performance information on each item. Introductory notes provide information on the aims and organisation of the kit, ideas for using it, how the kit might be used for benchmarking and other background information.

Printing of the kit should commence within the next few weeks and be ready for distribution to regional offices and school support centres in November.

Please cite as: QIER (1995). 1995 Annual Research Forum: Abstracts. Queensland Researcher, 11(2), 9-26. http://education.curtin.edu.au/iier/qjer/qr11/forum-abs.html

Editorial note: The date of the 1995 Forum was not given in the original document.

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Created 20 Aug 2005. Last correction: 19 Nov 2005.
URL: http://education.curtin.edu.au/iier/qjer/qr11/forum-abs.html