In an Australian first, The Q Project will investigate high quality evidence use in varied school settings, and equip educators to use quality evidence to improve their teaching and bring out the best in Australia’s students.
Teachers have a crucial role in our society, empowering generations of students with the knowledge and skills they need to choose life-defining pathways. Yet as a profession, teaching lags behind other fields, such as health and criminal justice, in systematically using research evidence to improve its practice. This issue is particularly marked in Australia, where use of research evidence in schools is not well understood or widely supported.
It is in addressing this critical need that Monash and the Paul Ramsay Foundation have a vital part to play, and an opportunity to contribute to a broader goal of improving the quality of teaching nationwide. Together, we can interrogate best practice evidence use in education for the first time in Australia, applying our findings to classrooms across Australia.
Imagine a future where:
our teachers and school leaders have a strong professional identity and the skills to use evidence systematically to improve their teaching and bring out the best in Australia’s students;
our schools and school systems are research-rich environments, where practices informed by evidence are the norm rather than the exception;
our governments and policy makers recognise and prioritise quality evidence use as an important driver of teacher effectiveness and improved student learning outcomes.
Over a five-year period, The Q Project will work towards these goals, catalysing a major shift in the capacity and capability of teachers and school leaders to understand and integrate effective use of evidence in their practice. This ground-breaking project has huge potential to impact professional practice; leverage education policy reform; and empower schools and school systems to make the best possible use of limited resources.
The Q Project will engage key stakeholders to produce four key deliverables through four interconnected strands:
1. A best practice framework that draws on national and international sources to define and describe high quality evidence use in education, and complements the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and Principals (Strand 1);
2. Illustrations of practice that detail concrete, practical examples of high quality evidence use in 100 varied school settings across four states (QLD, NSW, SA and VIC) (Strand 2);
3. Professional learning process/resources to enhance quality evidence use by education professionals as part of school improvement and education system change (Strand 3)
4. A national engagement and communications campaign to spark strategic dialogue and drive school- and system-level change around evidence use in Australian education (Strand 4).