What does Australia’s education sector want from education research?
Establishment of an independent national education evidence body was a key recommendation of the report from the national review led by David Gonski: Through Growth to Achievement: Report of the Review to Achieve Excellence in Australian Schools. The Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO) is a new national independent education research organisation that aims to improve access to high-quality education evidence for teachers and educators. The organisation will generate and make high-quality evidence accessible and enhance the use of evidence in Australian education.
But what do teachers, educators and policymakers think a national education evidence organisation should do? One of the first activities undertaken by AERO was a deep and thorough consultation.
AERO led over 100 conversations with individuals across government and non-government education systems, schools, early childhood services, peak organisations, associations, unions, universities and researchers. It facilitated discussions directly with educators, leaders and teachers from schools and early childhood services.
Education professionals told us that AERO should be bold and authoritative. They want the new organisation to become a source of trusted advice for educators and teachers. They believe AERO’s research should be rigorous and ethical and all research should be presented in an accessible and engaging way. The organisation should operate collaboratively and remain focused on the practical challenges faced by practitioners.
“Give us the confidence and competence to be discerning users of research.” – Principal
The work of AERO should enhance the knowledge, skills and confidence of education practitioners. It should promote and support a culture of evidence use and evaluation. AERO should provide coherence in the education research landscape.
“Be a bridge between evidence and practice.” – Head of state education department
AERO has announced it aims to support excellent and equitable outcomes for all children and young people by advancing evidence-based education in Australia. It will do this by generating high-quality evidence, making high-quality evidence accessible and enhancing the use of evidence in Australian education.
AERO will continue to consult widely as part of its ongoing research prioritisation process, based on demand and potential impact.