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E-Research Ed Nov 2008

E-Research Ed
Number 4, November 2008

This is the newsletter of the New Zealand Council for Educational Research. To subscribe or unsubscribe, simply go to our website and click on the e-Research Ed icon.

If you know anyone else who would be interested in this newsletter, please forward it to them and they can sign up too.

We’re also offering an RSS feed from the NZCER news page, so you know when we’ve got new reports, articles, products and events. Go to our news page and click on the RSS icon on the lefthand side.

Get more out of the Progressive Achievement Tests (PATs): Workshops on NZCER’s Marking website

We’re running workshops in three centres in late November and early December to help school leaders and teachers who use our marking website for PATs or STAR tests. The workshops are in Auckland, Hamilton and Porirua. The half-day sessions will cover how to set up the website for school-wide use, how to make better use of the reporting and analysis the site offers, and the options for students sitting PATs online.

Read the brochure:

It’s PATs time

Now’s the time to order PATs and other tests for next year. We’ve got extra staff on to process orders and they’re flat out. Orders can be invoiced in 2009, provided schools make that clear on the form.

Find out more:

More from our national surveys of schools

We used results from our two most recent national surveys of schools for a report on curriculum changes, priorities, and issues. The information comes from the 2006 survey of secondary schools, and the survey conducted in primary schools in 2007.

The report included an analysis of principal, teacher and board of trustee attitudes towards national standards, and this received considerable media coverage. Other issues covered in the report include information and communications technology use, curriculum priorities for schools, and the factors constraining schools from innovation. There is another thematic report to come from the combined survey data, and we will be sending schools a summary of the key findings from both.

To read the report, go to the project page at:

Beeby fellowship

Applications close shortly for the 2008 Beeby fellowship, which NZCER runs in conjunction with UNESCO. It is open to people from all parts of the education sector interested in researching an innovative education programme they’ve been involved with. Topics of interest this year include, but are not limited to, Education for Sustainable Development, Human Rights Education, and Education for International Understanding.

You can find more about the Beeby fellowship at:

Students’ perceptions of science

Data from the National Education Monitoring Programme (NEMP) picking up a dropoff in student interest in science recently attracted headlines. NZCER’s Rose Hipkins and Rachel Bolstad have delved into the subject in a report for the Royal Society, focussed on the middle years of schooling. It’s called Seeing Yourself in Science. There are fascinating insights here about how students think about their future careers and pathways, and the ways in which their perceptions of science conflict with that thinking.

Read the report:

Adult literacy assessment tool

A collaborative team involving NZCER, the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), and IT company Fronde, has begun work on a new adult literacy and numeracy assessment tool. The contract, with the Tertiary Education Commission, involves the development of a computer adaptive tool which educators will be able to use to assess an adult learner’s current

level of literacy and numeracy. Initial trialling will begin next year. This is an exciting project for us. It extends our test development work into the post-school sector, and enables us to build our capacity in computer adaptive technology.

Find out more about the project:

Me and My School: student engagement survey

This year we developed and launched a survey tool aimed at finding out what students in years 7-10 think about their school and their learning. The tool was trialled on more than 8000 students before we launched it in the third term this year. Many schools have told us how useful they have found it, so much so we are looking at expanding it to years 11-13. We hope to have that work in development next year and an extended tool available in 2010. Meanwhile, the years 7-10 version will be available again in 2009, with schools able to run it in the third term. We make it available at the same time each year in order to ensure the national norms are valid.

From NZCER Press

The latest issue of set: Research Information for Teachers is now available.

Our 2007 Beeby fellow Deborah Fraser, of the University of Waikato, has just completed a professional development resource, complete with CD, on teaching the arts. It is called Enhancing Learning in the Arts.

Go to the NZCER Press section on our website:


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