Media release: Research hub to examine teacher education effectiveness

In the wake of increased pressure on higher education institutions around the world to demonstrate the effectiveness of their teacher education programs, the University of Melbourne's Graduate School of Education is leading the charge forward, launching the International Teacher Education Effectiveness Research Hub.

Led by Associate Professor Janet Clinton, within the Melbourne Graduate School of Education's Centre for Program Evaluation, the Teacher Education Effectiveness Research Hub will be staffed by a team of researchers, and also call on specalist experience from both national and international partners.

Associate Professor Clinton believes now more than ever, education needs a central cohesive research centre with an evidence based approach to the evaluation of effective teacher education.

"This will allow us to increase the quality and readiness of graduate teachers, with a focus on transparent and comprehensive selection processes and the robust measurement of progress and development," she said.

"The Hub will provide rigorous science and measurement to the improved training of our teachers. A consensus has emerged that quality of teaching is the most vital factor in a child's education. We intend to reach a consensus, on how to improve excellent teaching," Associate Professor Clinton said.

The Research Hub will include the TeacherSelector and Visible Classroom tools that measure responses in areas such as literacy, numeracy, personality, communication style and resilience.

Professor John Hattie Director, Melbourne Education Research Institute and Chair, Board of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, is clear on his views about the need for this Hub.

"To make teacher education an evidence based profession, requires us to consider our impact – which means a robust debate about 'impact'," he said.

"We need to question what magnitude of impact we can expect and whether all graduates are indeed 'classroom ready'. It seems surprising that there are few places which have a specialty in researching the effects of initial teacher education programs, and this hub – with its international collaborative focus – has the chance of being a game changer in promoting and creating the research base in this area," Professor Hattie said.

Professor Field Rickards, Dean of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education said the expertise within the Graduate School and assessment tools will help with an evidence-based approach to teacher education research and evaluation.

"The establishment of an international central cohesive research hub is a significant investment in the future. High quality research will lift standards in the teaching profession," Professor Rickards said.

"This will be critical for driving practice and policy change."