ARC Linkage success

The Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE) has received a total of $1.5m in the recent Australian Research Council Linkage grants.

Four studies were successful, covering:

  • effective 21st century learning environments
  • mental health promotion in schools
  • increasing school readiness among Indigenous children
  • oral language teaching

The Graduate School had a 60 per cent success rate in this round of submission, which compares with the national average 39 per cent.

More detail on the successful projects follows:

Evaluating 21stC learning environments

Project team: Wes Imms, Ken Fisher, Clare Newton, Thomas Kvan, Stephen Dinham, Terry Byers, Matthew Burley, Ana Sala-Oviedo, John Leonard, Graeme Oliver
Industry partners: Anglican Church Grammar School, Keepad, Australian Science and Mathematics School, Rubida Pty Ltd, Hayball Pty Ltd

Project summary:
The recent raft of educational capital works projects in Australia have developed a wide range of '21stC' learning environments.  As yet there is little rigorous evidence attesting to the efficacy of which learning environments are the more appropriate for 21stC pedagogy in a digital and knowledge age.  This study will use three multidisciplinary approaches to post-occupancy evaluation to challenge assumptions regarding technology-enhanced learning environments.  The focus will be on the links between space and pedagogy, evaluating the effectiveness of differing designs in improving student behaviours, engagement and learning outcomes in senior secondary and the transition to higher educational sectors.

Enhancing adolescent mental health through positive education

Project team: Dianne Vella-Brodrick, Nikki Rickard, Donna Cross, John Hattie, Justin Robinson, Christine King
Industry partners: Geelong Grammar School, Northern Bay P-12 College

Project summary:
With 1 in 4 youth experiencing mental illness in Australia, the escalating demand for mental health promotion within schools necessitates an examination of the efficacy and practical utility of an exemplary positive education program (PEP) to improve mental health and stimulate learning. Using comprehensive and innovative methods including psychophysiological indices and mobile technology momentary sampling, this study will identify factors influencing program success in both advantaged (Geelong Grammar School) and disadvantaged (Northern Bay College) schools. Study findings will optimise the use of limited resources and guide future development, training and implementation of PEPs which target a wide range of youth mental health needs.

Building a bridge into preschool in remote Northern Territory communities

Project team: Joseph Sparling, Collette Tayler, John Hattie, Jane Page, Janet Scull, Anna King, Averill Piers-Blundell, Victor Nossar, Craig Ramey
Industry partner: NT Department of Education and Children’s Services

Project summary:
In collaboration with the NT Office of Children and Families, the project aims to increase the school readiness of young Indigenous children in two remote communities in the Territory. Using an evidenced based early childhood program model with local cultural and educational practices, a cohort of 80 children aged between 12 months and 3 years and their families will be followed to identify the contributions of learning in the early years of life. The process of program implementation, family and child participation, and adult/child interactions will also be studied in order to understand their relationship(s) to child outcomes.

Improving children's language, literacy and mental health: evaluating the impact of the classroom promotion of oral language (CPOL) approach (ARC funds $570,000)

Project team: Sharon Goldfeld, Pamela Snow, Patricia Eadie, John Munro, Lisa Gold, Frank berklaid, Judy Connell, Brenda Andersen-Dalheim, Gail Inniss, Tony Barnett, Liza Hopkins
Industry partners: Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Catholic Education Commission of Victoria, Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Royal Children's Hospital Education Institute Pty Ltd

Project summary:
As spoken communication and literacy are major influences on children's developmental pathways and life success, this project will determine whether improving teacher knowledge and practice relating to teaching oral language improves primary school students' achievements in oral language and literacy, and improves their social and emotional wellbeing.