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Q Project using evidence to unlock student potential  

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There is a lot of talk about using evidence to improve teaching and Monash University’s Q Project will look into who is doing it best.

The Q Project will draw upon insights from a range of different schools that are using evidence well and will drive behaviour change among educators through a national campaign that champions evidence-use in Australian education.

Beginning in 2019, Monash will work with 100 interested schools that may already be using research evidence, but wish to do it more effectively to achieve better outcomes for their students. Later Monash will seek an additional 100 educators to be involved in a trial of professional learning resources and processes.

A $6.3 million grant from the Paul Ramsay Foundation will ensure the project is well funded and the Q Project will effect 80,000 Australian students and 200 schools across New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria.

The five-year study of research use in primary and secondary schools and classrooms will be the first of its kind ever conducted in Australia. 

“The Q Project (Quality Use of Evidence Driving Quality Education) will work side-by-side with the education profession and education departments, to better support teachers and schools to understand how best to apply the right research for their particular improvement challenges and student needs,” said Q Project Director and Associate Professor Mark Rickinson from Monash University Faculty of Education.

“It will also help teachers and school leaders to become more confident and skilled users of research evidence through professional learning.”

“Often a gap exists between research and practical application, and many industries, from teaching, to law and health, grapple with the challenge of connecting research evidence with change on the ground,” said Rickinson.

“There are always schools that do this well, but in Australia there has been little research into knowing where this is happening and why.

“Our research will take learnings from the international evidence base and from schools that are applying evidence well and develop a system-wide framework to help educators to apply research evidence in practice.”

Paul Ramsay Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Simon Freeman, said that the Foundation was committed to supporting the teaching profession and improving outcomes for Australian students.

"The use of research evidence by teachers and schools is a hallmark of a high performing education system,” Mr Freeman said.

"We believe the Q Project will not only encourage effective use of quality research evidence in Australia, it will feed into the growing international focus on the use of research evidence in teaching practice."

Project Q comes against the backdrop of the Gonski 2.0 Panel’s recommendation that ‘Australian schools need access to valid and reliable evidence … in an accessible format that can be readily translated into classroom use’.

Interested schools and organisations can contact to find out how to get involved in the Q Project.     

Watch a video about the ‘Q Project’ here

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