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Bridging the gap between teaching practice and research

Monash University 3 mins read

The Monash Q Project has engaged and worked with over 2,000 teachers across Australia to improve research use in schools and unlock student potential. 

The effective use of research evidence is critical to improving teaching and learning, yet it is not always well understood. The Q Project has addressed this in the first large-scale Australian project to focus on understanding the use of research evidence in schools.

The five-year long project has been generously supported by the Paul Ramsay Foundation as part of Monash University’s Change it. For Future Generations philanthropic campaign.

The team of Monash University researchers has collaborated with school leaders, teachers, policy-makers, evidence brokers, researchers and other key stakeholders across Australia to develop tools for teachers and other education professionals seeking to use research evidence better and enhance their overall quality of teaching.

Associate Professor Mark Rickinson, Project Director on The Q Project, said it’s important to support teachers and school leaders to become more confident and skilled users of research evidence through professional learning.

“Over the course of this project we’ve worked side-by-side with the education professionals and education departments, with the aim to better support them to understand how best to use research suitable to their particular challenges and student needs,” Associate Professor Rickinson said. 

“We’ve also developed innovative professional learning and self assessment tools for use by teachers, school leaders and systems throughout Australia. And we’ve seen first-hand examples of how they can work within a classroom and support a teacher's needs.”

Significant impacts of the Q Project include:

  • 2,000 + of practitioners engaged in Q Project research and improvement activities
  • Quality Use of Research Evidence (QURE) Framework, used and cited nationally and internationally
  • 1,725 schools engaged in Q Project research and improvement activities
  • Over 200 system actors engaged in Q Project research and improvement activities
  • Over 30+ practitioner case studies published as practical resources
  • Over 70,000 downloads and views of Q Project reports and publications

“I think it's about maximising student learning outcomes through improved teacher practice, improved teacher knowledge. That's why research use is really important at our school,” Assistant Principal, Government Primary School, NSW. 

Working with organisations such as the Australian Evidence Research Organisation and the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, and contributing to important discussions led by The Productivity Commission nationally and OECD, the Q Project has shifted and deepened national and global conversations about how to improve the quality of evidence based practice in education.

Professor Lucas Walsh, Chief Investigator on The Q Project, said the Q Project has actively influenced dialogue and thinking about how to improve research use in education. 

“When we first started this project we quickly became aware that evidence use is not well understood amongst teachers and education institutions. The Q Project has undertaken work to build this understanding, combined with practical resources to better support improved practice in the education space,” said Professor Walsh. 

"School leadership teams and teachers need to have this capability to use research well so that they can use that capability on any of the decisions that they face,” said John Bush, Head, School Age Learning, Paul Ramsay Foundation. 

“And this is particularly important in the most disadvantaged communities because it's those kids who really need a very positive and strong school experience, to help them to thrive in life. So the Monash Q project is really important in terms of teachers and school leaders using research evidence.” 

The Monash Q Project is a five-year partnership between Monash University and the Paul Ramsay Foundation to improve the use of research in Australian schools. To learn more about the project, please visit Monash Q Project. 

- ENDS -

Monash University’s philanthropic campaign, Change It. For Future Generations provides a clear pathway for the community to take meaningful action on three global challenges of our age: climate change, geopolitical security and thriving communities. To learn more, please visit Monash University Giving.

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