Postgraduate Awards 2019

Dr Hendrati Nastiti

Comparative Pairs judgements method: Design and Visual Arts

Edith Cowan University

Presentation Abstract (with and Jeremy Pagram)

This paper presents a study on the use of the Comparative Pairs judgements in high-stakes assessment. The Comparative Pairs judgements method is an alternative form of assessment in which assessors assess a pair of student works and judge one work to be more superior than the other, instead of assigning a mark to individual student works as in the more widely used Analytical marking process. With an aim to investigate the suitability of this assessment method in a digital environment, two secondary school subjects with different types of creative practical tasks, Design and Visual Arts, were investigated. By comparing the findings in these two tasks, the researchers expect to contribute to the understanding of the issues surrounding the use of the Comparative Pairs judgements in different types of practical tasks. Data gathered from 16 assessors who judged 157 student practical works were analysed by employing the pragmatic research paradigm using the mixed research method. Findings suggested that the Comparative Pairs judgements method could be an alternative scoring method that are suitable for these two types of task.

Benjamin Anders Nilsson

English Teachers and the Asia Literacy Priority: Is it really a priority?

Murdoch University

Presentation Abstract

The Australian Curriculum consists of eight Learning Areas, seven General Capabilities and three Cross Curricular Priorities. Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia, one of the Cross Curricular Priorities, is expected to be delivered by teachers in all learning areas. However, in an environment where the numbers of students studying Asian languages is declining, it is often through the compulsory subject of English that students are exposed to Asian culture. This presentation highlights how policy is enacted by providing an insight into the lived experiences of four high school English teachers. Findings suggest that Asia Literacy becomes a personal choice for teachers and their voices reveal the complexity of its adoption in secondary schools. It also exposes how the intersection of Asia literacies and ‘intercultural understanding’ within the General Capabilities occurs. The findings also examine text choice, consider how teachers access professional development and reveal where the new curriculum and associated documentation can be conflicting. The voices of the teachers also act as a guide as to how educators can be supported to negotiate Asia Literacy. In this way, the stated aim of using policy to create a more prosperous nation that builds strong relationships with Asia can be better realised.

Dr Antonella Poncini

Perceptions of large-scale, standardised testing in religious education: How do religious educators perceive The Bishops’ Religious Literacy Assessment?

The University of Notre Dame

Presentation Abstract

This research provides a Western Australian perspective of teaching and assessing Religious Education (RE) in Catholic schools. The perspective recognises RE as a learning area reserved for classroom instruction. A pragmatic approach to research was implemented to focus on religious educators’ perceptions of a state-wide, standardised assessment in RE. The approach used mixed methods to survey 238 teachers and school leaders working in Catholic primary and secondary schools. Three aspects regarding the religious educators’ perceptions were investigated: first, how the religious educators perceived the purpose and role of the assessment; second, how they responded to the different components that comprise the administration and implementation of the assessment; third, how their perceptions of the assessment influenced their teaching and assessment practices in RE. The research findings suggest that the religious educators’ perceptions of the assessment were contrasting and complex – a product of an interplay between individual and collective experiences of teaching RE and using large-scale, standardised assessments. Furthermore, a connection is evident in how the religious educators interpreted their professional training and teaching experiences in RE and, in turn, prepared for and engaged with the administration of the assessment. These findings act as a stimulus for professional dialogue and collaboration between school and system educators who are willing to improve the quality of student learning.

Dr Jelena Rackovic

Leaders and Leadership in Serbian Primary Schools: Perspectives Across Two Worlds

The University of Western Australia

Presentation Abstract

The Serbian education system has undergone multiple changes in the attempt to align its education policies to those of the European Union. In the process, primary school principals in Serbia are located at the intersection of policy and practice. Given this context, the aim of the qualitative study reported was to generate theory on the perspectives of primary school principals in Serbia towards their work. Specifically, the results include school principals’ perspectives on societal changes and accompanying changes in education, their perspectives on governance in the education system, and their perspectives on their own roles and on their professional learning.

The results are pertinent to the literature and future research on education leadership. They also have implications for policy and practice. In this regard, the results of the study are likely to be useful for researchers in the field of leadership in education, for school principals, for education policy makers, and for those in charge of preparing, developing, and implementing professional development programmes for school leaders in Serbia, as well as in other post-conflict and post-communist countries.

Dr Nick Eaves

Rising waves, breathless wind, Lacan, Zen and adolescence: illuminating Sunyata in the dualism of Education.

Doctoral Thesis, Curtin University