Around the traps

Australian educational researchers continually produce world leading research findings that challenge the way we do things in schools and the way we approach schooling issues. Here are a few of the latest that might interest you.
NAPLAN is ruining childhood for Australian children

Australia’s national testing program in schools, NAPLAN, is damaging the way Australian children experience their childhood. It is subjecting them to  “developmentally inappropriate expectations, pressure, stress” and the need for “precocious knowledge”. They are not getting “an innocent period free from adult responsibilities”. Instead, NAPLAN is exposing them “to the harsh realities” of adult political, economic and social life.

FROM A sociological analysis of Australia’s NAPLAN and My School Senate Inquiry submissions: the adultification of childhood?


Kellie Bousfield  (kbousfield@csu.edu.au) Charles Sturt University

And Angela T. Ragusa (aragusa@csu.edu.au ) Charles Sturt University

There is a better way to select prospective teachers than just by grade scores and interviews

There has been an over-reliance on grade scores and interview as methods for selecting prospective teachers.  We suggest a model comprised of previous achievements, tests of ability and reasoning, self and social interaction. These are the best indicators on which to make good decisions when selecting candidates.

FROM Proposing a comprehensive model for identifying teaching candidates 

BY  University of Melbourne academics:-

Terry Bowles  (tbowles@unimelb.edu.au) 

John Hattie (jhattie@unimelb.edu.au)

Stephen Dinham (sdinham@unimelb.edu.au)

Janet Scull (j.scull@unimelb.edu.au)

Janet Clinton (jclinton@unimelb.edu.au)


Improving school outcomes for Indigenous children is not as simple as getting them to attend school more often, as government reforms imply

Based on an analysis of the publicly available data reported on the ‘MySchool’ website, we find that reforms and policies around attendance have not and are unlikely to generate patterns of improved achievement.

FROM Does improving school level attendance lead to improved school level achievement? An empirical study of indigenous educational policy in Australia


James G. Ladwig (James.Ladwig@newcastle.edu.au) University of Newcastle

Alan Luke (a2.luke@qut.edu.au) Queensland University of Technology

Schools with the “least positive” school environments are not in remote parts of Australia (as might be expected) but in country towns

School climate and learning environments are related to student academic performance with urban schools having much more positive results than schools in towns and rural communities. Our findings show that students’ and principals’ perceptions of their school climate and learning environments are more positive in urban communities than in rural communities, but that the least positive environments are generally found in country towns rather than remote communities.

FROM How do school learning environments differ across Australia’s rural, regional and metropolitan communities?


Kevin Sullivan (Murdoch University)

Laura B. Perry (Murdoch University)

It is time to stop worrying about which device students should have and concentrate on how best to use technology in schools

If turning the ship was just dependent on having the technology available then we are way past that point, however, it is more likely to depend on our collective will to evolve the appropriate pedagogical understandings amongst our teachers, school leaders and communities. Only then will we get the return on many decades of investment in digital technologies in schools.

FROM Learning with portable digital devices in Australian schools: 20 years on!


C. Paul Newhouse  (p.newhouse@ecu.edu.au) Edith Cowan University

Researchers if you would like your paper or book chapter to appear in Around The Traps  please send it to  maralyn@aare.edu.au

2 thoughts on “Around the traps

  1. David Zyngier says:

    Maralyn many thanks for this excellent service from AARE. Great to see what colleagues are doing. Fantastic initiative.

  2. Maralyn says:

    Thanks David. Your feedback is much appreciated.
    Please let me know of any paper, book chapter etc that you think I should include in the next Around the Traps.

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