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UC to play key role in new education research centre

Danielle Meddemmen

9 December 2021: New South Wales schools will soon be supported by a newly formed research centre aimed at improving learning outcomes across the state, thanks to a collaboration involving the University of Canberra.

The Ambassador Schools Research Centre, announced today by NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell, is a collaboration between the NSW Department of Education, the University of Canberra, University of New South Wales, and Charles Sturt University.

As part of the department’s Ambassador Schools program, researchers will work across metropolitan and regional NSW to identify what is having the greatest impact on student achievement and share it widely across the state.

University of Canberra’s project lead Associate Professor Philip Roberts said the University was looking forward to being part of this important initiative.

“This is a state-wide strategy that will improve the achievements of, and benefit all, schools in New South Wales,” he said.

“Essentially, it will share effective practice from schools that are excelling and show others how to use that practice to enhance achievements in their own learning environments.”

Stage one of the research will aim to identify effective, evidence-based practices in the already identified Ambassador Schools, and will commence in 2022.

The University’s Associate Professor Deborah Pino Pasternak, Clinical Associate Professor Chris Morrissey and Clinical Associate Professor Matthew Brown will join Associate Professor Roberts in the program.

Associate Professor Roberts said the program would have major benefits for the University.

“This ensures we are at the forefront of the groundbreaking research and what is proving effective in education. It will contribute to enhancing our curriculum that will contribute to creating the very best teachers for all school contexts,” he said.

Faculty of Education Executive Dean Barney Dalgarno said he was proud to see faculty staff involved in an initiative that demonstrates our commitment to school engagement and our expertise in school improvement.

“Initiatives of this kind cement the University of Canberra, and our researchers, as leaders within the Australian educational research community,” he said.

“This initiative builds on our successful partnership within the ACT Affiliated Schools Program and the Capital Region Schools Network and expands our impact across NSW.”