CEO Research Roundup

CEO Research Round Up: 29 July 2019

I am delighted to be sharing this fortnightly news and insight blog, offering short summaries of the latest news and studies, reports, and opinions across the education arena. If there is a topic, report or event you would like QELi to explore, please email your thoughts to

Neil McDonald
Chief Executive Officer, QELi

Research in Education

Children with autism may use memory differently 

Children with autism may use memory differently. Understanding this could help us teach them. Around one in every 70 Australians are on the autism spectrum. Autism is most prevalent among school-aged children between 5 and 14. The high proportion of children on the autism spectrum presents an obvious challenge to teachers and the learning environment. In this article published in The Conversation, Professor John Munro, Faculty of Education and Arts, Australian Catholic University, examines what we know about how these children understand their world and learn. 

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Cognitive load theory 

How do we apply our understanding of how people learn, think and solve problems to classroom instruction? This is the question that underpins cognitive load theory – an instructional theory based on cognitive architecture. In this article, Teacher speak with Emeritus Professor of Educational Psychology John Sweller, University of New South Wales about the theory, and why it’s important for teachers to understand.

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AITSL Report: Attendance Matters Spotlight

A new report from AITSL reinforces the strong correlation between school attendance and student achievement, and highlights the importance of forming good attendance habits early. The evidence summary indicates that the overall school attendance picture in Australia is good, with year 1-10 students attending, on average, 92% of available school days in Australia – a rate comparable to other countries with high performing education systems. The report also highlights the important role families, schools, policy makers and the community have to play in the complex task of addressing student absenteeism and enabling students to reach their potential in the classroom.

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Download Attendance Matters Report

Dylan Wiliam on effective questioning in the classroom

In this podcast, Teacher speak with Emeritus Professor Dylan Wiliam, University College London about his work with teachers all over the world on developing formative assessment practice. Dylan discusses effective questioning in the classroom explaining what’s wrong with the traditional teacher approach of ‘I’ll ask a question and you put your hands up to answer’ and shares a classroom display technique called ‘the parking lot’. He also describes how to plan lessons around checkpoints that he calls ‘hinge questions’.

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Join QELi for thought leader events with Emeritus Professor Dylan Wiliam in August and September:

Leadership for Teacher Learning – Brisbane


Embedding Formative Assessment – Cairns

Difficult conversations when you don’t like conflict 

Avoiding or delaying a difficult conversation can hurt your relationships and create other negative outcomes. It may not feel natural at first, especially if you dread discord, but you can learn to dive into these tough talks by reframing your thoughts. This article, published in the Harvard Business Review, shares five reframing strategies. 

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