CEO Research Roundup

CEO Research Roundup: 10 June 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

Future of education

According to Dr Robert Kay, as published in The Educator recently, our education system is failing our children, but not for the reasons usually discussed. Many commentators point to falling grades as evidence of education’s decline, but this narrow view assumes grades are the best measure of a system and misses the point entirely. The real concern is that the education system is geared towards preparing our kids for last century – not the century to come.

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Workplace culture

Nothing is more costly to an organization’s culture than a toxic employee. Research shows that rudeness is like the common cold — it’s contagious, spreads quickly, and anyone can be a carrier. This article from Harvard Business Review looks at research into how costly toxic employees are for organisations and provides tips and questions to ask to interview for civility.  

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Google and Project Oxygen set out to prove that managers don’t matter. The hypothesis was that the quality of a manager doesn’t matter and that managers are at best a necessary evil, and at worst a useless layer of bureaucracy. The experiment was a disaster, lasting only a few months as the search giant found employees were left without direction and guidance on their most basic questions and needs. In this article from Inc., Scott Mautz explains that Google pivoted to extensively study the opposite question  what are the common behaviors of their very best managers? — and he shares the results. 

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Indigenous culture 

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priority aims to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are able to see themselves, their identities and their cultures reflected in the curriculum and engage all students in reconciliation, respect and recognition of Australia’s First Nations people. The Australian Government’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Curricula Project, led by the University of Melbourne’s Professor Marcia Langton AM, has found that some teachers are yet to include these perspectives in their program, with the chief reason why being teacher fears around accidentally doing something wrong or not having enough knowledge. This article from The Educator shares information about resources for teachers.

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Developing effective and authentic PLCs 

Becoming a PLC is a journey of transformation. It requires that we nurture and cultivate a collaborative culture anchored around a shared commitment of one thing: learning. In this article from ALLTHINGSPLC, Marc Johnson explains how frequently he sees educators engaged in they believe to be the work of a collaborative team in a PLC, yet, through their conversations about their work, they demonstrate the only thing that has really changed is what they call their meeting time. He argues that PLC conversations need to shift to a learning journey, and be able to truly answer four critical questions. 

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The business world is abuzz with mindfulness. But perhaps you haven’t heard that the hype is backed by hard science. This article from Harvard Business Review explains recent research provides strong evidence that practicing non-judgmental, present-moment awareness (a.k.a. mindfulness) changes the brain, and it does so in ways that anyone working in today’s complex business environment, and certainly every leader, should know about.

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Parent Teacher Interviews

Research shows that parents have a significant impact on their children’s educational achievements. While many teachers report feeling ill-equipped to establish collaborative relationships with parents, there are several strategies that can be employed to strengthen these ties. (Doecke et al, 2008). In this article from Teacher, Kate Perkins, a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), discusses the benefits of effective teacher-parent relationships, how to get reluctant parents involved in the classroom, and how to best manage parent-teacher interviews.

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