CEO Research Roundup

CEO Research Roundup: 27 May 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

Mindfulness at work

Research shows that people spend almost 47% of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing. In other words, many of us operate on autopilot. The good news is you can train your brain to focus better by incorporating mindfulness exercises throughout your day. This article, published in the Harvard Business Review, explains how to practice mindfulness throughout the work day and shares some guidelines for becoming a more focused and mindful leader. 

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Early career teachers … what do we know about why teachers choose to stay or leave?

AITSL have recently released a research piece which puts the spotlight on early career teacher attrition rates in Australia. There is a perception in Australia that there is a high attrition rate of teachers both during their initial teacher education (ITE) and within the first five years of graduation from ITE. If this is correct, there are implications for governments that fund ITE and staffing implications for education sector employers and schools. The impact of attrition may be the loss of quality teaching graduates, which could in turn impact the development of a strong workforce of experienced, high calibre teachers – critical for student outcomes. What do we know about early career teacher attrition rates in Australia?

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The power of play 

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child recognises play as every child’s basic right. But play is becoming extinct. Global studies, across generations, have confirmed outdoor children’s play has been declining, across all age groups, for decades. In this article published in The Conversation, Brendon Hyndman, Senior Lecturer and Course Director (Postgraduate Education courses), Charles Sturt University, argues that unstructured play improves learning and social and physical development. Providing a variety of play options, improved play access and fewer restrictions can encourage children to engage in physical activity with peers in line with their imaginations.

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Engaging students in science with the CSIRO

Scope is a half hour of fast, funny and informative science television for children aged 8-14 years, produced by Network Ten in conjunction with CSIRO. New host for Scope, Lee Constable, ensures each science episode is full of new and interesting scientific facts and cool experiments. Episodes cover themes as diverse as extreme sport, insects, space and digital technology, presenting the basic concepts, the latest research and hands-on activities. The Scope website, from CSIRO, provides video clips, resources and activities for use in the classroom. Students can research the ideas introduced in each episode and ‘Ask Lee’ for more information.

Visit Scope Website

How was the earth made? And lots of other curious questions!

Imagine This is a podcast is suited to kids aged 4 and up, though all members of the family are sure to learn something. Each episode delves into a puzzling question from an inquisitive mind, examining the science behind it in a fun and engaging way.

Imagine This host, Brianna Peterson, chats to children and Australia’s leading academics, taking listeners on an adventure to learn about the world around us. The podcast discovers the answers to questions such as “Why don’t cats wear shoes?” and “Why do stars twinkle?” Imagine This is a coproduction between ABC KIDS listen and The Conversation, and is based on articles from their Curious Kids series.

Listen to Podcast

Instructional leadership 

School leaders’ roles have evolved from being primarily focused on management, to being directly concerned with improving student learning. Anyone who works in a school knows it’s tough being part of the leadership team. Not only do you need to keep on top of the day to day load – the administration, managing staff, tending to parents and students – but keeping one eye on the ever-changing educational landscape is a constant challenge. This article from The University of Melbourne, explores the importance of becoming leaders of learning and the link between leadership that focuses on improving teaching and learning, and student achievement. 

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QELi, in partnership with the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne is seeking expressions of interests from educators interested in completing the Professional Certificate in Instructional Leadership in Brisbane. QELi is in discussions with the University of Melbourne to host the program in Semester 1 2020.

Find out more & register your interest

Not absent but often late … addressing a behaviour that has a big impact on learning

This article, published in Teacher Magazine, discusses several studies which have shown that school tardiness has a negative impact on learning outcomes. By the mere nature of arriving late and missing school hours, students receive fewer hours of instruction than students who are in class when the bell sounds. But not only does a student who is consistently arriving late to school establish bad punctuality habits, their tardiness also disrupts the learning of other students in their classes.

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