What are the projects goals?

This project aims to demonstrate how maximising the use of ILEs facilitates improved teaching practices and learning outcomes. It will collect data on how teachers enable learning most effectively in ILEs and identify causal evidence concerning the relationship between quality teaching and effective use of ILEs.

In the last 6 years the Australian and New Zealand governments have invested AU$16 billion of public funding to build Innovative Learning Environments (ILEs) in schools to provide multi-modal, technology-infused and flexible learning spaces to accommodate changing needs of learners and educational reform priorities. This investment reflects the economic priorities as well as shifts in education policy that focus on building students’ technology skills, student centred and active learning.

It is becoming clear that new learning environments require new teaching methods, and apart from a small number of examples, teaching practices in ILEs remain the same as in traditional classrooms.

This project will bridge the gap between the unrealised educational potential of innovative learning environment design and how they are currently used by developing a mechanism for implementing this strategy across as wide a range of educational sites as possible in Australia and New Zealand.

The project will investigate ILEs and teacher practices from a range of perspectives:

  • Affordances of ILEs – the opportunities and facilities for learning provided by different types of ILEs and how they are currently being used.
  • Teacher practices in ILEs – the majority of teaching in ILEs follows traditional methods and that there are limited resources to support teachers in changing their approach to using new technology and learning spaces.
  • Strategies to change teacher mind frames – investigate the mechanisms required to change teacher mind frames and teaching practices, encourage ‘recognition of possibilities’ and implement new approaches.
  • Identifying evidence of learning – measuring the impact of strategies to identify instances of deeper learning.

This project will provide missing evidence about the qualities of ILEs that facilitate quality change in pedagogies by working with schools that have demonstrated the capacity to implement large-scale teacher change to maximise the use of ILEs. The project will bring together a wide range of partners from Government and Religious education authorities, research active schools, private industry and peak bodies with an interest in unlocking not only the massive investment already made, but in implementing long-term and sustainable quality teaching practices in schools.

The project will directly address strategic goals of lifting productivity and economic growth, which requires building innovative, creative capacities within sector of society.