Professor Claire Wyatt-Smith is Director of ACU’s Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education. A Professor of Educational Assessment and Literacy, her research focuses on professional judgment, standards and moderation, with an aligned focus on curriculum and literacy education. She is an approach to impact champion at ACU.

The importance of partnerships was the reason Professor Wyatt-Smith became a champion for the ARC’s Engagement and Impact Assessment at ACU.

“Research partnerships strengthen opportunities for investigating persistent problems in education. It is also through local, national and international partnerships that we can undertake research on learning in diverse contexts of intense social, economic and technological change. The Engagement and Impact Assessment recognises that” she said.

“Research in partnerships is a priority for the Institute of Learning Sciences and Teacher Education. Most of our research involves rich collaborations.”

A project such as the Institute’s development and hosting of the Graduate Teacher Performance Assessment (GTPA) is a visible result of such partnerships, where the sector was asking for evidence that teaching graduates could put the concepts learnt in the lecture theatre into practice in the field.

“While we were working very hard to get international recognition for this and our other research, the next step was to get the runs on the board for the Engagement and Impact Assessment,” Professor Wyatt-Smith said.

“In the case of the GTPA, we now have higher education providers across most states and territories, international scholars and a wide range of education agencies working with us to build an evidence base to show the quality of initial teacher education in Australia.

“This has called for sustained commitment and shared action at key points in time. It has also involved reflection on data to discern what difference we are making, to whom and how do we know. The data from this kind of framework calls for such attention. It is the evidence that can show the nature and benefit of the collaboration; that it is authentic. The measurement of impact is, of course, a continuing process.

“Overall, we have learned how we can take the conceptual, apply it in context and show how it can be put into practice with partnerships.”

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