A formative evaluation of the Stronger Smarter Learning Communities Project. 2011 report.

Luke, Allan, Cazden, Courtney, Coopes, Rhonda, Klenowski, Valentina, Ladwig, James, Lester, John, MacDonald, Shelley, Phillips, Jean, Shield, Paul G., Theroux, Pamela, Tones, Megan J., Villegas, Malia, & Woods, Annette F. (2011) A formative evaluation of the Stronger Smarter Learning Communities Project. 2011 report. SSLC Project Committee, Queensland University of Technology and Dept. of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Brisbane , Qld. & Canberra, A. C. T..


This report is a formative evaluation of the operations of the DEEWR funded Stronger Smarter Learning Community (SSLC) project from September 2009 to July 2011. It is undertaken by an independent team of researchers from Queensland University of Technology, the University of Newcastle and Harvard University.

It reports on findings from: documentary analysis; qualitative case studies of SSLC Hub schools; descriptive, multivariate and multilevel analysis of survey data from school leaders and teachers from SSLC Hub and Affiliate schools and from a control group of non-SSLC schools; and multilevel analysis of school-level data on SSLC Hubs, Affiliates and ACARA like-schools.

Key findings from this work are that: • SSLC school leaders and teachers are reporting progress in changing school ethos around issues of: recognition of Indigenous identity, Indigenous leadership, innovative approaches to staffing and school models, Indigenous community engagement and high expectations leadership;
• Many Stronger Smarter messages are reportedly having better uptake in schools with high percentages of Indigenous students; • There are no major or consistent patterns of differences between SSLC and non-SSLC schools in teacher and school leader self-reports of curriculum and pedagogy practices; and • There is no evidence to date that SSLC Hubs and Affiliates have increased attendance or increased achievement gains compared to ACARA like-schools.

Twenty-one months is relatively early in this school reform project. Hence the major focus of subsequent reports will be on the documentation of comparative longitudinal gains in achievement tests and improved attendance.

The 2011 and 2012 research also will model the relationships between change in school ethos/climate, changed Indigenous community relations, improved curriculum/pedagogy, and gains in Indigenous student achievement, attendance and outcomes. The key challenge for SSLC and the Stronger Smarter approach will be whether it can systematically generate change and reform in curriculum and pedagogy practices that can be empirically linked to improved student outcomes.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 47539
Item Type: Report
Refereed: No
Keywords: Formative evaluation, Indigenous education, school reform, improved outcomes
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education (130301)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Centre for Learning Innovation, Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 11 Dec 2011 23:49
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2017 10:45

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