Exploring quality and equity

The benefits of quality learning in the early years and re-emerging gender issues in mathematics are among the hot topics that will be explored at this year's ACER Research Conference.

Leading education researchers and practitioners from across the globe will gather in Adelaide on Sunday for the conference, on the theme Quality and Equity: What does the research tell us?

Program highlights include Australian Council for Educational Research CEO, Professor Geoff Masters' conversation with former Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The Teacher team will be at the three day event, bringing you a special podcast and live updates from keynotes, panel discussions and presentations.

Professor Stephen Zubrick, of the University of Western Australia and Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, will also present on quality and equity in relation to student absence and share evidence on the impact of non-attendance in early childhood.

According to Zubrick, data suggests 'the major opportunity for preventing poor attendance is at the point of entry to pre-school, pre-primary and Year 1'.

He will argue that setting expectations about attendance early on in a child's learning journey could be the key to a long-term, sustainable approach to addressing poor attendance in schools.

Research being presented at this year's conference includes large and small scale studies of quality and equity.

Associate Professor Susan Kreig, Program Coordinator of the Early Childhood programs at Flinders University, will share findings from a South Australian research project. The project showed that socially disadvantaged children benefited most from quality pre-school learning programs, and made a successful start at school.

On the topic of gender equality, Dr Sue Thomson, Head of Educational Monitoring and Research at ACER, will unpack the PISA 2012 data to explore the differences in achievement, attitudes and beliefs of Australian male and female students about mathematics.

Delegates attending Research Conference 2014 include national and international education researchers, principals, teachers, and education systems leaders.

The ACER Research Conference 2014 takes place at the Adelaide Convention Centre from August 3 to 5. For details of the full program and information on how to attend the event, visit http://www.acer.edu.au/rc

The Teacher editorial team will be covering the conference. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for live updates. If you're attending, visit the Teacher stand and say hello.

Stay tuned for future Teacher articles and podcasts featuring some of this year's presenters.