QBI forms part of a consortium awarded $16 million over four years from the Australian Research Council (ARC) for a Science of Learning Research Centre (SLRC).

The Special Research Initiative funding, announced in May, will bring together researchers in neuroscience, education and cognitive psychology from three lead institutions, The University of Queensland (UQ), the University of Melbourne (UMelb), and the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER).

They will be joined by researchers from the partner organisations of Flinders University, Deakin University, University of New England, Charles Darwin University and Macquarie University, all of whom will work with teachers to enhance our understanding of the learning process.

The grant comes four years after the concept was initially recommended by the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council Expert Working Group, which included QBI Director Professor Perry Bartlett, in their report, Transforming Learning and the Transmission of Knowledge.

This collaboration will establish new means to assess the impact of different types of learning and strategies to inform teaching practices to benefit all Australians.

The grant was led by Professor Ottmar Lipp from UQ’s School of Psychology, in cooperation with Professor Pankaj Sah (QBI), Professor John Hattie (UMelb), and Dr Mike Timms (ACER).

Professor Lipp says the Centre will place learning at the focus of its research and will develop an evidence-based approach to educational practice.

“It is essential that this is done in collaboration between researchers from different disciplines on the one side and practitioners on the other. 

“This collaboration will be facilitated by research done in two experimental classrooms, the “centrepieces” of the SLRC, one at The University of Queensland and one at the University of Melbourne”.

In addition to the eight research organisations, the Centre is supported by nine partner organisations, including Education Queensland, the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, the South Australian Department of Education and Child Development, Questacon, North Carolina State University, Institute of Education (London), Carnegie Mellon University, University College London, and the Benevolent Society.