April 2023

Over 300 educators from across Australia gathered in Hobart to learn from leading researchers and experts in the Science of Learning at the inaugural Teaching Matters Summit, hosted by Catholic Education Canberra Goulburn (CECG) and Catholic Education Tasmania.

CECG Director Ross Fox headlined the opening address alongside Dr Gerard Gaskin, Executive Director Catholic Education Tasmania. With a shared belief in the power of the Science of Learning, the importance of high impact teaching practice and a knowledge rich curriculum, each leader articulated their vision, goals and approach to achieving system-wide change, based on the evidence.

Ross Fox shared key beliefs that underpin the Catalyst teaching and learning approach, which is now widely adopted across the Archdiocese. He presented the ‘8 Big Ideas’ of the Science of Learning, informed by research, evidence and insights from global experts in education, including the work of ED Hirsch Jr, Barak Rosenshine, Dylan Wiliam and Emeritus Professor John Sweller.

  1. School is where we learn biologically secondary information​
  2. Learning is a change in long-term memory​
  3. Teaching is a profession that should be informed by the evidence​
  4. Knowledge matters, it’s what we think with
  5. The most efficient way to teach knowledge is to teach explicitly
  6. High quality whole class instruction will help​ all students learn
  7. Reading is essential for students to acquire knowledge​
  8. Curriculum should be ambitious, coherent, sequential and cumulative​

Dr Gerard Gaskin shared how curriculum and education practices have influenced student outcomes over time, and what he believes works best in practice – Explicit Instruction.

Ross Fox and Dr Gerard Gaskin were interviewed by ABC Hobart during the summit, highlighting recent research on effective teaching approaches. Read the transcript from their interview.

The Summit brought together teachers and leaders from every state who had the opportunity to hear from some of the nation’s most significant Science of Learning advocates, including

  • Professor Pamela Snow, Professor for the School of Education at La Trobe University
  • Dr Lorraine Hammond AM, Associate Professor School of Education, Edith Cowan University
  • The Hon. Jeremy Rockliff, Premier of Tasmania
  • Dr Jenny Donovan, CEO, Australian Education Research Organisation
  • Noel Pearson, Founder of Good to Great Schools Australia and Cape York Partnership

As one of the delegates commented,

“I loved the passion that each speaker brought and the emphasis on evidence underpinned by effective and efficient teaching. I value the notion that to educate our teachers is to educate our learners better, enhancing not only educational outcomes but also social/emotional wellbeing.”

Ross Fox, Director of CECG, presenting at the National Teaching Summit April 2023.

Got a story idea?