The Centre for Evaluation and Assessment (CEA) at the University of Pretoria hosted the 6th International Association for the Evaluation of Education Achievement (IEA) International Research Conference (IRC). This prestigious international conference was organised in collaboration with the IEA and was held at Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge in Cape Town on at the end of June 2015.
The keynote speakers were Prof Sarah Howie, Director of the CEA, Dr Silvia Montoya of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics in Canada, and Prof David Kaplan of the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the United States. Prof Howie’s presentation was entitled ‘What do the IEA studies mean for developing countries’ education systems and educational research?’. Dr Montoya explored the topic ‘Post-2015 education framework: A strategic approach to improve and monitor learning outcomes as part of the post-2015 education targets’, and Prof Kaplan presented on ‘The Bayesian Revolution and its implications for the analysis of international large-scale assessments’.
For over 50 years the IEA has been responsible for the organisation of large-scale international comparative research studies in education. At the conference, research papers by international and local researchers were presented based on data from the IEA studies, such as the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS and the TIMSS Advanced), the International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS), the Second Information Technology in Education Study (SITES), the International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS, CIVED) and the Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics (TEDS-M). Several presentations also linked the research-based evidence from various IEA studies with policy developments and with implications for curriculum.
Among the invited dignitaries were the Chair of the IEA, Ms Anne-Berit Kavli from Norway, the Director of the IEA, Dr Dirk Hastedt from Germany, the Minister for Education in the Western Cape, Mrs Debbie Schäfer, and the Vice-Principal for Research and Postgraduate Education at the University of Pretoria, Prof Stephanie Burton, who welcomed the guests at the conference dinner and presented the University of Pretoria’s research profile. Delegates from the broader education research fraternity including universities, non-governmental organisations, government departments and from the private sector attended the conference.
CEA staff members pictured from left: Mr Gabriel Mokoena, Ms Nelladee Palane, Mrs Karen Roux, Dr Caroline Long, Mrs Sandra van Niekerk, Ms Thembisile Matlou, Prof. Sarah Howie, Mrs Rosalie Loots, Mr Thamsanqa Ncube, Ms Celeste Combrinck, Mr Mishack Tshele and Mr Stefan de Jager