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Peta Colbert is the Research Partnerships Manager for the Learning Sciences Institute Australia, Faculty of Education and Arts, Australian Catholic University. As the Research Partnerships Manager, her work is focused on providing supports and opportunities to facilitate researchers, students and industry partners’ engagement in research. Prior to this appointment, Peta worked as a Research Fellow for the Institute undertaking research on the quality of assessment in education and its effectiveness in identifying and then shaping educational policy and student outcomes. Before joining ACU in 2013, Peta was a Research Fellow in the Faculty of Education at Griffith University.

Research interests

  • Assessment standards and human judgement
  • Parent understanding and use of assessment reporting and evaluation

Competitive grants and projects

Competitive grants in which I formed part of the research team:

2012-2013 C. Wyatt-Smith, N. Dempster, & G. Johnson, Secondary Principals as Literacy Leaders (SPALL): Literacy leadership through assessment. South Australian Secondary Principals Association, and South Australian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.
2011-2014 Discovery Scheme: J.J. Cumming, & C.M. Wyatt-Smith, An investigation of school and teacher use of National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) for student learning improvement.
2007-2010 ARC Linkage Scheme: Application ID: LP0668910: C. Wyatt-Smith & V. Klenowski, A study of assessment and reporting reform: How teachers develop, share, and apply knowledge of standards-referenced assessment and reporting through moderation. (PIs: Elwood, J, Queen’s University, Belfast; Looney, A, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment). Industry Partners – Queensland Studies Authority (QSA) and National Council for Curriculum and Assessment.
2004-2006 Department of Education, Science and Training State Grants Scheme: Effective teaching and learning practices for students with learning difficulties initiative. Education Queensland, Catholic Education Commission, and Association of Independent Schools Queensland, in partnership with C. Wyatt-Smith & J. Elkins.
1997-2000 Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs National Grants Scheme: Literacy and numeracy programme, Grants for National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies and Projects, C. van Kraayenoord, J. Elkins, C. Palmer, & F. Richards.

Research consultancy projects

Research consultancies in which I formed part of the research team:

2013-2014 Australian Council for Educational Research. C.M. Wyatt-Smith. The intersection of discipline knowledge and standards: A focus on judgement and the expert panels in work toward the Informing paper for the review of Queensland Senior Assessment and School Reporting and Tertiary Entrance Processes.
2012-2013 C. Wyatt-Smith, N. Dempster, & G. Johnson, Secondary Principals as Literacy Leaders (SPALL): Literacy leadership through assessment. South Australian Secondary Principals Association, and South Australian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.
2010-2011 Department of Education and Training. C.M. Wyatt-Smith, G. Johnson & P. Colbert. Evaluation of Literacy Leadership and Sustainable Whole-School Approaches Pilot.
2008-2011 Education Queensland. G. Johnson, C.M. Wyatt-Smith, & P. Colbert. Evaluation of the impact of the Literacy- the Key to Learning: Framework for Action 2006-2008.
2008 Department of Education, Training and the Arts. C.M. Wyatt-Smith, & P. Colbert. Evaluation of a 12 month trial of school-devised assessment model of comparable statewide assessment.

Publications

Books

Wyatt-Smith, C., Klenowski, V., & Colbert, P. (Eds.). (2014). Designing assessment for quality learning. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer International.
Dempster, N., Wyatt-Smith, C., Johnson, G., Neville, M., & Colbert, P. (2014). Gateways to learning learning: Principals leading literacy in secondary schools. APCLC-HKPI Monograph Series, 1.

Book chapters

Cumming, J., Wyatt-Smith, C. & Colbert, P. (2016). Students ‘at risk’ and the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN): The ‘collateral damage’. In R. Lingard, G. Thompson, & S. Sellar (Eds), National testing and its effects: Evidence from Australia (book series: Local/Global Issues in Education) (pp. 126-138). London: Routledge.
Wyatt-Smith, C., Klenowski, V., & Colbert, P. (2014). Assessment understood as enabling: A time to rebalance improvement and accountability goals. In C. Wyatt-Smith, V. Klenowski, & P. Colbert. (Eds.). Designing assessment for quality learning (The enabling power of assessment series) (pp. 1-19). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer International.
Colbert, P., & Cumming, J. (2014). Enabling all students to learn through assessment: A case study of equitable outcomes achieved through the use of criteria and standards. In C. Wyatt-Smith, V. Klenowski, & P. Colbert. (Eds.). Designing assessment for quality learning (The enabling power of assessment series) (pp. 207-228). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer International.
Colbert, P. (2010). Essential provisions for quality learning support: Connecting literacy, numeracy and learning needs. In C. Wyatt-Smith, J. Elkins, & S. Gunn (Eds.), Multiple perspectives on difficulties in literacy and numeracy learning (pp. 133-158). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer International.
Wyatt-Smith, C. M., Cumming, J., Elkins, J., & Colbert, P. (2010). Redesigning assessment. In D. Pendergast & N. Bahr (Eds.), Teaching middle years (2nd ed) (pp. 319-344). London: Allen & Unwinn.

Articles

Colbert, P., Wyatt-Smith, C., & Klenowski, V. (2012). A systems level approach to building sustainable assessment cultures: Moderation, quality task design and dependability of judgement. Policy Futures in Education, 10(4), 387-402.

Reports

Wyatt-Smith, C., & Colbert, P. (2014). An account of the inner workings of standards, judgement and moderation: A previously untold evidence-based narrative. Informing paper for the Review of Queensland Senior Assessment and School Reporting and Tertiary Entrance Processes undertaken by Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). Brisbane, QLD: Australian Catholic University.
Johnson, G., Wyatt-Smith, C., Dempster, N., Neville, M., & Colbert, P. (2013). Leading learning in the secondary context: Reflections on the SPALL Project. Brisbane, QLD: Griffith University.
Johnson, G., Wyatt-Smith, C., Colbert, P., & Klieve, H. (2011). Evaluation of the Literacy – Key to Learning: Framework for Action 2006-2009. Report prepared for the Department of Education and Training. Brisbane, QLD: Griffith University.
Wyatt-Smith, C., Johnson, G., & Colbert P. (2011). Evaluation of the Literacy Leadership and Sustainable Whole-School Approaches Pilot. Report prepared for the Department of Education and Training. Brisbane, QLD: Griffith University.
Wyatt-Smith, C., & Colbert, P. (2008). Evaluation of the 2008 trial of the QCAT school-devised assessment model. Brisbane: Department of Education, Training and the Arts.
Wyatt-Smith, C.M., Elkins, J., Colbert, P., Gunn, S.J., Muspratt, A. (2007). Changing the nature of support provision – Students with learning difficulties: Interventions in literacy and numeracy project (InLaN) (4 Volumes). Canberra: Department of Education, Science and Training, Australian Government.
van Kraayenoord, C.E., Elkins, J., Palmer, C., Rickards, F.W., & Colbert, P. (2000). Literacy, numeracy and students with disabilities (4 Volumes). St Lucia, QLD: Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs.

Conference

Wyatt-Smith, C., & Colbert, P. (2012). Essential assessment literacies for teachers: A focus on learning improvement and accountability. Paper for International Association for Educational Assessment (IAEA) 2012 Conference, Astana, Kazakhstan, 16-21 September.
Klenowski, V., Adie, L., Gunn, S., Looney, A., Elwood, J., Wyatt-Smith, C., & Colbert, P. Moderation as Judgement Practice: Reconciling System Level Accountability and Local Level Practice. Research Impacts: Proving or Improving: AARE 2007 Conference, Freemantle, 25-29 November.
Jobling, A., Colbert, P., & Elkins, J. Transition: Secondary schooling and beyond – some Australian initiatives.
van Kraayenoord, C.E., & Colbert, P. Neil, Victoria and Brian: Their literacy learning. Paper presented at the 7th World Down Syndrome Congress, Sydney, Australia, 23-26 March.
van Kraayenoord, C.E., Elkins, J., & Colbert, P. Literacy practices for students with intellectual disabilities: Case studies from Australia. Paper presented at the 9th Symposium on Literacy and Disabilities, Raleigh, North Carolina, 3-5 February.

Peta Colbert Curriculum Vitae

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