Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)
The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) is a non-governmental educational research organisation based in Camberwell, Victoria. Established in 1930, ACER has a long history and solid reputation as a provider of reliable support to education policy makers and professional practitioners. As a private company, independent of government, ACER receives no direct financial support and generates its entire income through contracted research and development projects and through products and services that it develops and distributes. Today, ACER is one of the world's leading educational research centres, committed to creating and distributing research-based knowledge, products and services to improve learning across the lifespan in both formal and informal settings.
The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) is an independent, not-for-profit research organisation established in Australia as a company limited by guarantee.
Their mission is to create and promote research-based knowledge, products and services that can be used to improve learning across the lifespan.
ACER undertakes commissioned research and development and develops and distributes a wide range of products and services. Any surplus generated through our work is invested in further research and development.
ACER was established in Melbourne, Australia, in 1930 with a grant from the Carnegie Corporation. From a staff of five, ACER has grown into one of the world’s leading educational research bodies with an expanding international presence. ACER has more than 380 staff working in offices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Dubai, Delhi, London, Jakarta, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
Prior to the establishment of ACER there had been no educational institution with a nation-wide interest. The first research undertaken was: the standardisation of scholastic and mental testing for Australia; a study of the number of children aged 10 to 18 in each school grade or type of occupation; and the fundamental problems of the primary school curriculum.
ACER’s early focus was on research, rather than service activities, and making ACER a clearinghouse of research information, with an emphasis on primary and secondary education.
ACER has been instrumental in the implementation, management and reporting of large-scale international surveys such as the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), the IEA International Civic and Citizenship Study (ICCS) and the IEA International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS).
The early years
ACER developed as:
a centre devoted to the scientific study of education;
a source of reference on what was the best and latest in educational thought and practice; and
a supporter of progressive education.
During the Second World War, ACER was involved in psychological testing for personnel selection to the Australian Armed Services and government departments. ACER also worked on publications dealing with evacuation possibilities, and advised the Department of Post-War Reconstruction in Australia. For the three years from 1942 ACER was mostly concerned with the war effort, with regular work suspended. Its war time work helped lead to government financial support from 1946 and confirmed it as a significant national institution in Australia.
ACER developed as:
ACER’s focus widened to include more emphasis on testing. Work included: a large growth in library work; establishment of a semi-autonomous test division; conferences of test users; research into test theory; Australia-wide curriculum survey; university study to determine predictions of academic success; and the beginning of studies into adolescence and unemployment.
ACER has grown rapidly in recent decades, opening its Sydney office in 2002, followed by offices in Dubai and New Delhi in 2004, Brisbane in 2006, Perth in 2007, Adelaide in 2009, London in 2014 and Jakarta in 2015.See more