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Revitalising the Research Project

What is the project

Following feedback received from schools and the community in the 2018 SACE Stage 2 Review [PDF 172KB] the SACE Board began to redesign Stage 2 Research Project, to be replaced with Activating Identities and Futures (AIF).

We used the SACE Board’s promise to shape education so that students thrive to reconceptualise the subject, the pedagogy, the assessment, and quality assurance procedures.

AIF will meet the requirements for SACE completion.

Activating Identities and Futures (AIF)

The intention behind the AIF subject is for students to explore ideas related to an area of personal interest through a process of self-directed inquiry. They draw on relevant knowledge, skills and capabilities applying these in new contexts and selecting relevant strategies to progress the learning to a resolution. 

In AIF students take greater ownership and agency over their learning ‘learning how to learn’ as they select relevant strategies ‘knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do’ to explore, create and/or plan to progress an area of personal interest.

Pilot #1

Pilot #1 in semester 1 2022, tested the first version of the new AIF subject outline and the shift in teacher practice in a live environment with 27 participating government, independent and catholic schools across South Australia. The SACE Board worked closely with schools and teachers, providing support and evaluating what worked and what needed to change. 

Analysis and evaluation of the pilot identified whether the new subjects delivered the intended impact. This process also provided valuable insights and recognised refinements that will be adapted into the delivery of the subject to support the second pilot. Some key learnings from the initial pilot include: 

  • understanding what professional learning is needed to support co-agency, metacognition, natural evidence of learning and feedback 
  • involving school teaching and learning leaders in the implementation of professional learning for their school’s teachers 
  • ensuring teacher practices support success for all students, including students who experience disadvantage
  • pedagogical change required to successfully deliver the new subjects across a diversity of teachers 
  • role of school leadership in sponsoring and resourcing the new subjects.

What’s next?

AIF is currently preparing for pilot 2 in Semester 1, 2023 which will extend the testing and learning from the first pilot to specifically focus on the risks, challenges and opportunities associated with implementation across the whole system in future, including:  

  • pedagogical change required to successfully deliver the new subjects across a diversity of teachers 
  • development and testing of professional learning to support co-agency, metacognition, natural evidence of learning and feedback 
  • involving school teaching and learning leaders in the implementation of professional learning for their school’s teachers 
  • role of school leadership in sponsoring and resourcing the new subjects 
  • ensuring teacher practices support success for all students, including students who experience disadvantage.