History of SAIER

Brief History Adolf John Schulz - First President of SAIER

The Institutes for Educational Research were formed in the late 1920s as supports for and promotion of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). The preliminary meeting of ACER was held in Melbourne on 16 August 1929. All State Institutes were present except for Queensland. The ACER constitution was adopted and sent to the Carnegie Corporation for approval. It was hoped to appoint an Executive Officer early in the 1930s.

The first recorded meeting of SAIER was held on 6 November 1929 at Adelaide University, with Dr A. J. Schulz (pictured) in the chair. In 1930 Schulz became the first President of the SAIER. His publications include Morality and Moral Education (1929), revised as Character and its Development (1939). After guiding Adelaide Teachers' College under six directors of education, in two world wars and the Depression, Schulz retired in 1948.


SAIER Activities

We organise three events per year in Adelaide at the ACER Adelaide Office, which are free and everyone is welcome to attend.

(1) The Annual John Keeves' Lecture, around March
(2) The Mid Year Seminar, around July
(3) The Spring Seminar Series, around September

Keeves Lectures

SAIER holds an annual lecture in honour of Professor John P. Keeves - an outstanding scholar with a lifelong interest in educational measurement, analyses and the exchange of methods and content across different disciplines.

The breadth of John’s interests is reflected in The process of research in education – a book published on the occasion of John’s 85th birthday in 2009. Articles range from the challenges associated with cross-cultural research to topics such as mental health, occupational burn-out, languages and literacy, single-sex schooling, the generation and analyses of research models, factors influencing mathematics and science performance, approaches to learning and research reflection. However, the issue that is probably still closest to John’s heart is the continuous quest to improve all aspects of educational measurement and analysis as reflected by his editorship of the methodology section of the International Encyclopaedia of Education and the stand-alone International Handbook of Educational Measurement.

As a physics graduate, John taught science and mathematics for 15 years before joining the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) in 1962. First as a senior researcher and later (1977-1984) as Director, John spent much time and effort on facilitating Australia’s participation in large-scale international comparative studies.

In 2005, John became a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of his services to educational research. Similarly, John’s life membership of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) and SAIER as well as the Fellowship of the Australian College of Educators acknowledge his outstanding scholarly contributions.

This lecture series is designed to celebrate the contribution of Professor Keeves to educational research and teaching. The first lecture was held on 16th March 2010 at Tabor Adelaide, titled, A new methodology: The Data Linkage Demonstration Project presented by David Engelhardt, Department of Education and Children’s Services South Australia (DECS). This and other presentations (where available) are provided on the Past Events page.

Mid Year and Springs Seminars

These have been held with Flinders Institute for International Education and ran for several years from 2000.

In 2010, the seminars moved to a more central location at the historic Tabor College Adelaide,
until 2014, when the SAIER seminars found a new home at the new ACER Pulteney Street office.