Esther Care

Esther Care

University of Melbourne,
Australia Assessment Research Centre

Esther Care is an academic with expertise in literacy research, psycho-educational measurement, test and scale development, and education. With early experience as a qualified teacher and then psychologist, she has a diverse background in intervention provision in both mainstream and mental health settings. Recent and current research projects in which she is involved include mapping of literacy intervention strategies to competence levels, assessment programs designed to differentiate between cognitive and literacy skills in the early years, and design for large scale literacy assessment for education systems. She is the International Research Coordinator for the Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills (ATC21S) project, and also the National Research Coordinator for the project in Australia. Esther Care recently led an AusAID sponsored comparison of curriculum of the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and the Australian State of New South Wales, and now leads a joint Assessment, Curriculum and Technologies Research Centre with the University of the Philippines. Esther publishes widely in psycho-educational journals and edited books on assessment, 21st century skills, and use of ICT in education.


Research on use of formative assessment at large scale in Australia.



The Multiple Functions of Large Scale Data in Education


Analysis of large scale assessment data gathered from over 40,000 students in Victoria, Australia, has shown interesting and concerning patterns in differential student growth across groups of students located at different points in the student distribution. In the first instance the data were gathered as part of a program in which teachers’ use of student assessment data in literacy, numeracy and problem solving is the focus. In the program, teachers are guided to focus on appropriate targeting of tests to students so that they can obtain maximum information about the student. This information is then used by the teacher to target instruction also. The analyses have demonstrated that students appear to move more reliably up a developmental progression if they are not in the top 25% of the distribution. Implications of this study will be discussed.



Citation – Please refer to information and materials available on this website, in this way:

Fifth International Symposium on Assessment for Learning (April, 2014).
     Website International Symposium on Classroom Assessment.
     Accessed at:

Slides used: Australian group presentation
Ⓒ2014 Jill Willis, Lenore Adie, Vince Geiger, Esther Care, and Joy Cumming