New research raises concerns about the impacts of the National Assessment Program– Literacy And Numeracy (NAPLAN) on the health and wellbeing of students and on positive teaching and learning methods. NAPLAN was introduced to enhance literacy and numeracy in Australian primary and secondary schools, however the question needs to be asked: is it worth it?
The suite of tests that comprise NAPLAN, administered in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9, are meant to measure three things: first, how private students are carrying out; 2nd, the extent to which national literacy and numeracy criteria are being accomplished at each school; and 3rd, how well curricula are operating in Australian schools.
Seven years of NAPLAN testing have actually produced blended results.
Our team hung out in five school communities (in Victoria and New South Wales) where we interviewed trainees, moms and dads, teachers and school principals. The report is possibly the most considerable to this day as it is the first to study the impact on students.
Exactly what did the research discover?
The findings expose that, against its mentioned objectives, NAPLAN is at best a blunt tool.
The results aren’t universally unfavorable. Some teachers discover the results informative, there is evidence that in some schools NAPLAN results have been a trigger to carry out literacy and numeracy programs, and some moms and dads appreciate the uncomplicated assessment of their kids’s achievement levels.
Nevertheless, the research study reveals that NAPLAN is afflicted by unfavorable impacts on student health and wellbeing and knowing. Our previous survey of teachers found that 90% of teachers reported that students felt stressed out before taking the test.
This study of trainee experiences of NAPLAN draws attention to the need to take trainee wellbeing into account in instructional efforts. While Australian instructional policies do not clearly state all measures must remain in the best interests of the kids, they must comply with the ethical practice of “doing no harm”.
The many unintended consequences of NAPLAN come from the failure to take the interests of all students seriously. The formal and inflexible design of NAPLAN is not favorable to finding out and teaching approaches that stress deep learning.
NAPLAN, which uses language and a design of testing that is frequently foreign to trainees, strays from the systems built in class that promote knowing.
Our report found that a bulk of students did not like NAPLAN and were not sure of its function. A bulk reported sensations of stress.
Those who were having a hard time in mathematics and/or literacy were the most nervous about whether they would fail. Worryingly, schools reported that these trainees (whom the tests are created to assist) were frequently the ones least likely to sit the tests. A smaller sized proportion reported specific stress-related conditions such as insomnia, hyperventilation, excessive sweating, nail biting, headaches, stomach aches and migraines.
Majority desire NAPLAN scrapped
When asked what message they wish to give to the Australian government about NAPLAN, a majority of participants suggested that it ought to be ditched.
However, many also made recommendations about how NAPLAN might be made more relevant (through making use of better examples and more available language) and ways to lower levels of tension. Those in favour of NAPLAN focused on the opportunity it offers students to practice the art of sitting tests.
The in-depth analysis of trainees’ experiences in 5 diverse Australian neighborhoods contained in our report offers the very first methodical analysis of the impact of NAPLAN testing on trainees. It reinforces the views of numerous moms and dads, school principals and instructors: that NAPLAN has significant unintended repercussions, which have an unfavorable influence on the quality of knowing and student health and wellbeing.
Although NAPLAN testing is developed to improve the quality of education young people receive in Australia, its application, uses and misuses mean that it undermines quality education and does damage that is not in the best interests of Australian kids.