Does Naplan Testing Do More Harm Than Good?

New research raises questions about the effects of the National Assessment Program– Literacy And Numeracy (NAPLAN) on the health and wellbeing of trainees and on favorable teaching and finding out techniques. NAPLAN was presented 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 intended to determine three things: first, how individual students are performing; 2nd, the degree to which nationwide literacy and numeracy standards are being achieved at each school; and third, how well curricula are working in Australian schools.

Seven years of NAPLAN testing have actually produced combined outcomes.

Our group hung out in five school neighborhoods (in Victoria and New South Wales) where we interviewed trainees, parents, instructors and school principals. The report is potentially the most considerable to date as it is the first to study the influence on students.

What did the research find?

The findings reveal that, versus its mentioned objectives, NAPLAN is at best a blunt tool.

The outcomes aren’t universally negative. Some teachers find the results informative, there is proof that in some schools NAPLAN results have actually been a trigger to implement literacy and numeracy programs, and some parents appreciate the simple assessment of their kids’s achievement levels.

The research reveals that NAPLAN is afflicted by negative effects on student wellness and learning. Our previous study of teachers discovered that 90% of teachers reported that trainees felt stressed out prior to taking the test.

This study of trainee experiences of NAPLAN draws attention to the need to take student wellness into account in instructional efforts. While Australian instructional policies do not clearly state all procedures should remain in the very best interests of the children, they ought to comply with the ethical practice of “doing no damage”.

The numerous unexpected effects of NAPLAN originate from the failure to take the interests of all trainees seriously. The formal and inflexible design of NAPLAN is not conducive to learning and teaching methods that stress deep learning.

NAPLAN, which uses language and a design of testing that is frequently foreign to trainees, strays from the systems integrated in class that promote learning.

Our report found that a majority of trainees disliked NAPLAN and were unsure of its function. A majority reported sensations of tension.

Those who were struggling in mathematics and/or literacy were the most nervous about whether they would stop working. Worryingly, schools reported that these trainees (whom the tests are created to assist) were typically the ones least most likely to sit the tests. A smaller sized proportion reported specific stress-related conditions such as insomnia, hyperventilation, excessive sweating, nail biting, headaches, stomach pains and migraines.

Majority desire NAPLAN ditched

When asked exactly what message they wish to give to the Australian federal government about NAPLAN, a bulk of respondents suggested that it needs to be scrapped.

However, numerous also made suggestions about how NAPLAN could be made more relevant (through using better examples and more available language) and how to lower levels of tension. Those in favour of NAPLAN focused on the chance it supplies students to practise the art of sitting tests.

The comprehensive analysis of trainees’ experiences in 5 varied Australian communities contained in our report supplies the first methodical analysis of the impact of NAPLAN testing on trainees. It reinforces the views of lots of parents, school principals and teachers: that NAPLAN has substantial unintended consequences, which have a negative impact on the quality of learning and student wellness.

Although NAPLAN testing is designed to improve the quality of education youths get in Australia, its application, misuses and utilizes mean that it weakens quality education and does harm that is not in the very best interests of Australian kids.