Written by Lucy Czerwinski
Produced for online by Beatriz Alonso Montalvo
The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) has been called into question following a landmark review into Australian schooling.
Schools are calling for greater support to deliver the recommendations set out in the report.
Gonski 2.0 has been met with dramatically mixed response from education institutions.
The report recommends individual learning plans and a move away from age based progression.
Queensland Teachers’ Union vice president Sam Pidgeon, says significant changes need to be made to allow teachers to facilitate effective learning.
“It is going to be able to implement teaching and learning activities in the classroom that really are targeted to a range of different students the more it is going to need is smaller class sizes, or more adults to support people in the classroom, or both.”
Ms Pidgeon says the QTU welcomes the recommendation for individualised learning but warns that teachers do not have adequate resources.
“We’re caution that a number of them are very resource and workload intensive so, it is going to be implemented there’s going to need to be a lot of additional funding delivered to states in order to save it and come to life.”
Australian Primary Principals Association president Dennis Yarrington says the recommendations have the capacity to inflate teacher workload.
“Having all one to one programs on the current structures is certainly not going to be achievable, it’s going to create more workload. It’s gonna require professional learning, it’s gonna require resources at the school to support teachers in their work.”
Standardised testing such as NAPLAN and Year 12 exit scores are criticised in the report for providing generalised information about students.
Mr Yarrington says tests such as NAPLAN are important for tracking progress, but should be used alongside other tools.
“What we don’t support is the one size fits all standardised test. We believe time has moved from that and it’s not reflective to temporary learning.”
Head of the review panel, David Gonski says while parents are used to benchmarks and grades, they are more interested in whether their child is learning.
Australian Institute for Teaching chair Professor John Hattie, says he supports curriculum reform in favour of scrapping standardised testing.
“It’s just too narrow. Same with data. I think solving data is the wrong problem to solve. Solving mistake school curriculum to make it more powerful aims the students to be excellent. it’s the right way to do it.”
Centre for Independent Studies education policy analyst, Blaise Joseph, does not support the recommended reforms.
“Given that the report was worked on for 10 months, it’s 140 page report, had an expert panel, took on many submissions. I think overall it’s fair to say the report is a disappointment.”
Mr Joseph says the report does not address underlying issues.
“The most fundamental problem with Australia’s Education system is teacher education. There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that teacher education degrees are not preparing teachers for the classroom.”