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NAPLAN: Critiquing the Criticisms

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While the introduction of NAPLAN in 2008 has always been a source of contention for many teachers, and is regarded by some as an expression of bureaucratic control and therefore a challenge to professional autonomy, the development of the My School Website provided a more serious threat. This publication of school performances is viewed by many educational professionals as creating invidious comparisons between schools, and engendering unwarranted assumptions about the quality of teaching. This article examines the main criticisms of NAPLAN, and concludes with the argument that while the test could be a useful diagnostic tool to facilitate teaching and learning, there is a danger that for many teachers, it is becoming a threatening instrument of bureaucratic control in an escalating culture of accountability.

Keywords: My School Website; NAPLAN; accountability; student stress; teachers’ stress

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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  • Curriculum and Teaching is a bi-annual, refereed, international journal publishing original research. It uses a balanced and comparative perspective to consider curriculum design and development, evaluation, curriculum models, comparative studies in curriculum, innovation and policy, planning, and educational administration.
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