NAPLAN offers a national and external reference point that assists teachers in making judgments about how students are performing and whether they have room to improve. Additionally, it enables schools and teachers to collect important information used for resource and support allocation, forward planning, and tracking achievements and the progress of one or a group of students. It offers teachers an opportunity to assess these individuals throughout their education and determine their academic progression. NAPLAN reports provide intricate interpretation guides used by parents, teachers, and school leaders (Barton et al., 2012). It is vital to note Individual Test Administration Authorities boost this information using other reports. School authorities and governments play a significant role in supporting teachers and school leaders in developing their data analytical skills. School principals find NAPLAN helpful as it allows teachers to gain access to information that makes individualized teaching approaches easier to develop while determining students exhibiting slow progress. However, NAPLAN has the potential to limit the curriculum and lead students and teachers to focus on test preparation rather than conducting in-depth studies for greater understanding to elicit high test scores.
Impact on Teaching Practice
NAPLAN would allow my teaching practice to go beyond individual scores. It enables individuals to seek more information on students. The critical nature of education requires a precise mechanism to teach students. NAPLAN provides a clear plan that focuses on a trend, where a teacher can understand the student(s) growth and discern when they are developing or falling off the course (Barton et al., 2012). This would allow me to create an effective plan and tweak it when required to suit students. Planning allows teachers and parents to work together when developing a student’s best learning design. Nonetheless, focusing on tests puts pressure on students as they are more inclined to study for tests rather than reading to learn. An extreme focus on exams would eradicate the accuracy of test results and make it difficult to determine if a student is learning or cramming for tests.
Situations and Reasons a Teacher might use NAPLAN
It is crucial to note that indigenous students are unlikely to perform at a similar level to their non-indigenous counterparts. While this has been clear for many years, it was impossible to determine the extent of these gaps without using a mechanism like NAPLAN. It would pose a complex problem to gauge the efficacy of policies intended to eliminate this gap and determine how they have changed over time. Nationally, studies indicate that indigenous students in their third year of learning are likely to lag three years behind their non-indigenous peers in terms of numeracy (Barton et al., 2012). They exhibit a four-year gap in reading and a four-year lag in writing.
Supporting Children’s Learning Development in Mathematics
The Mathematical Association of Victoria (MAV) determines that no assessment is considered perfect. It discerns that NAPLAN testing should be conducted at the beginning of the school year to alleviate the notion of teaching to the test. Such a move will reduce pressure on students and parents, enabling teachers to teach freely (Barton et al., 2012). They would provide students with the knowledge and alleviate the notion of teaching to the test. While officials in the education sector advise them against this destructive practice, students attain high marks, though their learning is hollow and not in-depth. Therefore, eliminating the pressure on this system supports students learning in subjects such as mathematics as part of NAPLAN involves assessing numerical capacity.
Barton, L., Meighan, R., & Walker, S. (2012). Schooling, ideology and the Curriculum. Routledge.