Date of Submission

2015

Abstract

This research was conducted within the context of Australia’s recent ‘Education Revolution’, initiated by the Rudd Labor Government after the Australian federal election in November 2007. Key to this revolution was the National Assessment Programme for Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN), which commenced in 2008. For the first time in Australia’s history, a large amount of student performance data have been generated from these tests nationwide, for various uses by governments and education sectors. Associated with NAPLAN has been the development of the My School website, which has made public (for the first time) details of individual schools and their students’ performance in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. The ‘Education Revolution’ also encompassed the provision of computers and internet connectivity for schools, which coupled with the powerful NAPLAN SMART data software package, has presented school leaders and teachers with new challenges and opportunities relating to the use of centralised testing data.

This research explores how school leaders and teachers use NAPLAN data to improve student learning outcomes, as measured by NAPLAN performance, in selected Catholic schools in the inner western region of the Sydney Archdiocese in New South Wales (NSW). Using a mixed methods design within the paradigm of pragmatism, the research was conducted in three phases: collecting and analysing quantitative data through document analysis of NAPLAN performance data, case study involving interviews with 35 participants across five sites and analysis of all data. The participants were school leaders and teachers.

Central to the research is the meaning school leaders and teachers create from NAPLAN data, and how they apply or interpret this to improve student learning outcomes, as measured by NAPLAN performance. The research has significance from the perspective of school-based educational practitioners who are presented with the challenge of using NAPLAN data effectively for their students. This research is also significant for politicians, educational bureaucrats and the public in determining legitimate uses for NAPLAN data.

School/Institute

School of Educational Leadership

Document Type

Thesis

Access Rights

Open Access

Extent

424 pages

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Faculty

Faculty of Education

Included in

Education Commons

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