Willis, J. & Adie, L. (2013). Negotiating the meaning of achievement standards in the Australian curriculum. Curriculum Perspectives (Journal Edition),33(1), 52-62.
Planning for assessment using the achievement standards in the implementation of the Australian Curriculum presents a challenge for teachers. The achievement standards differ in appearance and function from current assessment practices. This research inquiry used qualitative focus group discussions to investigate how Year 6 teachers from three Queensland schools negotiated the meaning of the English and Mathematics achievement standards for their assessment practice. A sociocultural theoretical perspective was used to analyse the data. Three significant influences on the teachers’ understanding of the achievement standards were their understanding of the achievement standard text, their beliefs about learning and assessment, and the assessment culture of the school. The opportunity to learn through supported professional conversations with peers, and the need for a shared assessment discourse were identified as necessities to support teachers as they seek to implement the new practices inherent in the achievement standards in the Australian Curriculum.
Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education
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