Early years teachers’ perspectives on the effects of NAPLAN on stakeholder wellbeing and the impact on early years pedagogy and curriculum
Australasian Journal of Early Childhood
School of Education / School of Arts and Humanities
National Assessment Program for Numeracy and Literacy (NAPLAN) is the national assessment programme for literacy and numeracy in Australia administered to children in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 each year. The testing process was introduced in 2008 and is described by the developers as low stakes, however, research has highlighted that this is not the case. This paper examines the perceptions of teachers in the early years of school on the impact NAPLAN has on wellbeing of stakeholders, and the pedagogy and curriculum in early years teachers’ classrooms. Through focus group interviews, the early childhood teachers in 10 independent Western Australian school sites were asked about their experiences of NAPLAN in terms of their wellbeing and that of the children and families with whom they interact. Findings highlight that early years teachers describe that the impact of NAPLAN is felt in the lower years of school by all stakeholders-parents, children and teachers. This study highlights the need for additional research in this area, particularly in diverse settings, to gain evidence of impact that could inform the practice of the NAPLAN testing programme.