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Issues in Educational Research, 2023, Vol 33(1), 266-283.
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Uses and abuses of standardised testing: Perceptions from high-performing, socially disadvantaged schools

Sarah Penn
Murdoch University, Australia

This study examines the perceptions of teachers and school leaders from high performing, socially disadvantaged government schools about the value of Australia's national standardised test regime for informing learning and teaching. While many studies report negative experiences and perceptions of standardised testing, few studies have explicitly examined the perceptions of high performing schools, especially those that perform higher than expected. Using a qualitative research design, interviews were conducted with teachers (n=12) and principals (n=4) from four schools about their perceptions and experiences of standardised testing. Participants reported that testing was useful for tracking learning trends across years, but was unanimously viewed as an irrelevant tool for measuring the individual achievement of students in their schools. Instead, all schools used regular summative and formative assessments to inform their teaching. The conclusion being that standardised testing is an expensive exercise with little relevance for the stakeholders of this particular educational cohort.
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Author: Dr Sarah Penn BA/BT MA MEd EdD, School of Education, Murdoch University, Australia, is an award-winning educator who has been working in early childhood, primary and vocational education for 18 years, both nationally and internationally. Her research interests include early childhood education and equity in education. Email: sarahapenn@hotmail.com

Please cite as: Penn, S. (2023). Uses and abuses of standardised testing: Perceptions from high-performing, socially disadvantaged schools. Issues in Educational Research, 33(1), 266-283. http://www.iier.org.au/iier33/penn.pdf

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