NAPLAN for Mummies Intro.


The future of our nation depends on our attitude towards children and their schooling



Our young mums probably know that the world of primary schooling has been impressed  for a few years by the kind of schooling that takes place in Finland.  They will recall that a few years ago, Finland topped the world’s ratings of achievements in tests conducted by the OECD, called PISA – a comparative test of a number of countries’ scores…. tests conducted for 15 year-olds every three years.   We used to be amongst the world’s best but have severely slumped in rankings since the introduction of NAPLAN testing. Since it  was introduced, we have developed a national attitude of heavy-handed, fear-based testing and have started to wonder what Finland does that it does so well.  We know that it does not believe in the conduct of tests like our NAPLAN, because such tests damage the attitude of school pupils towards learning. Our cultural attitude is that we don’t care even if our kids are being knocked around. What do you think?

If you are a reader of The Treehorn Express you will have been impressed by the article by Paul Thomson who, with a staff member from Kimberley College visited Finland in 2016.  “Primary school teaching is the most respected occupation in Finland, with doctors second and surgeons third.” The kind of attitude [see below] that the public openly approves of…and boasts about to the world ….is about the opposite of ours.

Schooling is part of the air they breathe.

Here’s how William Doyle, a Fulbright Scholar presently a scholar in residence at the University of Eastern Finland describes the practices….[See SMH, 17 Jan 2017]

* learning through play;

*equitable funding and well resourced schools [no private];

*highly professional teacher training;

*research-based and whole-child approach to school management;

*warmth and respect for children and teachers;

*learning environments of strong academic focus with low stress and high challenge;

*high-quality testing run by teachers at learning time and not by standardised data collectors once a year;

*comprehensive special education;

*treating all children as gifted and cherished individuals without sacrificing their childhoods to overwork.

So, Treehorn’s question to Mums is :  Why would a government approve of a kleinist fear-based testing routine in schools  e.g.NAPLAN   when this sort of Finnish culture works so well; and we can improve our schooling and improve our achievements on any sort of test by respecting our pupils and treating them as pupils….and as human beings?  YES, we can. Wanna bet? Can you help, for your child’s sake, to do something about it? Get rid of NAPLAN?  Can’t we get back to pupilling and watch the gains and be happy with our kids’ giant strides upwards, instead of highlighting their mediocre performance and slippage in world ratings?  Do you ever consider how crazy our Aussie kind of schooling has become?  Why don’t you do something about it?   Pussy-cat?

Next : What IS the purpose of NAPLAN?

Can anyone explain it?


Phil Cullen 41 Cominan Avenue Banora Point Australia 2486   07 5524 6443  0407865999   REFER: ‘Who’s Who in Australia’


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