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Don't Storm Down To Your Local School And Demand Answers Over The NAPLAN Results

Instead, believe in our teachers and concentrate on what IS working.

04/08/2017 11:06 AM AEST | Updated 04/08/2017 2:12 PM AEST
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"We need to focus on building up a strong base of evidence around effective teaching practice."

When hearing or reading about the most recent results of NAPLAN, you may have an urge to storm down to your nearest school and demand answers.

Well, here's one we've prepared earlier: We need to believe in our teachers.

There is a danger when NAPLAN results come out to simply blame and seek to identify possible problems. Yes, we could easily blame change in governments, shifts in political focus, game playing and tit for tat-ing.

We could blame unions. We could blame the students' apparent lack of respect. What about leaders simply not making time for teachers to teach, or class sizes, socio-economic backgrounds, parents not being involved enough or ineffective teachers?

You name it, we could blame it.

Working through the trends can not only provide us with areas of strength, it can also provide us with the means to start to build up our evidence-base of what is working across Australian schools.

For anyone who has worked in schools or other professions involving people -- let's say the majority of professions -- the number of variables affecting situations and consequences is incredibly complex.

There is no one problem or solution -- if there was, we wouldn't need to be having this conversation. We would have solved all educational issues a long time ago.

So, after 10 years what is it that we need to do?

For starters, we need to make sure our teachers, school leaders and governments know that we believe in them and education. We need them to understand that we entrust them with assisting our future members of society to become positively aware, active and engaged members of their society. That also means trusting their ability and proficiency to undertake their work and professional learning.

As a profession, there's something that the past 10 years of NAPLAN data also points out -- a drastic need to have evidence of what is already working. Working through the trends can not only provide us with areas of strength, it can also provide us with the means to start to build up our evidence-base of what is working across Australian schools.

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As the sexily named Productivity Commission Inquiry Reportfound last year, now we need to focus on building up a strong base of evidence around effective teaching practice.

And, that shouldn't be a scary thing.

We already have the data. We already have the information. We already have the committed individuals, teams, schools and systems. We even already have an evidence base! (Click hereor check out AITSL's evidence-based research here)

Yep, what we need is already there waiting to be used, explored, reviewed and improved. Now is the exciting part, now we get to start focusing on how we can build on that evidence and information.

I don't know about you, but I'm ready to stop blaming and start building.

You can see more from Daniel on Upgrade Think Learn.

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