Launched on 26 November 2012, The Experience of Education: The impacts of high stakes testing on school students and their families: An Educator’s Perspective is a major study into the impact of NAPLAN testing.

The study was commissioned by the Whitlam Institute within the University of Western Sydney and conducted by researchers in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. It is based on over 8,000 responses from educators across Australia.

It is part of a larger project that brings together the Whitlam Institute, the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and the Foundation for Young Australians with funding support from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the Hart Line Fund.

Press release

Opinion piece by report authors

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Nicky Dulfer

is a Lecturer within the Education Policy and Leadership Unit (EPL) at the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education, has six years experience undertaking a range of research focussed on education policy. Her Masters thesis focussed on the Equity funding model in Victoria, and the ways in which schools use this funding. Since taking on a position at the University she has contributed to a range of projects including a review of the state funding model in Tasmania (2009) and a review of equity practices in Catholic schools in Victoria (2009). In 2008 Nicky was a lead contributor to a series of commissioned literature reviews investigating issues involved with early school leaving dropout, and a commissioned report outlining post-compulsory provision in the Western Metropolitan region of Melbourne. Last year Nicky co-authored a literature review focusing on the impacts of high stakes testing on school students and their families. This report is a continuation of that research.

Professor John Polesel

is a Professor of Education in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne. He has detailed knowledge of education systems across Australia and has undertaken a range of international and comparative studies. He has played a leading role in winning and conducting over forty major educational research grants and consultancies focusing on the transitions of young people from school to further education, training and the workplace.

He has written or co-written over ninety journal articles, book chapters and commissioned reports, mostly as first author. He has published refereed articles in some of the most prestigious international education journals including: Oxford Review of Education, Comparative Education; Journal of Education Policy; Australian Journal of Education; Journal of Vocational Education & Training; and European Journal of Vocational Training, and chapters in major Springer compilations. He recently co-edited a book in the influential Springer series. He has presented research papers to the JVET Conference at Oxford University in 2007, 2009 and 2011 and to the Faculty of Education at Cambridge University in 2009.

Dr. Suzanne Rice

is a researcher, lecturer and program coordinator in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne. She has conducted research in the areas of student engagement and retention, teacher effectiveness, school staffing, and compulsory exit standards for secondary students.

Suzanne spent nine years teaching in government and non-government schools, working as a primary generalist, a LOTE, TESOL and music specialist, and as a Leading Teacher and ICT coordinator. She also spent several years as a LOTE project coordinator with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, and two years as a Senior Education Officer with the Open Training and Education Network in Sydney, producing professional development television programs for teachers in NSW and Victoria. She has authored articles in a number of national and international refereed and professional journals, and co-authored eighteen research reports, including the Effective Strategies to Increase School Completion report and the Guide to Help Schools Increase School Completion.