Can a standardised goal motivate different students?

What is the problem with national standards?

Often in schooling it becomes too difficult to set goals for each student. Thus, the government provides us with a national standard on which we rank individual performance.

But if the standard is too easy, it can lead to disengagement. And if it is too hard, it can lead to frustration.

"We do students no favours by defining acceptable performance or progress using inadequate benchmarks."

National standards can disengage students

More often than not, our school systems measure student performance based on the NAPLAN standard. While reforms such as this make logistical and administrative sense, often they do not adequately enable an individualised approach to teaching.

A report from the Center of Education Policy critically observed that modern schooling systems, such as NAPLAN, frequently forget about how fundamental student motivation is to school success. With an overt focus on education excellence involving school management, standards and tests and teacher quality, time and again the systems we use to educate children inherently disengage them. 

Grattan School Education Program director Peter Goss fears that the level of achievement dictated by the government may be too low, responding to reports of a fall in the amount of top performing students in Australia. Arguing that some of our brightest students are going without the support they need, Mr Gross compels policy makers to review the standard in order to appropriately challenge Australian students.

"We do students no favours by defining acceptable performance or progress using inadequate benchmarks."

"If we set the bar too low," he said, "it is very hard to aim high."

Do you know whether you fulfil the individual needs of every student?Do you know whether you fulfil the individual needs of every student?

Implementing a student-centric framework

OECD Education Head Andreas Schleicher posed a question to teachers, school administrators and policymakers alike, "How can Australia better capitalise on the talent of students from all social backgrounds but also student with different interests?"

While national standards may be inevitable, following Mr Schleicher's lead, it is the responsibility of teachers and schools administrators to implement a framework that can more accurately and personally measure student performance. With existing NAPLAN structures, there are 27 months between tiers – allowing a lot of time for student performance issues to go unaddressed.

However, testing student performance annually using Best Performance's Annualised NAPLAN Analysis (ANA) allows you to track individuals' changes over more regular intervals, facilitating better informed and more effective interventions.

By bypassing the shortcomings of the staggered NAPLAN system, you can develop proficient learning plans for every student and monitor their performance against the national standard, but also their previous results as well. This equips you with the knowledge to set goals that will make sure all of your students are getting the best education you can provide.

If you would like to know more about how ANA can help you effectively motivate and assess students, contact Best Performance today.

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