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Evidence based education report released

A newly released report has recognised the importance of capabilities in Australia’s education system and admits that there is a major gap in assessing them.

The Productivity Commission report, National Education Evidence Base, highlights that while literacy and numeracy results are routinely assessed on a consistent basis through NAPLAN, there are no national measurements in place for critical and creative thinking, personal and social qualities, ethical and intercultural understanding.

The Australian Learning Lecture, which made a submission to the inquiry, has welcomed the finding.

In our submission, we wrote: “Data is a powerful tool to help students and teachers identify a student’s point of need and, if used well and alongside other data, enables teachers to deliver personalised learning in the classroom. But we caution against relying on achievement tests as the sole indicator of an effective educational system, which currently appears to be the status quo.”

We were among many inquiry participants to call for a broader range of outcomes -  to be assessed to monitor how children are developing.

This point has also been noted by State and Commonwealth Ministers who, according to the report, “have agreed that education goes beyond literacy and numeracy skills, and that education plays a vital role in promoting the intellectual, physical, social, emotional, and other elements of well-being of young Australians.”

Nevertheless, the Productivity Commission notes that “as part of a high-quality education evidence base, issues such as measuring 21st Century skills, student wellbeing and engagement are challenging. However, they are important to understanding the wider influences on learning and making young people active and engaged citizens.”

Our submission can be viewed here