A socially-just NAPLAN spin-off: Self-assessment to develop students’ creativity and learning competence

Year: 2019

Author: Fletcher, Anna

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The opening line of the recent Gonski 2 report makes it clear: education defines opportunity. Consequently, research into approaches that promote students to realise their potential as learners is an assessment issue with social justice applications.

This paper brings together two considerations that are rarely combined: 1) the marking rubric for the NAPLAN writing test; and 2) the notion of creativity as a ‘novel and appropriate, useful, correct, or valuable’ response to a task, without a clear and readily identifiable path to solution.

Conducted as a writing project designed to scaffold and develop primary students’ self-regulated learning skills, this mixed-method study explored intrapersonal ‘mini c’ creativity, which is part of the learning process and students’ development of competence as learners. Teachers and students from years 2, 4 and 6 at an Australian primary school worked together in a three-phase writing project which accommodated: a forethought phase, a performance phase and a hindsight phase. Data was gathered through students’ planning templates, pre-test NAPLAN scores, post-test writing samples, and interviews with students and teachers. A framework of social cognitive theory guided the analysis.

Findings indicate that the three-phase Assessment as Learning (AaL) process has the potential to support teachers in scaffolding students to develop competence and success as learners. Furthermore, this AaL approach appears to have enhanced the teachers’ practice, particularly in respect to providing support for students during the forethought stage of the learning process.