CHILDREN are suffering stress-related vomiting and sleeplessness as some teachers drill them for months prior to the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN), according to the first national study into the impact of the high-stakes testing regime.
The University of Melbourne survey of 8353 teachers and principals raises significant concerns about the ”unintended side-effects” of NAPLAN, including teaching to the test, a reduction in time devoted to other subjects and a negative impact on student health and staff morale.Almost half of teachers said they held practice NAPLAN tests at least once a week for five months before the tests every May.
About 90 per cent of those surveyed said some students felt stressed before NAPLAN tests, with symptoms including crying, sleeplessness, vomiting and absenteeism…….The study’s researchers have called for a national debate into whether there are other ways the data could be collected without the negative impacts revealed in their findings.
”We are narrowing the curriculum in order to test children,” said lead researcher Nicky Dulfer. ”There are ways we can support numeracy and literacy learning without limiting children’s access to other subjects like music, languages and art.’…………….