Naplan Discourse Analysis Academic Essay

Naplan Discourse Analysis The National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) refers to series of tests on basic educational skills which are administered every year to the students in Australia. These tests are standardized and are focused on testing students ability in writing, reading, language use and numeracy. They are normally administered by an educational body called the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). NAPLAN was introduced in the education system in early 2008 (John, 2011). The tests they structure are aimed at determining the educational outcomes of the Australian students. The tests are mainly focused on the years 3, 5, 7 and 9 in the education system. In this paper, we focus on discourse analysis on the NAPLAN. We will examine critically analysis three media discourses as provided. Discourse analysis examines how language, whether spoken or written, interprets cultural so and social perspectives. In this case, we are focused on Australia and what attitude they have towards the NAPLAN, taking into account the social perspectives (the big D discourse) and the language analysis (John, 2011). Media Text 1 The Discourse of Distrust The Discourse within this text majorly displays distrust. The narration of trust is seen where the write is directly admitting to change his mind and starts to doubt the validity of the standardized tests. He People have different opinions about the NAPLAN program. The whole society seems to be engaged in this debate. This is so because the NAPLAN as an education tool serves the whole nation and has its impact on everyone. There are those who are in strong support of the program and those against it (John, 2011). The Robyn report also focuses on the errors related to the standardized tests. This forms part of the Discourse. The efforts that are made to hold teachers and schools accountable for depreciating education have produced negative results. Some commentators argue that instead of making the education better, the nation is busy raising cheating scandals, focusing on bad tests and lowered standards of learning. There seems to be highly dubious validity in the test scores obtained in the NAPLAN tests. What leads to the increase in the cheating during the exam? The more the test scores are used to gauge the teachers effectiveness in his work, and to determine the fate of schools, the more the teachers, and the school principle become determined to save their jobs. In this case, they will do little in preventing cheating in the tests (John, 2011). The text displays some elements of discourse other than the big D discourses. For instance, the language that the writer uses seems to conform to some political motto that an American president used during his campaign. When he provides an answer to his rhetorical question, he says the answer is yes we can. Media Text 2 The Discourse in this text is majorly focused on the efficiency of the NAPLAN. The writer is giving four factors that the curriculum consider for the purpose of producing quality students and for the education system to be more beneficial. There is a considerable emphasis on this third factor where he talks about the catholic aspect of the curriculum. As stated earlier, various people have diverse ideas about NAPLAN. There are those who view the program as a very important tool in making the education better (John, 2011). The Distrust Nelson has also hinted to distrust concerning the government commitment in giving its best to the system. Its likely to be difficult to convince governments of the need to measure the wider value of schools, especially on the My School website. Social and spiritual capital should receive greater consideration in the important role schools play in personalizing education for their students. If the Australian curriculum is properly adopted, the NAPLAN will be more effective and far better than a national test. This is due to the fact that we are definitely teaching what we will be testing. As at the moment, it looks a little bit of hit and miss game. The potentiality of this new program can only be realized under certain conditions. If the whole nation starts teaching using similar curriculum and the students begin to learn the same things and to be tested on the same things, NAPLAN will be the best choice for teachers. Currently, there is likelihood of the NAPLAN being misused in order to frustrate educators, but they can also be used to achieve a better teaching and learning for both the teachers and students (John, 2011). The Narration of Performance The media text 1 also considers many issues on performance. The writer explicitly questions the validity of the results that comes from the standardized tests. He uses negative words to bring out his dissatisfaction on the whole issue. He says that instead of better education, the Australians are getting cheating scandals, teaching to bad tests, a narrowed curriculum, lowered standards and gaming of the system. This text has nothing positive to comment on the NAPLAN program. Still in the Media text 3, the writer has focused so much on the curriculum. This curriculum affects the performance of the student and the whole society. He says, We are preoccupied with creating an excessively prescribed national curriculum and obsessed with a national testing pro- gram, and the My School website that means little to parents and the profession. The overall effect of this Discourse is to negate the whole idea of NAPLAN. He has displayed a lot polemic discourse. The D discourse that are excellently displayed in the text is the use of social and simple language. There are not a lot of technical words. He has also brought the discourse in a vivid manner that makes it more elaborate and lively. Metaphors are used to make the writing more vivid. For instance, the writer says they are busy making cheating scandals. The opponents of the program equally have put forward their arguments about the directions that the Australian education is taking. NAPLAN administers the tests in May, and the results are out by December to be published. This leaves the teachers with little or no time to implement remedial strategies of assuring proper and quality results. The teachers, therefore, are required to be aware of this and undertake informed data analysis with other teachers of the same cohort for the subsequent year. The program is also underfunded, and this makes the implementation strategies not to work effectively. It is difficult to convince the government of certain facts that needs to be improved if the system has to get better (Nelson, 2011). Media Text 3 The Discourse of Managerialism and Quality Doone represents the team that is in favor of the NAPLAN program. His view can, therefore, give us the other good side of the program. To him, the argument should not be all about the test itself but on how better the data it generates be used to enhance education. The program provides an in-depth snapshot of what students can afford to do on a variety of literacy and numeracy fields. Doore is a teacher who argues for the other teachers so that they can understand his point. NAPLAN should be viewed as a regular and routine checkup, but not as a measure to point out which students are better than their fellows. He thinks that this is a step that if well taken, can solve the problem of cheating in the tests. From a professional standpoint, one can get the best out of NAPLAN program when he or she sits down with other colleagues and take a review of data using such tools as the Assessment School Measurement and Reports. Just like an employer reviews the performance of an employee, reviewing the NAPLAN data helps the teacher identify whether students are doing well or not. It is the aim of Doore as a Vice school principle to bring a new perspective of the program to the society that seems to be losing hope in it. He brings very strong points together to make this program a better avenue which is new in the nation (John, 2011). Linda Darling-Hammond pointed out that standardized tests are isolated from the policies that normally address the resource allocation, quality of teaching and the nature of schooling. Daniel Korezi has questioned progress that the standardized tests create. Moreover, Eva Baker, Stephen Dunbar, and Robert Linn points out the imperfections of the program. They argue that one reason for this imperfection is that repeated testing always lead to a distortion of instruction or brings about teaching to the test idea. It is, therefore, difficult for the teachers and principals, who are faced with the challenge and demand that they need to meet a standard of performance not to focus on the test. They thus ignore some very important aspects of the curriculum. In doing this reallocation of teaching resources to tests resources, the whole system becomes lame (John, 2011). Recent brain research on metacognitive skills in learning suggests that poor thinkers and problem solvers differ much in skills. The acquisition of knowledge alone is not enough to make one a competent thinker and problem solver (Nelson, 2011). Many of the educators can point to children who were able to gain 100 per cent in all their tests which propagated rote-learning skills, but who had difficulty in real life problem-solving techniques. Wholesome learning is not all about tests. Perhaps the main concern of the educators is that standardized testing does not enhance learning. Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam explain that there is a tendency for the teachers to use the external tests to models their own assessments. This narrows the curriculum of standardized test devalues the much complex tasks that require elaborate thinking and reduces the opportunity for learning achievements. Besides, tests normally to sacrifice validity for reliability. This is because the test constructors are more focused on the precisions of scores, leaving behind and forgetting the intellectual value (Thomas, 2008). The Australian government remains committed to the program despite the hot debates that surround it. The government is funding the scheme just like any other educational tool in the country. According to the proponents of the program, the future is bright for the Australian education through the NAPLAN. The testing system can be improved so that it is consistent with the demand of the society (Nelson, 2011). This means that there is a need for some improvements to be effected in the scheme, but not doing away with the program. NAPLAN benefits may not be immediately be observed by the citizens and the parents, even at the time by the student, but eventually, the fruits are good to the nation (Thomas, 2008). The opponents hold that the program focuses more on the national development and ignore the individual development. This renders the society just mere machines rather than humans. There is, therefore, the need to ban and outhaul the system. Whichever the side that will win the discussion, the government is still focused on propelling to the greater height, the program of NAPLAN. It has the last say (Thomas 2008). Conclusion People have different opinions about the NAPLAN program. The whole society seems to be engaged in this debate. This is so because the NAPLAN as an education tool serves the whole nation and has its impact on everyone. There are those who are in strong support of the program and those against it. The potential benefit of this new program can only be realized under certain conditions. If the whole nation starts teaching using similar curriculum and the students begin to learn the same things and to be tested on the same things, NAPLAN will be the best choice for teachers. Currently, there is likelihood of the NAPLAN being misused in order to frustrate educators, but they can also be used to achieve a better teaching and learning for both the teachers and students. The government of Australia is committed to making better the education system of the nation through improving the ANAPLAN program. The starting point should be to eradicate the exam cheating and make the program drop the scary outlook. References John, L. (2011). The ANAPLAN Plan: Challenges and Recommendations. Sydney: Becker House. Lasky, S. (2005). A sociocultural approach to understanding teacher identity, agency and professional vulnerability in a context of secondary school reform. Teaching & Teacher Education, 21(8), 18 p. MacLure, M. (2003). Discourse in educational and social research. Buckingham: Open University Press. Nelson, J. 2011. Transforming or conforming? Teacher: The National Education Magazine, 20-23. Retrieved from: http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy.une.edu.au/documentSummary;dn=027218066432116;res=IELAPA. Thomas, S. (2008). Leading for quality: Questions about quality and leadership in Australia. Journal of Education Policy, 23(3), 323-334.

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