Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (School of Education)

Schools and Centres


First Supervisor

Gregory Hine

Second Supervisor

Derek Hurrell


In 2008, the implementation of the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) commenced in all schools across Australia. This assessment of mathematical and literacy standards across Australia raised questions about the impact which high-stakes testing has on teaching and learning. This research specifically focused on the effect NAPLAN has had on the teaching and learning of mathematics. The study explored perspectives about NAPLAN from key participants; students, teachers and parents at one Western Australian Primary School. These perspectives included the potential anxiety experienced by students and how this affected their performance in NAPLAN. According to recent research on high-stakes testing, the role of the teacher is instrumental in children’s achievement results. As such, this study also investigated the extent to which instructional pedagogy at one school had been altered by the implementation of NAPLAN and the subsequent publication of results. Moreover, this study investigated the effect NAPLAN had on parents’ understanding of the national testing program and how NAPLAN had affected their relationship with the school. Consistent with a phenomenological perspective, the qualitative data for this investigation were collected through semi-structured interviews and field notes. Moreover, collected data offer insight into how the implementation of NAPLAN has affected stakeholders’ attitudes towards the teaching and learning of mathematics.

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