Teacher Professionalism (and assessment) in Hard Times

I was looking for something in my files today and came across this piece from my old blog – from a lecture in 2012. Interestingly I don’t really think it needs updating…

 

This week I want to look at the national agendas in education and their impact on teacher professionalism and student learning, particularly the learning of the most disadvantaged students. This relates to the way teachers assess students in that it is through ‘assessment’ that systems of education seek to raise standards. Is a universal belief around the world of forms of assessment and needed to raise standards, particularly in response to globalisation (Stobart 2008). I suggest that this commitment to ‘raising standards’ is in fact rhetorical.

The aim of raising standards certainly sounds like a good idea, even one that can’t really be argued against. However, we need to look critically at such ‘obvious’ ideas as such common sense notions often mask important concerns. In this instance we need to ask questions like;

  • Whose standards and whose benchmarks?
  • On what criteria?
  • With what support?

The approaches to raising standards being advocated at the moment assumes that education is a simple thing, and that if we just set the appropriate criteria, focus upon it, and change some practice, that results will inevitably rise.   I’m sure by now you all know that education isn’t this simple. Instead it is an accepted phenomena that;

  • We measure and target that which is easy to measure,
  • What is counted then becomes what counts,
  • The result of a focus on, for example test scores, simply leads to an enhanced capacity to take tests. (for example internal assessment standards in the UK have increased over the last few years, while remaining stagnant on international testing data. The same has been happening in New York).

In Australia over the last decades governments have been concerned about the quality of education. An admirable concern on the surface, however in practice this concern has been couched in terms of international competition and the difference between students from advantaged and less-advantaged backgrounds. While the latter is supported by evidence, and I would argue an important moral concern and purpose of education, the former is simply not supported by evidence. In fact over successive years our overall performance on international tests has been up around the top. Certainly we are improving and perhaps starting to slip a little comparatively, however here is no need to panic – unless of course you come from a less advantaged background as the gap there is widening (Thomson 2011).

Ironically though, the countries whose policies we choose to emulate perform significantly worse than us in these international tests and pursue policies that are exacerbating this widening gap in achievement. We ignore the countries that perform better than us.

In his 2010 paper on ‘policy borrowing’ Bob Lingard, one of Australia’s foremost education scholars (along with Raewyn Connell and Pat Thomson), talks about the internationalization of education policy. Lingard makes the distinction between policy borrowing and policy learning; policy borrowing being what we do when we just take an idea and implement it and learning, exploring the implications and context of the policy and evaluating its applicability to our goals, not what we do – but should.   The reason we don’t ‘learn’ he attributes to ideology and a concern about our global standing. Citing Linda Darling-Hammonds ‘the flat world and education’, amongst others examples, Lingard demonstrates how the policies we are borrowing are failing around the world and generally being wound back.

Citing the need to produce ‘simple data’ to measure improvement Lingard argues that statistics are the new tool of educational governance. Combined with national and international tests these statistics allow a form of global educational governance that diminishes school, state and even national autonomy whilst also focusing upon the limitations of narrow tests.

These global concerns impact heavily upon what we call our ‘National Agenda’s’, which really are about economic growth, the only rationale for improvement given in the national goals of schooling. All other reasons are simply related to this main target of economic growth For example: to pursue equity in the interests of efficiency and to not waste peoples potential to contribute to economic growth.

So what are our national Agenda’s? Firstly they are hinted at in the 2008 ‘National Goals for Schooling’ document. In a change from the previous goals of 1999 and a ‘Social Justice’ argument these new goals position the purpose of education as ‘equity and excellence’. Here equity is about meeting the narrow benchmarks, defined by others, in order to achieve ‘excellence’. Equity is not about social justice views of equity in this construction; it is about access. As such we end up with;

  • National Agreements and targets linked to state funding by the federal government.
  • A new body managing education, COAG, and the Corporations (yes they are structured as single shareholder entities) of AITSL and ACARA.
  • National partnership agreements linked to state funding. For example the partnership on Low SES is really just literacy and numeracy as though that is all that matters to disadvantaged communities. There is also principal autonomy that sees an autonomous principal the key to improving the achievement in disadvantaged areas in contradiction to the research on the importance of classroom teacher quality.
  • The public reporting of national results of NAPLAN (literacy & numeracy) on the MySchool website.
  • National professional standards for teachers and strong hits at performance pay based on test results not

Within all of this is a massive, and historic, shift of education from being a state responsibility to federal control.

This shift of educational gaze to a larger federal, and potentially global, scale diminishes the significance of local differences. As Collins & Vickers (1999) and Yates, Collins & O’Connor (2011) illustrate there are significant state differences in Australian educational policies , approaches and philosophies, such that Qld (and the ACT) have no high stakes external examination other than moderation, whereas NSW & VIC have high stakes external exam regimes at the end of school. While the former achieve more in terms of educational equity than the latter, it is the policies of the latter that dominate the new global policy field. Accompanying this shift is a demonization of teachers and their claims to professionalism, resulting in a shift to what it means to teach.

The comparison against ‘like schools’ on the myschools website demonstrates this shifting scale of educational measurement. Here ‘like schools’ are those deemed to be ‘statistically similar’ in relation to SES composition but may in fact be interstate and usually in a different context, such that we end up with inner city schools deemed to be ‘like’ schools in remote rural areas. In agreeing with Pat Thomson’s idea of ‘thisness’ (2000) in highlighting the importance of context for what happens in schools I’d add that such an approach to likeness creates an idea that education, including pedagogy, is formulaic regardless of context. This directly challenges the ideas of formative assessment and it’s integral position in teacher professionalism as it suggests that there is no need to engage with and respond to students in a teaching and learning relationship. Instead teachers just implement a course of instruction aimed at increasing achievement in narrowly focused exams.

On this scale of policy borrowing, globalized comparisons, and the power of statistics we need to constantly as ‘who is running this agenda? Who is running education today? And what is the role of the educational professional? We also need to consider the role and purpose of formal & informal and formative & summative assessment in this environment and if they make us complicit in the consequences of such policies. To be fair, and perhaps highlight the complexity of the situation, it is impossible to point the finger at any one individual or organization. Instead it is the slow creep of discourse.

At this point I need to distinguish my terms and define the territory.

  • Discourse: This refers to the range of accepted ideas available for use in a group. The ways of thinking and ways of speaking that are accepted and have come to be seen as common sense, such that to suggest anything else is considered going out on a limb or against common sense. Knowledge and power are then connected to this notion of common sense.
  •  Hegemonic Discourse: This refers to discourse in relation to power and authority in that it regulates behaviour and controls opportunity for advancement.
  •  Governmentality: A Foucaultian term used to describe the way discourse and power regulates an individuals behaivour, beliefs and expectation. It changes their ‘internal’ view of what can and can’t be done.
  •  Performativity: This has a particular and accepted use and meaning in the educational research literature (and public sector management, business and government research literature). This definition is different from that used in other areas of academia such as gender studies. To use definitions from other areas significantly distracts from the very issues the term is getting us to understand. In education research performativity is ‘a technology, a culture and mode of regulation that employs judgments, comparisons and displays as a means of incentive, control, attrition and change – based on rewards and sanctions (both material and symbolic), with the performance serving as a measure of productivity or output or ‘quality’’. (Ball 2003 p.216, Stephen Ball is perhaps the worlds pre-eminent education and social researchers)
  • Neoliberalism: A set of policies and assumptions that value economic rationalist forms of government such as de-regulation, competition and monitoring under the assumption, the discourse, that services will be more efficient, effective and better quality due to competition. These policies use auditing metaphors and public reporting under the guise of transparency (Here I have paraphrased Bob Lingard 2010 & 2011, Bob is another pre-eminent education and social researcher)

Over the past thirty years, since Reagan & Thatcher, neo-liberal policies have been gaining influence in the globalized western context. These policies work in tandem with performativity due to the prevailing discourse that both are the natural and right way to think about public policy and result in a form of governmentality in relation to teachers professional identity. These ideas have become so accepted that Ball (2012) has started to suggest that instead of neo-liberalism that we should instead begin to consider using first-liberalism for earlier times and second-liberalism for our era.

The Australian national agenda in education involving competition, reporting, standards etc is a near perfect example of the confluence of these ideas, and perhaps evidence of the defeat of social-democracy – especially when once social-democratic political parties adopt the new discourse.

These approaches amount to technologies of control and employ a clever trick of language, in that they use the language of individual agency and transparency, and the retreat of government from ‘over’ regulation and ‘unnecessary’ control while really just shifting control, authority, power and regulation to the side and effectively re-regulating in a much more powerful and punitive form than anything that existed previously.  For example, the government uses the rhetoric of school and teacher autonomy, whilst setting up agencies like AITSL and ACARA to monitor and manage this ‘autonomy’ against strict criteria and standards, that is then publicly reported, with a power and authority significantly more than anything previously wielded by a government department – and perhaps more than we would accept from a government department.   It is rather ironic that the rhetoric of ‘les government influence’ has actually resulted in larger government departments and a proliferation of quasi-government bureaucracies and the largest public (including quasi-public) sectors than any other time than the period of imperial colonial agencies.

Within this context Ball (2003) and Connell (2009) write about the ‘terrors of performativity’ and the redefinition of ‘the good teacher’. Ball describes the process by which performativity challenges the teachers ‘soul’ by not valuing their professional knowledge and judgments, and the broader nature of the disciplines they teach and assess beyond narrow forms of testing and accountability. Bernstein (1996) describes this relationship as ‘socially empty’ in that all that matters is the students results, not their learning or progress. Consequently an impersonal one-dimensional school culture develops.

In terms of pedagogical and formative assessment a scenario develops where teachers work ‘at the children’ (Ball 2003) rather than with them, and many teachers don’t find this a very satisfying experience. The focus upon measures of student performance quite naturally distorts practice, such that practice towards this aim is all that is valued. The focus upon external measures combines with the assessment of teachers against limiting standards and classroom observations, especially in the USA & UK. In such environments the evidence indicates that the valued observed performance against such standards is that which aligns with practices that increase test scores over other forms of assessment.

I’ll pause here to untangle the theory and practice of teaching standards. By so doing I want to highlight the role of discourse and the role of ideologies of the second-liberalism.

Without a doubt the Australian Professional Teaching Standards, the ones our students use in their prac reports, are better than those in other places around the world. The Australian standards are grounded in ideas of good practice when compared to the UK and the USA for example. (I have mentioned elsewhere the problem of standards becoming dated and inherently limiting pre-service teacher innovation and research.) When looked at independently and situated within a broader understanding of professionalism they are a reasonably good starting point. However as Connell (2009) and Sachs (2003; 2005; 2007) describe the disaggregation of professional knowledge and practice into atomized standards can be potentially problematic. This atomization inevitably lends itself to measurement in an atomized fashion and we subsequently end up with a tension between what Sachs (2003) calls teaching and teacher standards – where the former is about the skills that can be developed and the later about the person in a performative sense. Sachs suggests that our notion of the ‘professional’ is the appropriate lens through which to view standards in order to ensure we stay on the side of implementing teaching standards. The resultant professional ethic may well be part of the meta-competencies that Connell (2009) argues that we need in order to connect standards and avoid an atomistic interpretation or a teacher standards approach.

When we have a results focus, or an atomized evidence based focus, we narrow our use of standards and this narrowing transforms them into teacher standards. When a teachers self worth, self efficacy and professionalism are linked to external validation in this narrow form we end up with difficult times for all involved. I should note that this is not necessarily deliberate, but a understandable outcome when these forms of assessment and measurement are valued. What we measure becomes what we value, and this then distorts practice. The intent may very well be sound, it is just that those implementing such systems have come to think a certain way, or are unable to think in alternative ways, as a natural outcome of discourse.

Let us take NSW for example. NSW pioneered the forms of standards and registration being rolled out nationally with a stated intention of valuing and promoting professionalism after the Ramsey Review. However due to the necessary bureaucracy to manage such a system practice has overtaken the theory and we have ended up with teachers being measured and having to report against standards in an atomized fashion as part of their transition to permanent employment and career progression. In this circumstance what people value inevitably influences their interpretations of the standards and the suitable evidence of achieving them, their professional judgment is subject to discourse and forms of governmentality. Take for example the project I am working on looking at new teachers in NSW rural schools. Here there is a distinct problem when new executive teachers from metropolitan settings observe teachers in small country schools with their ‘imagined’ standards of what the standards look like in the city in mind. This is not about relativism of standards, just the examples used and the pedagogy employed is different in different contexts, but this difference is not always recognized in such assessments. (again I’ve written about this elsewhere).

The point about practice over-riding theory is an important one. I consistently advocate a professionalism founded upon research and theory informing practice. The assessment we use in SecEd@UC is explicitly about modeling this. However, in an environment of measurement and performance practice becomes king. Observing standards, rather than engaging in a research and theory informed discussion about that practice, is privileged.   In terms of NAPLAN and public accountability literacy and numeracy results are more important than how a student learns or has progressed. In this environment teacher professionalism is re-defined into following these dictums and implementing a script, Connells (2009) good teacher is therefore one who obeys and produces in this environment.

It is not all dire though. By raising these challenges to our practice and the limitations / influence on thinking, or what is able to be thought, we can begin to change it. As Ball says we can begin to disturb our complacent acceptance of the world as it is (2012). Here in the ACT we have a unique opportunity to re-imagine, to re-think and make available new thoughts about, what professionalism is. In relation to the state cultures mentioned above, the ACT has a culture of school-developed curriculum and an innate suspicion of centralization. There is more of a tendency to develop curriculum and policies locally, and importantly not a strong culture of external standardized examinations. Secondly the ACT is the last jurisdiction to introduce professional teaching standards, and importantly doesn’t have the funding to develop or implement systems like NSW or Victoria. Perhaps more importantly because of the state cultures issue the ACT knows at least one thing – that is doesn’t want to copy NSW of Victoria. WE therefore have an opportunity to develop systems and approaches that values professionalism, whist also meeting the obligations of sorts under national agenda’s.

The move away from atomized standards level professional experience reports, essentially mandated by NSW, where students had to report against each individual standard in favour of a domain level rich description of practice is part of this. The domain level approach enables students to demonstrate theory and research knowledge as applied to their developing skills rather than a narrow focus upon a standard. This subsequently shifts the concern away from a form of demanded competence against each standard to a developmental focus , in partnership wit schools and mentors. Professional experience is not, and should not be, about mastery; instead it is about experimentation and the ongoing development of pedagogy. Furthermore under standards systems new graduates leave their pre-service course having achieved graduate standards that are predominantly about ‘knowledge and understanding’, and only meet the competency standards of ‘demonstrating’ over their first 3 years.   If it is shorter as demanded by some employers it is against the philosophy of the standards agencies. Unfortunately many schools, even many graduates, think that students should show competency whilst on professional experience. Problematically this ‘competency’ is more often than not a personal view of competency and without reference to the professional standards against which teachers are assessed.   As we move into this new era we need to reply on new graduates to re-educate the profession.

Re-education is a sinisterly Orwellian term, but I use it deliberately. As per performativity and the role of discourse many teachers won’t understand these influences. Not through any deficiency, it’s just that performative governmentality hasn’t allowed them to think this way. By understanding it new graduates can begin to describe this to existing teachers and to therefore shed light upon such influences and make new ways of thinking available.

We ask pre-service teachers to observe the influences of discourse whilst on professional experience. For example how do teachers speak about these influences?, how do these ideas influence how teachers talk about their teaching, their professional goals, how such performance driven targets influences the way students are positioned as to be managed, and how behavior management is linked to compliance in the narrow learning paradigm that results. Under performativity certain views become normalized, and thinking them odd or strange becomes unthinkable. It is not the teachers fault, it is a natural consequence of such discourses. As Ball describes we can often see how many teachers feel pressured, conflicted, and even frustrated by these performative forces however they lack a language to name and describe them. The first step in developing tactics of resistance to counter such influences and change them is to recognize and name the oppression – that is where new graduates and their knowledge’s come in.

Rather than slipping into mindless opposition we also need to trust that most of those advocating these approaches to educational reform do believe they have students, teachers, the professions and societies best interests in mind. It’s just that discourse has shaped practice. Instead we need to name and describe the unintended consequences and illustrate their influence on student learning, the profession and society.

A great example of exposing the influence of unintended practice is that of Diane Ravitch. Diane is an academic and public policy expert in the USA, and was under-secretary for education in the first Bush administration and advisor to the second Bush. She was one of the influential people behind America’s ‘No Child Left Behind’ policies – an extreme version of neoliberal policies that test children every year and close underperforming schools. After becoming increasingly critical of the direction of the reforms Diane released a book in 2010, titled ‘The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How testing and choice are undermining education’, where she attacks the very policies she helped create. The book was released around the same time as Lind Darling Hammonds ‘The Flat world and Education: How America’s commitment to equity will determine our future’ (Linda is one of the pre-eminent experts on teacher education). Ravitch’s book is no ordinary argument against reform, and it certainly can’t be dismissed as some leftist attack. After all Ravitch was an architect of the very reforms. It takes a special person to so publicly admit they were wrong, and therefore I would consider that the arguments of such people can’t be ignored or dismissed.

The really interesting bit though is that Ravitch doesn’t repudiate the intent of the reforms, nor would I suggest would many, including myself. Instead it is a brilliant deconstruction of the practices that intent unleashed, the influence of ideology and discourse, and the resultant narrowing of learning and teacher professionalism to a simple practice based approach and the personal impact this has had on teachers, students and ironically a lowering of standards. Al that has happened as a result of the reforms Ravitch unpicks is that students have fallen backwards and teachers have lost ‘soul’ and commitment.

What can we do about it? I’ve already mentioned that we need to identify and name our oppressor. We then subsequently need to re-claim professionalism and propose alternatives. Broadly speaking this professionalism has to work with the aims of existing education policy rhetoric and seek to tweak their focus and expand their scope. We need to work with these policy aims in order to disrupt the influence of neoliberal performative discourse, as working against them only draws attention to the opposition: an opposition that is probably really only with the implementation practices of the policies and their framing by the agenda’s of the second liberalism.

In thinking about a new professionalism it is useful to keep in mind Schleicher’s (2008) construction of an ‘informed’ and ‘uninformed’ professionalism, gleamed from a study of high and low performing national systems.   According to Schleicher systemic prescriptions and a focus upon narrow test scores saw a narrowing of curriculum and pedagogy as teachers implemented a set script under an uninformed professionalism. Conversely systems with broad based accountability and a proportional use of testing had a more informed professionalism that supported and trusted teachers and saw teachers working collaboratively to improve the learning outcomes for all students. Allan Luke, who led the new basics approach to curriculum and assessment in Queensland, has described how high stakes testing environments lead to what he calls ‘scripted pedagogies’ (2010). In this ‘uninformed professionalism’ teachers enact a script of basic skills, rule recognition and compliance. In a phrase I personally like Robin Alexander in the Cambridge Primary Review (2010) described these ideas as a ‘state sponsored theory of learning’.

Clearly we need an ‘informed professionalism’. In suggesting what such an approach would entail I don’t think we can go past the examples of Susan Groundwater-Smith and Judith Sachs work. Groundwater-Smith’s work on the collective learning profession that enhances the learning of disadvantaged students and school outcomes is perhaps without peer – I’ve written about her work in detail elsewhere.   In Susan’s approach an informed professionalism would see teachers, schools and education academics working together to enhance pedagogy and assessment through action research, reflection on practice and other such approaches. This is along the lines of the pedagogical reasoning we promote with our course, but perhaps a little more applied in nature and research orientated. In this approach teaching is importantly both research and theory informed AND research and theory informing. This collaborative professional partnership with schools is one of the ideas behind the restructure of professional experience and a place we hope to arrive at in time with our partner schools, mentors, pre-service teachers and the profession.

Judith Sachs work complements Groundwater-Smith’s, and visa versa, though it is more focused upon the idea of professionalism itself. I have mentioned her important distinction between teacher and teaching standards above. One of Sachs key ideas is that of an ‘activist teaching profession’ explored in her 2003 book of the same title, and tweaked and expanded in a number of papers since. Interestingly her 2003 book contains a chapter on approaches similar to those advocated by Groundwater-Smith.

Importantly for the topic of this discussion an activist teaching profession is not against standards, accountability or transparency, rather Sachs argues that these are at the very core of an active profession.  However, in this form of professionalism teachers are not subject to regimes of performativity, instead they ‘speak out’, contribute and research their practice in order to drive their own professionalism. In the end Sachs argues that how the profession is defined is a matter of power and control; by understanding where and how the profession may have lost the power and control of its identity we can respond and reclaim what should, under any definition of a profession, be the responsibility of that profession. Significantly this does not involve a rejection of existing policy ideals, more a reclaiming of their implementation and future policy.

The idea of professionalism promoted by Sachs requires the richer forms of accountability that Lingard (2010) suggests are needed to counter the limiting forms of accountability presently employed. Such richer forms of accountability would involve an active profession using research evidence, for example productive pedagogy research, Hattie’s work, Other research on quality teaching, teacher professional practice research and collaborative professional research to move towards an evidence informed policy (that recognizes the importance of school contexts).

To quickly recap: We are in the midst of an attempt to redefine the teaching profession. It has been happening slowly, along the lines of the boiling the frog metaphor, as new discourses have dominated public space and redefined what Gramsci refers to as common sense (but not good sense). This impacts on teachers’ everyday work, particularly their use of assessment for learning and the assessment of themselves.

Christopher Day writes about the ‘passion for teaching’ (2004) and ‘teachers lives’ (2007). Through his work he shows how teachers self-efficacy is mediated by their life phases, as they move through new careers, new loves, new families and their ‘sunset’ years etc, and how this is mediated by their professional self-efficacy. Significantly this professional self-efficacy is threatened by what Ball (2003) refers to as ‘the terrors of performativity’. Responding to this Connell, Lingard, Groundwater-Smith, Sachs and others variously argue that the profession must reclaim the territory taken from it through rich forms of accountability. Furthermore the profession needs to tackle the big issues transparently through research & theory informed and research & theory informing professional practices. In so doing the profession would be speaking against the new ‘good teacher’ who conforms to existing discourse and instead reconstruct notions of the activist professional.

Such an activist professional would clash with Moores (204) ‘Charismatic’ model of the teacher that is so popular in the media, that individual who saves students through the power of their personality and personally transformative pedagogy. This media image is incredibly dangerous as it is at its heart anti-professional in that this teacher is born and not made. However it’s power in the media, and the ease at which it can be manipulated, is shown by the skillful way in which much recent federal reform has employed just this image in order to bypass the opinion and commentary of education professionals and academic research and advance existing discourse. Similarly Moores second model of the teacher, the ‘competent craftsperson’ is only a marginal improvement as such a teacher accepts the draft handed down to them in a master and apprentice type relationship as a form of practice. Privileging practice over research and theory merely reinforces the discourse informing existing practice.

Instead an activist professional has more in common with Moores ‘reflective practitioner’, with perhaps a bit more specific structure. This idea clearly draws upon Schon’s (1983) work on the reflective practitioner that we explicitly engage with in the first semester of our course. Such a idea is an important aspect of the pedagogical reasoning our course promotes and is central to assessment for learning as it implies the need to seek evidence, continuously improve and being open to and aware of others experiences.

To conclude, I this piece I have aimed to guide a quick walk through some of the best and most cited research on education and society, a near canon if there was one in the educational research community. I can’t do credit to the extensive bodies of work from the various researchers I have mentioned, however their research and scholarship is there for all to explore. I have aimed to look at this work through the perspective of what it means about teacher professionalism in these hard times and how we can use their work to reclaim our professionalism. Such an exploration is important in relation to how we use assessment as our assessment practices, their alignment to curriculum and pedagogy, and the reporting of its outcomes, are at the heart of this. This is what makes education a social issue. Without a critical awareness we risk becoming complicit in the steady creep of the very discourses that undermine our professionalism. What happens in our classrooms and how we assess students is at the heart of how we define, and how we live, our professionalism.

 

Some further reading;

Ball, S. (2003) ‘The teacher’s soul and the terrors of performativity’ Journal of Education Policy, 18 (2), 215-228

Connell, Raewyn (2009) ‘Good teachers on dangerous ground: towards a new view of teacher quality and professionalism’ Critical Studies in Education, 50 (3), 213-229.

Lingard, B. (2012) ‘Changing Teachers Work in Australia’ in N. Mockler & J. Sachs Rethinking Professional Practice Through Reflexive Inquiry pp 229 -245. London: Springer.

Lingard, B. (2010) ‘Policy Borrowing, Policy Learning: Testing Times in Australian Schooling’  Critical Studies in Education, 51 (2), 129-147.

Sachs, J. (2011) ‘Accountability, standards and teacher activism: an unholy trinity or the way for the profession to shape the future’  paper presented at the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) Conference in Wellington April 18‐20 2011.

Polesel, J., Dulfer, N. & Turnbull, M. (2012) ‘The experience of education: The impacts of high stakes testing on school students and their families’.  Report by the Whitlam Institute.

Ravitch, D. 2010 The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education. New York: Basic Books.

Koretz, D. 2008 Measuring Up: What Educational Testing Really Tells Us. Cambridge: Harvard University Press

Day, C. (2004) A Passion for Teaching. London: Routledgefalmer.

Day, C., Sammons, P., Stobart, G., Kington, A. & Gu, Q. (2007) Teachers matter: Connecting Lives, Work and Effectiveness. Maidenhead : McGraw-Hill/Open University Press