The Union has written to the 11 Catholic dioceses seeking discussions in relation to the current learning progressions trial underway in some 99 Catholic systemic schools.
The June IEU Council resolved that the additional workload involved in tracking students via data collection was of considerable concern.
In the Catholic sector, the trial is known as the NSW Literacy and Numeracy Action Plan K-2. A software package – Plan 2 – is used for reporting. At present the only learning progressions developed are for two of the general capabilities; literacy and numeracy.
Member responses in trial schools are overwhelmingly negative.
The first area of concern for teachers implementing the learning progressions into their teaching practice relates to workload. Teachers feel overwhelmed with the amount of time that it takes to track each student. Added to this is the number of times it needs to be done throughout the year. Members mentioned anywhere between three to eight times a year. One commented that there are just too many areas and it makes the whole tool meaningless. Members feel their time is wasted feeding data into machines when they could be planning interesting classroom activities.
Teachers feel stressed, and under pressure and duress to complete the checklists.
Members also questioned the purpose behind the learning progressions. They were asking for whom they were collecting this data? Members pointed out that it really didn’t assist in report writing, as they are required to report using an A to E scale. They also said that it hasn’t replaced any other assessment or data collection they were previously using.