Professor John Hattie has urged a change in focus from standards to student growth in a lecture at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education.


Professor Hattie, who heads the Melbourne Education Research Institute, has argued that standards such as NAPLAN detract from promoting individual student growth and outcomes.


“What we should be focusing on is whether students have experienced a year’s growth from the start of the school year, to the end of the year,Of course, that will be different for every student, so external standards are not a very useful indicator of their learning growth,” Professor Hattie said.


According to Professor Hattie, teachers should be using assessment to understand students’ current level of understanding, and what growth can be expected from each student.


“We know that when we let students set their own learning goals, they are very achievable” he said. “It is the teacher’s role to stretch their students, so they exceed their own expectations.”