Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses
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Plausible values: How many for plausible results?
Abstract A common purpose of large-scale assessments is to describe the performance of populations of students, with the aim to refine education policies and strategies and improve education systems. Large-scale assessments are often administered to a sample of students to reduce costs. Large scale assessment may also utilise rotated test designs to reduce the burden of a long test on individual students. The plausible value imputation technique was developed in the 1980’s to analyse NAEP 1983-84 results to overcome the issues of using individual student estimates to make inferences regarding population parameters. Since then the plausible value technique has been widely used in large-scale assessments as a computational approach for estimating population parameters. When first implemented, five imputations were considered sufficient for all settings. In recent years, however, many researchers have recommended increases to well beyond five imputations. In this dissertation, two simulation studies and two empirical data studies were conducted in order to investigate the relationship between the number of imputations and the properties of population parameter estimates. The results from the simulation studies show that there is a small bias in population parameter estimates, increasing the number of plausible values used from 1 to 20 did not reduce the magnitude of the bias for the simulated conditions. The RMSEs of population parameter estimates showed a small decreasing trend when an increased number of plausible values were used. A similar decreasing trend was also observed in the estimated standard errors of population parameter estimates with an increase in the number of plausible values used. It was found that this decrease is related to the adjustment factor for infinite number of plausible values used in the standard error evaluation formula. More importantly, it was found that the decrease in the estimated standard error with an increase in the number of plausible values used tend to move the estimated standard error further from the expected standard error values. Therefore, this may not reflect true situation in practice. The empirical data studies were carried out using the NAPLAN 2015 Numeracy data. The results showed that there was no consistent pattern observed in the parameter estimates when the number of plausible values used was increased from 1 to 46. The decreasing trend in the estimated standard errors was not observed in the empirical data studies when the number of plausible values used increased from 3 to 46. This means that the number of plausible values used, up to 46, does not improve the estimates of NAPLAN parameters, nor the standard errors of the parameter estimates. However, when sample sizes were small (N < 2,000), the parameter estimates using one or three plausible values showed a large difference from the estimates using five or more plausible values. The simulation and empirical studies both show that the test reliability and sample size have a much larger effect on optimising the population parameter estimates than the effect of increasing the number of plausible values used.
What drives schools to implement a successful change process that is more inclusive of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) students and staff?
Schools are rarely the spaces of fairness, kindness, inclusion and equality that some perceive them to be. At its heart, this work is one that considers how school leaders understand and react to the discrimination and oppression of lesbian, gay, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals within their environment and, more importantly, what drives engaged, visible school leaders to change these situations. The key research question that is going to be considered is; ‘What drives schools to implement a successful change process that is more inclusive of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) students and staff?’ Flowing from this question are the sub-questions - What is the role of school leadership? What is the role of teachers? What are the significant forces and factors that help or hinder the drive for change? This thesis utilises qualitative research and narrative inquiry using semi-structured interviews to collect data from participants at school sites in Victoria, Australia. The semi-structured interviews are analysed using critical theory, in order to understand motivations, actions and behaviours. Critical theory concepts such as power, oppression, culture, repressive tolerance and leading change have contributed to the analysis. The data chapters in the thesis first consider the broad, wide-ranging idea of culture and environment and how these impact LGBTQ change processes. There is a focus on visible leadership within school spaces and the ability to manage change in a difficult social environment. In the two final data chapters, there is a more detailed description of the factors that enable change and those that hinder it within schools. The conclusion draws together the findings from the data chapters in order to address the research questions. This thesis ends with a section considering the road ahead for LGBTQ inclusive practice. The underlying emphasis of this thesis is to understand what prompts school leadership to move from a position of wanting to do something for their LGBTQ community to overt action, with leaders engaging and driving the change process in a positive and affirming manner. There are schools in the State of Victoria that have adopted overt and clear LGBTQ-inclusive policies or programs, and this work illuminates the way they went about managing the process of implementing and running those policies and programs. The thesis investigates the point that exists between the expectations of diversity and inclusivity, documented by government and education authorities, and the eventual adoption and implementation of school policies or actions focusing on LGBTQ students and staff. The underlying purpose of doing this research is to inspire change within the schooling system and to document the path to success and its benefits. It is envisioned that the research will help schools and education authorities to drive more action in this space. This thesis will assist schools, facing the legal and increasingly social expectations for change and with the prerequisite tools and resources for change, to move beyond a hesitant position and into one of action, so that, one day, schools can indeed become spaces for fairness, kindness, equity, and inclusion.
Investigating flow at work and vital engagement of working adults across three years
This dissertation focuses on the process of sustaining authentic engagement among adults within work as a foundation for lifelong flourishing. Embedded within an evolutionary systems perspective of human development, this dissertation examines the processes underpinning work-related flow and vital engagement among school staff over a three-year period. The relevance of flow to optimal human functioning is well documented, with flow at work considered an important indicator and predictor of workplace engagement and wellbeing, both cross-sectionally and over short time periods. However, flow at work is also a dynamic and contextually bounded experience and when. Vital engagement, defined by the combination of work-related flow experiences alongside a sense of value-based cognitions and behavior, may provide a more contextualized understanding of engagement among working adults over longer periods of human development. Using data collected from school staff at an independent Kindergarten through Year 12 school in New South Wales, Australia (baseline N = 327), this research tests existing models of flow at work across a three year period, and then extends these models, providing an initial empirical examination of the vital engagement construct. First, providing background and a context for understanding engagement at work, a meta-analysis examining 54 independent samples (N = 16,171) was conducted from the last 30 years of flow at work – a form of daily authentic engagement with every day working activities. Findings point to the centrality of contextual factors such as social support, skill development opportunities, job resources, and autonomy as being critical to flow among working adults Second, extending previous models that have identified short-term associations between flow and optimal experiences and functioning, Study 1 examined how flow at work and strengths use relate across longer time periods, testing a cross-lagged panel model of strength use and work-related flow across five measurement occasions over three years. Although flow and strengths use were correlated within each time point, results failed to support cross-lagged relationships across time; subsequent strengths use and flow were primarily predicted by prior strengths use and flow respectively. Findings from Study 1 point to the contextual nature of flow at work, with the evidence that whilst strengths use and flow at work exhibit strong bi-directional relationships during short periods of time, over months and years they are also dependent on other additional conditions. Consequently, the necessity to consider a broader model of adult engagement in work that goes beyond subjective experience to include behaviors, cognitions, and purpose. Extending the concept of work-related flow to capture broader elements of engagement among working adults, Study 2 provides an initial test of the broader vital engagement construct, proposed by Nakamura (2001) a type of authentic engagement in a profession, and/or field of practice and domain of knowledge. Findings provide support for vital engagement as an emergent construct, with the latent model supported across multiple time points. Moreover, vital engagement was relatively stable over time. Finally, the dissertation considers implications for future research and application related to flow and engagement at work, with consideration of the conditions needed to facilitate vital engagement among working adults. As a whole, this dissertation calls for sophisticated approaches to conceptualizing, measuring, and analyzing vital engagement as it unfolds across one’s working life, with implications for better understanding of the conditions inherent in the complex nature of human flourishing.
William Grant Broughton and Anglican Schools in Colonial New South Wales: 1829-1880
In this thesis it will be demonstrated that the first Anglican bishop in Australia, William Grant Broughton, developed and maintained a distinctive system of Anglican parochial schools. These schools were successful in providing an education that differed to the other schools in operation in colonial New South Wales at that time in that they that were exclusively Anglican in religious outlook. Broughton’s time in Australia (1829-1853) was a period when liberal ideas about education and the relationship between religion and the state came to the fore. Broughton will be shown to be a defender of the old order these areas. The old order consisted of a single established church that was alone responsible for educating the young. It will be argued that he resisted these new liberal ideas while at the same time developing a distinct set of schools that promoted his Anglican and conservative vision. After his death, the schools lived on for three decades but were unable to survive the arrival of free and secular public education. The thesis explores an aspect of Australian educational history that has not been thoroughly researched. Much work has been done on the conflict of religion and secularism in the history of Australian education, but there has been little attention on what was distinctive about denominational schools in colonial Australia. Additionally, the extent to which they succeeded in providing an education that was different to what was proposed by those in favour of secular and non-denominational systems of education has not been thoroughly explored. This thesis fills this gap by seeking to understand Broughton’s ideas on education (through study of his speeches) and by examining the materials and methods in Anglican schools of the period. In order to understand the demise of the schools in question, a range of publications from the decades after Broughton’s death have been drawn upon to ascertain why the schools did not prove to be an enduring feature of the Australian educational landscape.
Reshaping perspectives on the drivers of international student mobility: A study based on Sri Lankan international students in Victoria
There is a growing body of research that views being mobile for educational purposes and skilled migration as two closely related processes in the mobile lives of the modern-day youth. Although extensive research has been carried out on international student mobility and experience, only a small number of studies have paid specific attention to examine how onward mobility aspirations have impacted drivers of international student mobility. This research sought to understand what drives international student mobility today and how those drivers are related to and impacted by skilled migration aspirations. Based on an interdisciplinary review of literature, a provisional conceptual model was designed to systematically understand what extant literature has identified as drivers of international student mobility and skilled migration. The provisional model also provided the basis for an empirical analysis as the quantitative data collection instrument, and both quantitative and qualitative data analyses were based on the drivers identified in the provisional model. The data were collected using an online questionnaire survey and biographical narrative interviews administered to a group of Sri Lankan international students in Melbourne, Australia. Data analysis was done using descriptive statistics and deductive coding. The findings highlight the importance of going beyond quintessential approaches in studying international students, restricted to the field of education. Recognising international student mobility as a phenomenon replete with educational, familial, employment and future mobility aspirations, this research identifies the relationship between international student mobility and skilled migration as non-linear and intricately entwined. In doing so, the findings call attention to the need for acknowledging the liminal and evolving nature of international student mobility, emphasising the need to go beyond the stay-return, home-host country binary perspective in studying international students. Furthermore, introducing the term ‘kinship interceptions’, the findings also bring into attention the importance of multiple roles played by international students in their social orientation as parents, partners and children, in addition to being international students. Methodologically, this research provides meaningful insights into using biographical narrative interviews as a tool that helps capture the lived mobility experience, emphasising the need for introducing new methodological approaches to grasp the nuances of international student mobility, while recognising the episodic nature of human mobility today. The findings of the study have practical implications for both universities and migration policy vis-a-vis international student recruitment, global competency related curriculum changes, and timely modifications of both international student and skilled migration policy.
Understanding early childhood teaching and learning in two Northern Arnhem Land family and playgroup contexts
This PhD study is situated within the Australian Research Council Linkage Project ‘Building a Bridge into Preschool in Remote Northern Territory Communities (Maningrida and Galiwin’ku)’. The study aimed to improve understanding of family teaching and learning processes in the family and playgroup contexts as part of the project’s aim to determine the feasibility and success of combining the key Abecedarian Approach Australia (3a) elements with local cultural and educational practices through the Families as First Teachers (FaFT) program platform. Amidst discourses around disadvantages and developmental vulnerability in remote Aboriginal contexts, this research study provides an outsider’s perspective on families’ capacity in teaching and learning processes. Theoretically, the study drew from Nakata’s Cultural Interface Theory (2007a). As such, family teaching and learning is seen to comprise dynamic processes in which families continue to traverse between Aboriginal Australian and Western knowledge traditions. Methodologically, in response to this research context, elements of both an interpretivist paradigm and an Indigenous paradigm were utilized to inform the study, which sought to investigate the questions ‘What are local Indigenous perspectives on early childhood teaching and learning?’ and ‘What are the characteristics of teaching and learning in Indigenous mother-child book reading and play interactions?’ The research methods included listening to local perspectives in yarning circles and observing mother-child book reading and play interactions. Both the perspectives and interaction data were analyzed using a thematic approach, guided by the theoretical framework of Ways of Knowing, Ways of Being and Ways of Doing within an Aboriginal Relatedness lens (Martin, 2008). Key findings from the study demonstrate that families in the two communities value kinship and environmental knowledge and practices; maintain the qualities and values of relationships, respect, responsibility and accountability; and embrace multimodality and multilingualism in teaching and learning. The findings showed how cultural ways and educational ways can be interwoven to support the continuity of holistic learning for children as they make meaning through different Ways of Knowing, Being and Doing across various learning contexts. These findings attest to the significance of honouring families’ cultures, strengths, capacities and preferences and including these in playgroup program and policy development so that families’ teaching and learning in educational settings can be built upon their already strong cultural heritage. The study also highlighted the importance of mutual understanding and building reciprocal relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous stakeholders, respecting and prioritizing families’ self-determination and aspirations for children’s education.
Drawing with dots: understanding primary school children's engagement with dot drawing as they make sense of scientific phenomena
This thesis presents an interpretative, phenomenological-ontological account of the ways in which a group of Australian primary/elementary school children of different ages, worked with dot drawing representations of a number of everyday phenomena in their science lessons, and how their use of the dot developed with time. The subjective, imaginative and creative aspects of each child’s dot drawings were explored, seeking insight into their early perceptual engagement with the basic idea of the particle nature of matter and its development. It was found all children could draw a dot and were able to discuss meanings in terms of dot distribution and density. In previous research, based on Dewey’s aesthetic theory and Merleau-Ponty’s embodiment, it emerged that dot drawing could engage the internal conversations of primary age children with early discourse in science education. Furthermore, the children’s drawings and accompanying conversations suggested that dot drawing as an activity may have generative capacity as a proto-language in representing matter in its various forms. The underlying purpose of this research is to critically examine the potential developmental use of the dot, as an artistic practice, in early science education as a way of resolving the dissonance that may exist between a student’s everyday perceptions and the disciplinary discourse of science education. To begin their scientific language and concept development, it was assumed primary age children, whatever their age, need something concrete to point to, something familiar on which to attach words. The dot is predicated as such a thing. As researcher/teacher, I first presented a series of science-drawing lessons to classroom groups of children and their teachers. These included the presentation of empty templates, for instance, the outline of a balloon. Individuals on their own and later in small focus groups were invited to fill them in with dots. I recorded their conversations in these teaching and learning settings. My study was centred on the children’s umwelten and the ways in which they had imagined and made sense of the physical world amidst the hurly burly of their everyday lives. Informed by Peirce’s semiotic theory, I explored in the children’s dot drawings and conversations, the potential meaning-making power of the dot as a semiotic system for representing the ways in which children could imaginatively explore the material aspects of their everyday world. The four case-studies presented suggest that occasioning drawing with dots, oriented the children to particle thinking and hence the culture of science. By providing such an agentive/imaginative space, attentive transactions were called out that may otherwise have remained dormant. By working with dots, shared meanings were constituted and codified in these experiences, enabling the philosophy of the child to be “hinged” to the philosophies of science and science education. The dot as indexical mark and the process of dot drawing seem to enable children to initiate science meaning-making, while at the same time locating themselves as persons, amongst the objects of science education presented in the classroom.
Quiet flourishing: Exploring beliefs about introversion-extraversion, and identifying pathways to optimal well-being in trait introverts
Introversion-extraversion is a fundamental, socially consequential personality trait. Introverts are typically described as “quiet”, “reserved”, and “withdrawn”, and contemporary theories and models of personality traits regard introversion as merely a lack of extraversion. Introverts generally have lower levels of well-being than their extraverted counterparts and this has typically been attributed to direct effects of temperament, whereby extraverts are more dispositionally inclined to engage positively with the world. However, some recent evidence suggests that, in individualistic Western cultures that value personal agency and expressiveness, the positive relationship between trait extraversion and well-being might be due in part to extraverts experiencing better person–environment fit; a view that is also reflected in popular literature. However, it remains unclear how living in these cultures might specifically impact the well-being of introverts in terms of their identity, happiness, and psychosocial functioning. A narrative literature review revealed that there is scant research on the well-being implications for introverts of their apparent lack of person–environment fit in Western cultures, and whether there are possibilities for volitional change in their well-being. Consequently, this PhD thesis investigates this identified gap via two complementary studies; using a self-report survey among an Australian adult sample. Study One (N = 399) explores lay beliefs about the character strengths and weaknesses of introverts and extraverts. In light of individualistic Western values, this novel descriptive-exploratory approach finds support for a cultural preference for extraversion. In this cultural context, Study Two (N = 349) uses a moderated mediation model to test a hypothesised alternative, eudaimonic pathway to well-being for trait introverts—via authenticity as a mediator but moderated by participants’ beliefs about their own “actual” versus “ideal” levels of introversion-extraversion. Overall, this thesis unearths new evaluative-based perspectives on how introverts are perceived and characterised in a cultural context where extraversion is the ideal, and in this context also finds evidence to suggest that beyond direct effects of personality traits there might be an indirect, conditional pathway to well-being for introverts who are comfortable with their own level of introversion. Aside from providing new insights into the identity and lived experience of introverts in contemporary Western culture, this thesis signposts some relevant, promising, and practical constructs for use in future investigation of relations between trait introversion and well-being, using models and measures that embrace contemporary approaches in personality and positive psychology. Moreover, it does so among a population where very little in this line of research has been conducted.
A Framework of Factors for Learning Environment Evaluation
A Framework of factors for Learning Environmewnt Evaluation There is a common assumption that the provision of innovative learning environments in schools will lead to the subsequent implementation of appropriate innovative approaches to teaching and learning in these facilities. However, there is not a strong body of research that interrogates the nature of the relationships and outcomes that occur in the complex interactions between new learning environments and education practices. This research developed a framework to facilitate the evaluation of innovative education practices in innovative learning environments. The purpose of the framework is to help practitioners best identify their particular situation and circumstances for evaluation of identified aspects of the relationship between learning environments and teaching and learning practices. This supports the premise that better judgements about evaluation will facilitate the development of better understandings of issues related to the implementation of innovative education practices in innovative learning environments. The framework for research was developed using an approach based on Conceptual Modelling. The details of the framework were derived from the literature review deliberately incorporating a cross-disciplinary perspective of literature that drew on the fields of architecture and education facility design and education practice with a particular orientation to teaching and learning in innovative learning environments. The capacity of the framework to achieve its intended purposes was investigated through a research process of Expert Elicitation. The research methodology of Expert Elicitation was very effective in generating a valid pool of data from a small focussed group of respondents. Analysis of the data showed that experts from backgrounds in both architecture and education strongly agreed on factors considered to be the most significant in relation to the implementation of innovative education practices in innovative learning environments. These factors were centred around concepts of education principles, stakeholder connection and student engagement. Qualitative data analysis identified a revised structure to the framework that could best represent the key findings of the research. The framework allows for dynamic interpretation of the declared set of key issues that were identified. Guidelines for making decisions about interpretation of the evaluation framework are given through descriptions of the key purpose statements, guiding questions and consideration of the nature of evaluation to be utilised. Consequently, the key factors in the framework may be adapted to cater for different contextual settings as well as differing interpretations of key ideas associated with the evaluation of innovative education practices in innovative learning environments. This study presents two significant outcomes: a) the framework which was developed through the research that brings focus and coherence to the evaluative situation; and b) the questionnaire that was developed for use by specific groups to aid in their own situation specific interpretation of the framework. Both the framework and the questionnaire represent a balanced integration of the perspectives of architects and educators with respect to implementing innovative education practices in innovative learning environments.
Old habits die hard: Overcoming uncertainty to facilitate contemporary learning outcomes
This qualitative study sought to understand mathematics teachers’ use of digital technology in their classroom lessons, to investigate the pedagogical advantages that ensued, and to contribute to research knowledge about the facilitating factors and obstructions to the uptake of digital technology in the mathematics classroom. When this study commenced in 2012, a prevailing perspective in the area of digital integration for educational purposes influenced the direction of the study to focus on mathematics teacher beliefs behind digital uses. “Teachers’ own beliefs and attitudes about the relevance of technology to students’ learning were perceived as having the biggest impact on their success” (Ertmer, Ottenbreit-Leftwich, Sadik, Sendurur, & Sendurur, 2012). The cultural pressure on teachers to include digital technology usage came from many directions: government authority, the school, colleagues, parents, and students. In order to represent teacher beliefs and their subjective responses to the social pressure to change, the study’s complex theoretical framework was built from Bourdieu’s (1977) field theory and the psychology of risk-taking. Field theory accounted for the education environment including its purposes and rewards, and the cultural norms and dispositions of its inhabitants. The psychology of risk-taking accounted for the uncertainty that change engendered in teachers’ psyches and their individual responses to digital innovations. After plodding along in an ever-evolving digital, educational, and social environment and collecting data that supported previous research but not especially new ideas, the study was diverted by recent neuropsychology findings. Evidence emerged to support the notion that the introduction of digital innovation to a regular mathematics lesson gave rise to a conflict between teacher habitual and goal-directed behaviours. The cognitive conflict was mediated by certainty. Innovations were vulnerable to being overrun by regular classroom practices that provided comfortable surety for the teacher. Factors that allowed the teacher to avoid, or take control of, the cognitive conflict were identified. Findings raised issues for current mathematics pedagogical practices and mathematics performance. Results are applicable to educational innovation in general and not limited to mathematics pedagogical change due to the introduction of digital innovation.
Mind the gap: E-Learning and the quest for lifelong learning
The study investigates the extent to which two contrasting groups of Vietnamese adult learners, Mekong doctors and Hanoi hairdressers, can benefit from e-learning relevant to their workplaces. Research literature reveals that most designed collaborative learning activities based in and for adult workplaces, when involving digital learning, have not generated desired learning outcomes. An ‘innovative’ educational culture is required for developing countries such as Vietnam. The two contrasting groups of learners in the study demonstrate the diversity and potential of workplace-based learning in the digital era. My study builds up a comprehensive understanding of informal learning experiences and learner’s expectations in the workplace that are mediated by e-learning. The thesis does not focus on formal educational institutions, but rather, on the significance of learning that takes place outside formal classrooms: it is estimated that informal learning accounts for between 56-89% of all workplace learning for professionals (Carliner, 2012), with about 80% taking place through on-the-job interactions (Bersin, 2009). Yet education systems and workplace learning do not function in isolation. Developing countries are facing many challenges in reaping the benefits of e-learning in the workplace for skill training and development. Many of these countries cannot afford high-speed internet access, or even stable electrical power. More than half of the world’s population is not connected to the internet. Within one country, such as Vietnam, e-learning can actively reproduce inequalities in students’ learning experiences and learning outcomes in the education system. Beyond formal classrooms, these inequalities refer to existing forms of digital exclusion for segments of the population. For Vietnam, the intention and aspiration of using e-learning in the workplace has not been aligned with practice. Social equity and equal opportunities for access to education remain major challenges. As they reflect a Confucian heritage culture, Vietnamese learners possess different characteristics and learning expectations from those incorporating Western assumptions and discourses on adult learning in the workplace. Understanding the social implications of the emergence of e-learning in the workplace in a developing country like Vietnam, thus, raised issues that required this contextual sensitivity. Drawing on both Vygotsky’s and Dewey’s theoretical approaches, the principle of ‘collaborative constructivism’ is highlighted in developing an inclusive pedagogical framework for e-learning. The concepts of informal learning, adult learning, and lifelong learning are key elements in the conceptual framework set out for the fieldwork. A qualitative and interpretive epistemological approach, with two cross-disciplinary case studies was implemented to explore the underlying pedagogies embedded in current practices in the workplace in Vietnam. The Mekong doctors group, as professional learners, provided insights into the e-learning prospects for the Hanoi hairdressers, as potential learners. My findings identified thematic dimensions, socio-cultural barriers, and gaps in access and opportunities between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ in non-institutional settings. There were gaps in the use of, and access to, e-learning, opportunity and proficiency, and usage and knowledge. Barriers for Vietnamese adult learners were found to be contextually dependent, and their Confucian heritage cultural values were shown to be challenges for e-learning. Findings also indicated that collaboration, access, and inclusivity were unevenly distributed across workplaces in Vietnam. Disadvantage and privilege played out across existing inequalities in access to, and use of, e-learning in the workplace. Both sites of fieldwork provided evidence for the significance of collective agency and individuals’ identity formation. An inclusive pedagogical framework was proposed to minimise existing inequalities, and ideally provide equal access and opportunity for Vietnamese workers to learn and collaborate as lifelong learners.
The impact of testing on students: Australian students' perspectives on NAPLAN and internal assessments
National and state testing policies have become an increasingly common feature of the policy landscape in education, both in developed and developing countries. Testing policies can generate a range of emotional responses among students, including high levels of stress. Alternatively, students’ emotional responses may not be discretely associated with large-scale standardised tests, but instead generalise to any testing situation. This study aimed to compare student responses and perceptions of assessment in both NAPLAN and internal tests. This study used an anonymous survey to gather data from 206 Year 7 and Year 9 Australian students on their perceptions of the importance their parents and teachers placed on doing well in tests, and their own self-reported responses to both NAPLAN and their internal tests. We found that the students in this study placed more value on internal tests than NAPLAN and students were also more likely to be confident in internal tests and bored for NAPLAN. A small percentage of students reported negative physical responses, such as crying or feeling sick to both types of tests, however, there were no significant differences between NAPLAN and internal tests in the number of students reporting negative physical responses. Furthermore, individuals who placed a high value on a given assessment and have greater emotional stability were more likely to experience positive responses to assessment. The findings suggest that NAPLAN does not cause significant negative responses in the majority of students. Implications for schools and policymakers are discussed.