The Courier-Mail

Exams a ‘culture shock’ to teachers


TEACHERS will face a “culture shock” as the Year 12 ranking system is overhauled in the next three years, warns the man who helped invent the system currently in use.

It was yesterday revealed the new system – with three internal assessment­s and one external assessment – would be phased in for students going into Year 11 in 2018.

Central Queensland University Associate Professor Ken Purnell, who helped bring in the OP (Overall Position) system in 1992, said most Queensland teachers would not have experience­d external assessment and could struggle.

“There’s going to be a culture shock for teachers, and for schools and principals generally, to understand the new system,” Prof Purnell said.

“They have never had it, and it’s fundamenta­lly different.”

As part of the new system, the internal assessment­s written by teachers will be scrutinise­d by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority. A trial to endorse assessment­s is already under way in schools.

Under the new model, which is one of the biggest changes to Queensland’s education system in 20 years, the Queensland Core Skills test will no longer be used and students will instead undertake a combinatio­n of three internal assessment­s and one external assessment over two years in certain subjects and will likely be awarded an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank – from 0 to 99.95 – rather than an OP.

Authority chief executive Chris Rider said school-based assessment would remain an important part of a teacher’s role but admitted there would be some change necessary.

“External assessment will change some of what we do in classrooms,” he said.

He had written to schools yesterday to invite them to participat­e in a trial next year. Queensland Teachers’ Union president Kevin Bates said he cautiously welcomed the move to bring in the new Year 12 ranking system and it was important that any change was properly resourced.

He said the critical changes would blend in with what Queensland teachers were doing at the moment and school structures would have to change.

Queensland Secondary Principals’ Associatio­n president Andrew Pierpoint said the overhaul would be a fundamenta­l change but teachers were versatile. EDITORIAL P20

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