A proposal about regulatory arrangements for certification in Australian senior secondary schooling
This research report from the Assessment Research Centre (ARC) of the University of Melbourne is the third in a series commissioned by Learning Creates Australia on the topic of assessment and recognition of learning.
The report identifies changes to the regulatory system that could be made if Australia expects its senior secondary certificates to support the new definitions of success that learners, teachers and employers want and need.
The report’s co-authors (Professor Sandra Milligan, Professor Peter Noonan and Anthony Mackay AM) describe how our current policies and practices are less than fit-for-purpose. It identifies changes needed with a view to establishing a single, unified, national qualification for senior secondary students to provide every school leaver with an official representation of their learning success.
Framing Success for All is a must read for senior-secondary schools and their communities, tertiary education providers and employers, together with the authorising, credentialing and regulatory bodies in post-compulsory education.
The report presents seven new directions suggested as the basis for a new regulatory approach. They are presented for discussion and, if or as appropriate, for revision.
It proposes the new directions in regulation are needed to ensure that every young Australian has a qualification that reflects more of who they are, their qualities and talents in a way that generates trust from educators, policy makers, employers and young people themselves.
The new directions include a focus on:
- Valuing not just what you know, but how you know it, to what depth, and what you do with it
- Standards that establish the level of progress attained to date, not pass or fail
- Credentials that showcase not only ‘how good is this student’ but also ‘how this student is good’
- Selection of candidates based on matching, not ranking
The directions would enable young people to take more responsibility for their own learning, to better engage their own interests and passions, and to give back to their communities. It proposes the use of profiles to represent successes, and presents a reliance on matching, not ranking, as the basis for driving further education opportunities.
Informing our work
Through The Learner’s Journey project, Learning Creates has been prototyping new ways to recognise more of what young people know and can do – taking elements from the Assessment Research Centre’s research and exploring how the components of recognition can be further shaped and interpreted through a collaborative process. This in turn informs the broader ecosystem, based on an amalgam of research and practical work.
Learning Creates thus presents an opportunity to promote work further – into school communities, tertiary institutions and through the work of other intermediaries who interact with employers and recruiters. The broader response is one that has a potential to make an impact, particularly for young people who have experienced disadvantage.