File(s) under permanent embargo
The (hidden) injuries of NAPLAN: two standardised test events and the making of ‘at risk’ student subjects
journal contributionposted on 2018-01-01, 00:00 authored by Eve MayesEve Mayes, A Howell
Standardised testing regimes, including the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) in Australia, have impacted on relationships between and within schools, and on teachers’ work and on pedagogies. Previous analyses of the effects of NAPLAN have been generated outside of the test situation: frequently through attitudinal surveys and qualitative interviews. This article takes as its point of departure two intensely affective events associated with the NAPLAN test day itself. These events erupted in two qualitative studies of students’ schooling experiences: a study of students’ experiences of NAPLAN, and a study of students’ experiences of student voice at school. We ask, after Deleuze and Guattari, What can a NAPLAN test do? Exploring the entangled corporeal (physical and embodied) and incorporeal (psychic and subjectivating) wounds effected in and through these events, we analyse the dynamic constitution and re-constitutions of ‘at risk’ categorisations. While the NAPLAN test is not claimed to cause physical and psychical injury, we argue that standardised test conditions, in these singular events, are inextricably entwined with the formation of particular students’ schooled subjectivities.