Ken Rowe, ACER

Publication Date



Background paper to keynote address presented at the NSW DET K-4 Early Years of Schooling Conference, Telstra Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush, 12-13 July, 2006.


Following a contextual introduction and a brief discussion of the fundamental importance of monitoring growth, this paper draws from emerging evidence-based research findings and ‘state-of-the art’ practice in assessment and reporting of students’ developmental and learning progress. The paper argues that the monitoring of individual progress over time requires both diagnostic and developmental assessments of such progress on well-constructed empirical scales (or quantitative ‘maps’) that are qualitatively described. The use of such ‘maps’ enables early detection of potential ‘risk factors’, and the monitoring of both individuals and groups across the years of schooling. Such ‘maps’ and their reporting products constitute major aids in: (a) the integration of assessment into the teaching and learning cycle, (b) assisting children and adolescents to take ‘ownership’ of their learning and achievement progress, and (c) communicating with parents and other interested stakeholders.