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The RAINS research on National Standards

Principal Investigator: Martin Thrupp

Project Dates: 2010 - 2013

The Research, Analysis and Insight into National Standards (RAINS) project is a three year study being funded by the education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa in recognition of the need for high quality research into the effects of the Government’s National Standards policy on New Zealand schools and students.

The project is investigating how the Boards of Trustees, leadership teams and teachers of New Zealand primary and intermediate schools are actually responding to the National Standards in everyday practice and how this response is affecting student learning.

The study is partly concerned with the enactment of policy, following previous research that indicates that education policy is never simply ‘implemented’ in schools. Looking at the range of responses to National Standards within and across schools will illuminate whether there are patterns common enough to characterise them as genuinely national or whether they are better characterised as local to schools.

A second concern of the project is that overseas research has shown that ‘high stakes’ forms of assessment may have adverse effects such as narrowing of the curriculum, teachers prioritising the teaching of some students over others and damaging effects on students conceptions of themselves as learners. The RAINS project will also explore whether or not these are issues that are arising in the New Zealand context.

Additional information can be found on the Primary Education: Taking Stock, Moving Forward website.

Project outputs

Thrupp, M. & White, M. (2013). Research, Analysis and Insight into National Standards (RAINS) Project Final Report: National Standards and the Damage Done. Report commissioned by the New Zealand Educational Institute Te Rui Roa (NZEI). Hamilton, New Zealand: Wilf Malcom Institute of Educational Research.

Thrupp, M. (2013). Research, Analysis and Insight into National Standards (RAINS) Project. Second Report: Understanding New Zealand’s Very Local National Standards. Hamilton, New Zealand: Wilf Malcom Institute of Educational Research.

Thrupp, M., & Easter, A. (2012). Research, Analysis and Insight into National Standards (RAINS) Project. First Report: Researching Schools’ Enactments of New Zealand’s National Standards Policy. Report commissioned by the New Zealand Educational Institute Te Rui Roa (NZEI).

Related news

The New Zealand Herald. (May 21, 2012). Martin Thrupp: National Standards comparisons impossible.

News@Waikato. (June 10, 2013). Nothing standard. University of Waikato, New Zealand.

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