Teachers call to scrap school tests for children under eight in push for play-based learning

By Andrea Mayes ABC News

WA school teachers are pushing for formalised assessments and testing to be scrapped for children aged under eight in favour of a play-based model of learning favoured in Scandinavian countries.

State School Teacher’s Union WA (SSTUWA) president Pat Byrne said research had shown play-based learning was better for children in terms of wellbeing, academic outcomes, problem-solving and social skills.

Yet she said children from kindergarten onwards were expected to participate in a range of formal assessments, including On Entry testing and NAPLAN, that were having a detrimental effect on both them and their teachers and parents.

Speaking at the launch of the union’s Play is Learning campaign, Ms Byrne called on the State Government to develop a strategy to ensure all WA children could access quality play-based learning.

“There are a whole range of social skills and practical skills that children learn through play,” she said.

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