National Standards: A secondary analysis of the NZCER 2010 Primary and Intermediate Schools National Survey
This thesis describes a secondary analysis of the NZCER 2010 Primary and Intermediate Schools National Survey. The aim of this project was to conduct an exploratory investigation into the attitudes of education stakeholders toward National Standards. Open response data from the NZCER 2010 Primary and Intermediate Schools National Survey principal, teacher, trustee, and parent questionnaires was coded in two different ways. First, a thematic framework was developed and the open responses were coded against the themes. The open responses were then recoded as a binary attitude variable, according to whether they were considered to convey a negative or positive attitude toward the standards. Logistic regression and Fisher’s exact tests were used to determine statistically significant relationships between the binary attitude variable and other elements of the survey data, in the interests of finding predictors for attitude to the National Standards. These analyses were carried out with a selection of items from each of the principal, teacher, and trustee questionnaires; and with all of the items from the parent questionnaire. For teachers and principals (and to a lesser extent, trustees), findings from the thematic analysis of open responses largely reflected concerns about the standards being voiced by sector groups and academics around the time the survey was undertaken. Results from the statistical analysis of the binary attitude variable indicated that principal and teacher attitudes were associated with teaching experience and career plans. General findings from the analysis of parent responses included a suggestion that parents may lack knowledge and understanding of the National Standards, and may be expecting the standards to deliver something they are not designed for. Patterns in parent responses also indicated that attitudes to the National Standards might be related to wider perceptions of the purpose of education, and the various roles of education stakeholders. A similar pattern emerged in analysis of trustee responses. More specific findings related to parent attitude included associations with student year level, and with school reporting practice.