03 SES 06 JS, Addressing the Challenges at the Interface of Curriculum Innovation and Evaluation
Symposium JS NW 03 and NW 09
In the 20 years of South Africa’s democracy, education has been perceived as a means of achieving equity. The monitoring of learning through externally mandated tests has been regarded as necessary to achieve this end. From a teaching perspective, assessment for learning has been advocated to support the learning of mathematics. The lack of expected progress may be attributed to the fact that teachers are not equipped with extensive mathematical knowledge and therefore do not optimise the "teaching-learning-assessment" cycle. A model of assessment is presented which integrates teaching and learning, classroom based assessment and professional development. The current pilot study involves teachers in the co-construction of assessment resources (sets of items) designed to provide intermittent markers of progress, and in interpreting information from the use of these resources to support their teaching. These assessment resources are envisaged to focus teaching and learning on the essential mathematical concepts in the grade 9 curriculum and provide the scaffolding for the teachers beyond “teaching to the test”. An external monitoring component is integrated with the classroom-based assessment.The essential feature of these resources is that they are “worth teaching to” and support the deeper purposes of education. Preliminary pilot study findings will be reported.
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