Report

South Africa’s Education Crisis 1994-2011 Overview of new 2013 CDE report and focus on mathematics NicSpaull.com CDE – 17 October 2013 Outline 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Overview of CDE report Overview of SA education system SA students performance in maths Mathematics item analysis Teacher content knowledge Way forward… 2 2013 CDE report: “South Africa’s Education Crisis” 1. Overview of South African children’s performance on local and international assessments of educational achievement (1995-2011) 2. Grade 6 teacher content knowledge in South Africa 3. National Senior Certificate performance: retention & subject choice 4. Inequality of educational opportunity 5. Insurmountable learning deficits 6. Transitions from school to work and tertiary institutions 7. Policy suggestions & conclusions 3 Bird’s-eye view of the South African education system High productivity jobs and incomes (17%) • • • Type Labour Market Mainly professional, managerial & skilled jobs Requires graduates, good quality matric or good vocational skills Historically mainly white University/ FET • • • • Vocational training Affirmative action • - High SES background +ECD Minority (20%) Big demand for good schools despite fees Some scholarships/bursaries Unequal society Majority (80%) Low quality secondary school Low SES background Often manual or low skill jobs Limited or low quality education Minimum wage can exceed productivity Low quality primary school Attainment • High quality primary school - Low productivity jobs & incomes • Type of institution (FET or University) Quality of institution Type of qualification (diploma, degree etc.) Field of study (Engineering, Arts etc.) Some motivated, lucky or talented students make the transition Quality • • High quality secondary school cf. Servaas van der Berg – QLFS 2011 5 SA Gr8/9 maths performance 19952011 480 440 400 TIMSS score 360 320 280 240 160 120 443 433 200 352 276 275 264 285 1995 1999 2002 2002 332 260 243 244 268 1995 1999 2002 2002 80 40 0 Grade 8 Grade 9 TIMSS Mathematics • • • 2011 2011 TIMSS middleincome country Gr8 mean Grade 8 2011 Grade 9 2011 TIMSS middleincome country Gr8 mean TIMSS Science Between 1995 and 2002 there was no improvement in Gr8 mathematics achievement Between 2002 and 2011 there was a substantial improvement (approx. 1.5 grade levels) in Gr9 mathematics achievement Post-improvement level is still very low; the average SA Grade 9 pupil is two years worth of learning behind the 6 average Grade 8 pupil from 21 other middle-income countries in mathematics, and 2,8 years behind in science. Middle-income countries Independent Quintile 5 Quintile 4 Quintile 3 Quintile 2 Quintile 1 Ghana Honduras (Gr9) South Africa (Gr9) Morocco Syrian Arab Republic Indonesia Botswana (Gr9) Palestinian Nat'l Auth. Jordan Iran, Islamic Rep. of Chile Tunisia Macedonia, Rep. of Thailand Georgia Malaysia Lebanon Turkey Romania Armenia Ukraine Kazakhstan Lithuania Russian Federation TIMSS 2011 Mathematics score Figure 2: Average Grade Eight mathematics test scores for middle-income countries participating in TIMSS 2011 (+95% confidence intervals around the mean) 600 560 520 480 440 400 360 320 280 240 200 South Africa (Gr9) 7 NSES question 42 NSES followed about 15000 students (266 schools) and tested them in Grade 3 (2007), Grade 4 (2008) and Grade 5 (2009). Grade 3 maths curriculum: “Can perform calculations using appropriate symbols to solve problems involving: division of at least 2-digit by 1-digit numbers” 100% Even at the end of Grade 5 most (55%+) quintile 1-4 students cannot answer this simple Grade-3-level problem. 90% 35% 80% 70% 59% 57% 57% 55% 60% 50% 40% 13% 14% 14% 15% 20% 13% 10% 12% 12% 10% 16% 19% 17% 17% Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 30% 13% Still wrong in Gr5 14% Correct in Gr5 Correct in Gr4 Correct in Gr3 39% 0% “The powerful notions of ratio, rate and proportion are built upon the simpler concepts of whole number, multiplication and division, fraction and rational number, and are themselves the precursors to the development of yet more complex concepts such as triangle similarity, trigonometry, gradient and calculus” (Taylor & Reddi, 2013: 194) Q5 Question 42 (Spaull & Viljoen, forthcoming) 8 NSES question 37 NSES followed about 15000 students (266 schools) and tested them in Grade 3 (2007), Grade 4 (2008) and Grade 5 (2009). Grade 3 maths curriculum: “Can perform calculations using approp symbols to solve problems involving: MULTIPLICATION of at least 2-digit by 1-digit numbers” Even at the end of Grade 5 more than a third of quintile 1-4 students cannot answer this simple Grade-3-level problem. 100% 18% 90% 80% 38% 37% 17% 17% 37% 33% 11% 70% 60% 50% 17% 22% 18% 20% 19% Correct in Gr4 54% 20% 10% Still wrong in Gr5 Correct in Gr5 40% 30% 18% 18% 23% 29% 25% 29% Q2 Q3 Q4 Correct in Gr3 “The powerful notions of ratio, rate and proportion are built upon the simpler concepts of whole number, multiplication and division, fraction and rational number, and are themselves the precursors to the development of yet more complex concepts such as triangle similarity, trigonometry, gradient and calculus” (Taylor & Reddi, 2013: 194) 0% Q1 Q5 Question 37 (Spaull & Viljoen, forthcoming) 9 Systemic 2007 Gr3 NSES 2009 Gr5 Systemic 2007: Grade 3 tested in HL 41% correct NSES 2009: Grade 5 tested in English 43% correct SACMEQ 2007 Gr6 SACMEQ 2007: Grade 6 tested in English 21% correct (c) On a 4-choice MCQ random guessing would produce 25% correct on average TIMSS 2011 Gr9 TIMSS 2011: Grade 9 tested in Engl/Afr 27% correct (b) 10 South African teacher content knowledge Teacher Content Knowledge • Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences (2001, ch.2) recommends that mathematics teachers need: – “A thorough mastery of the mathematics in several grades beyond that which they expect to teach, as well as of the mathematics in earlier grades” (2001 report ‘The Mathematical Education of Teachers’) • Ball et al (2008, p. 409) – “Teachers who do not themselves know the subject well are not likely to have the knowledge they need to help students learn this content. At the same time just knowing a subject may well not be sufficient for teaching.” • Shulman (1986, p. 9) – “We expect that the subject matter content understanding of the teacher be at least equal to that of his or her lay colleague, the mere subject matter major” 12 South Africa specifically… • Taylor & Vinjevold’s (1999, p. 230) conclusion in their book “Getting Learning Right” is particularly explicit: • “The most definite point of convergence across the [President’s Education Initiative] studies is the conclusion that teachers’ poor conceptual knowledge of the subjects they are teaching is a fundamental constraint on the quality of teaching and learning activities, and consequently on the quality of learning outcomes.” 13 Carnoy & Chisholm (2008: p. 22) conceptual framework 14 Teacher knowledge Teachers cannot teach what they do not know. CK – How Demonizing teachers is popular, but unhelpful to do fractions PCK – “For every increment of performance I demand from you, I have an equal responsibility to provide you with the capacity to meet that expectation. Likewise, for every investment you make in my skill and knowledge, I have a reciprocal responsibility to demonstrate some new increment in performance” (Elmore, 2004b, p. 93). how to teach fractions Student understands & can calculate fractions 30% South Africa Colombia Philippines Iran, Islamic Rep. Portugal Denmark Iceland Scotland England Norway New Zealand Spain Lithuania Greece Cyprus Germany Latvia (LSS) Sweden ZANZIBAR United States Romania Australia TIMSS Gr8 Avg Belgium (Fr) Ireland Canada Switzerland Netherlands SOUTH AFRICA LESOTHO MOZAMBIQUE Slovenia Austria Israel Russian Federation ZAMBIA Bulgaria France Slovak Republic NAMIBIA Belgium (Fl) MALAWI Czech Republic BOTSWANA SACMEQ AVG. SEYCHELLES Hong Kong SWAZILAND Korea UGANDA TANZANIA Singapore KENYA Average percentage correct on 16 common mathematics items SACMEQ Grade 6 teachers’ average correct response (dark red) and TIMSS Grade 8 average correct response (light red) on 16 items common to Gr 8 TIMSS Mathematics test 1995 and SACMEQ Grade 6 mathematics teachers test 2007 80% 70% 60% SA Gr6 Teachers 50% 48% 40% 24% 20% 10% 0% 16 17 18 Solutions? Possible solution… • The DBE cannot afford to be idealistic in its implementation of teacher training and testing – Aspirational planning approach: All primary school mathematics teachers should be able to pass the matric mathematics exam (benchmark = desirable teacher CK) – Realistic approach: (e.g.) minimum proficiency benchmark where teachers have to achieve at least 90% in the ANA of the grades in which they teach, and 70% in Grade 9 ANA (benchmark = basic teacher CK) • Pilot the system with one district. Imperative to evaluate which teacher training option (of hundreds) works best in urban/rural for example. Rigorous impact evaluations are needed before selecting a program and then rolling it out • Tests are primarily for diagnostic purposes not punitive purposes 20 Accountability stages... • SA is a few decades behind many OECD countries. Predictable outcomes as we move from stage to stage. Loveless (2005: 7) explains the historical sequence of accountability movements for students – similar movements for teachers? – Stages in accountability movements: 1) Setting standards Stage 1 – Setting standards (defining what students should learn), – CAPS – Stage 2 - Measuring achievement (testing to see what students have learned), 2) Measuring achievement – ANA – Stage 3 - Holding educators & students accountable (making results count). 3) Holding accountable – Western Cape performance agreements? “For every increment of performance I demand from you, I have an equal responsibility to provide you with the capacity to meet that expectation. Likewise, for every investment you make in my skill and knowledge, I have a reciprocal responsibility to demonstrate some new increment in performance” (Elmore, 2004b, p. 93). 21 When faced with an exceedingly low and unequal quality of education do we…. A) Increase accountability {US model} • Create a fool-proof highly specified, sequenced curriculum (CAPS/workbooks) • Measure learning better and more frequently (ANA) • Increase choice/information in a variety of ways B) Improve the quality of teachers {Finnish model} • Attract better candidates into teaching degrees draw candidates from the top (rather than the bottom) of the matric distribution • Increase the competence of existing teachers (Capacitation) • Long term endeavor which requires sustained, committed, strategic, thoughtful leadership (something we don’t have) C) All of the above {Utopian model} • Perhaps A while we set out on the costly and difficult journey of B?? 22 3 biggest challenges - SA 1.Failure to get the basics right • • Children who cannot read, write and compute properly (Functionally illiterate/innumerate) after 6 years of formal full-time schooling Often teachers lack even the most basic knowledge 2.Equity in education • • 2 education systems – dysfunctional system operates at bottom of African countries, functional system operates at bottom of developed countries. More resources is NOT the silver bullet – we are not using existing resources 3.Lack of accountability • • • Little accountability to parents in majority of school system Little accountability between teachers and Department Teacher unions abusing power and acting unprofessionally 23 Decreasing proportion of matrics taking mathematics Grade 12 Pass matric with maths 1200000 60% 1000000 50% 800000 40% 600000 30% 400000 20% 200000 10% 0 Proportion of matrics (%) Number of students Grade 10 (2 years earlier) Those who pass matric Proportion of matrics taking mathematics 0% Matric 2008 (Gr 10 2006) Matric 2009 (Gr 10 2007) Matric 2010 (Gr 10 2008) Matric 2011 (Gr 10 2009) 2008 2009 2010 2011 Numbers wrote maths 298 821 290 407 263 034 224 635 Numbers passed maths 136 503 133 505 124 749 104 033 Maths pass rate 45,7% 46,0% 47,4% 46,3% Table 4: Mathematics outputs since 2008 (Source: Taylor, 2012, p. 4) Proportion taking maths 56,1% 52,6% 48,8% 45,3% Proportion passing maths 25,6% 24,2% 23,2% 21,0% 24 Way forward? 1. Acknowledge the extent of the problem • Low quality education is one of the three largest crises facing our country (along with HIV/AIDS and unemployment). Need the political will and public support for widespread reform. 2. Focus on the basics • • • • • Every child MUST master the basics of foundational numeracy and literacy these are the building blocks of further education – weak foundations = recipe for disaster Teachers need to be in school teaching (re-introduce inspectorate?) Every teacher needs a minimum competency (basic) in the subjects they teach Every child (teacher) needs access to adequate learning (teaching) materials Use every school day and every school period – maximise instructional time 3. Increase information, accountability & transparency • • • At ALL levels – DBE, district, school, classroom, learner Strengthen ANA Set realistic goals for improvement and hold people accountable 25