2 education systems

Report
Pockets of Excellence:
Benchmarking Primary Education
Mathematics Learner Performance
in South Africa
Is SA’s education system one of
the worst in Africa / World?
• South Africa’s education system has been
strongly criticised over the past few years:
–
–
–
–
–
–
textbook shortages
school infrastructure backlogs
teacher strikes
…&
learner performance Nationally and Internationally
teacher performance
Performance
• TIMSS 2003 PIRLS 2006
SACMEQ 2007
NSES 2008-2010
ANA 2011
… 2014…
=SA schools at rock bottom in international
assessments
=standard of Maths teaching in SA rock
bottom
=teachers can't teach what they don't know
*In SA : 2 education systems
Dysfunctional Schools (75%)
Functional Schools (25%)
Weak accountability
Strong accountability
Incompetent school management
Good school management
Lack of culture of learning, discipline and
order
Culture of learning, discipline and order
Inadequate LTSM
Adequate LTSM
Weak teacher content knowledge
Adequate teacher content knowledge
High teacher absenteeism (1 month/yr)
Low teacher absenteeism (2 week/yr)
Slow curriculum coverage, little homework
or testing
Covers the curriculum, weekly homework,
frequent testing
High repetition & dropout (Gr10-12)
Low repetition & dropout (Gr10-12)
Extremely weak learning: most students fail
standardised tests
Adequate learner performance (primary
and Gr 12)
4
Grade 3 Numeracy - learners
2 education
systems
Verification ANA
Quintile
Gr3 Numeracy
(Quest 18)
1
2
3
4
5
Total
Wrong
63% 68% 63% 57% 42% 60%
Right
37% 32% 37% 43% 58% 40%
Total
100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Grade 6 Numeracy - learners
2 education
systems
Verification ANA 2011
Gr6 Numeracy
(Quest 25.1)
Wrong
Right
Total
Quintile
1
2
74% 75%
26% 25%
100% 100%
3
70%
30%
100%
4
68%
32%
100%
5
50%
50%
100%
Total
68%
32%
100%
Grade 6 Numeracy - teachers
2 education
systems
7
SACMEQ Maths
teacher test Q17
Correct
Quintile
Avg.
1
2
3
4
5
23%
22%
38%
40%
74%
38%
Research Question
• Are there South African learners that can
compete with their peers internationally in
Primary School Mathematics?
Scope of the Study
The study investigated the degree to which Grade 3-7 learners performed in
the Mathematics IBT in comparison to international learners.
Number of learners
Grade
South African sample
International sample
3
3149
10381
4
2200
9143
5
1875
7913
6
3425
8256
7
1110
5453
Total
11759
41146
Population & Sampling
• SA schools serve middle to high – income learner
populations, albeit with significant demographic
differences in race and ethnic composition of their
learner populations.
• International Sample - a range of schools from Bahrain,
India, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia,
South Africa and UAE.
• TIMSS in 2011 (e.g. Hong Kong , Singapore , Japan ,
United States , England , Australia etc.)
Instrument
• ACER International Benchmark Test (IBT)
in Mathematics Grades 3 - 7
• ACER Reports
– IBT was used as it provided the IEB with a
common test written by primary school
learners both nationally and internationally
and scored independently by ACER
Procedure
• Scaled scores of Maths IBTs were
compared to the mean scaled scores
internationally
– Per grade
– Per strand in each grade
Results :IBT Scaled Scores National
and International
2013
Mathematics
SA
International
Difference
(SA-Int)
Grade 3
Grade 4
Grade 5
Grade 6
Grade 7
434
484
518
550
555
410
463
495
531
531
24.0
21.0
23.0
19.0
24.0
IBT Scaled Scores and Strand Analysis
(summary of Mathematics Results by
Strand - % correct)
Gr 3
Strand
SA
Int.
Gr 4
SA
Int.
Gr 5
SA
Int.
Gr 6
SA
Int.
Gr 7
SA
Int.
Chance& Data 53.3 49.0 46.6 43.4 69.7 63.1 55.5 52.1 50.5 47.1
Measurement
66.9 58.9 67.3 60.9 63.8 58.6 69.0 63.8 65.5 59.6
Number
60.1 53.5 44.5 40.3 53.5 46.2 58.3 52.3 54.6 45.9
Space
60.8 54.1 57.7 52.3 62.7 56.5 63.3 58.1 59.3 52.9
Total
61.6 54.0 63.0 56.3 62.0 55.5 61.2 55.5 65.2 56.8
TIMSS Student Report Gr 3
TIMSS School Report Grade 6
Findings
• The mean scores in Maths in Grades 3 -7 were
all above the international average
• The mean score in all strands is above the
international average – all averages are above
60% in SA – internationally in the 50%s
• There are schools and learners that perform in
line with the top performing learners in countries
such as Hong-Kong , Singapore and Chinese
Taipei.
Discussion and Conclusion
• There are learners and schools in South Africa that
perform at internationally benchmarked levels in
Mathematics
• SA teachers can teach Mathematics
• Challenge is to expand the pockets of excellence and
make this internationally benchmarked level of
performance available to every learner
• Invest the appropriate resources at an appropriate level
so that many more schools can follow… rather than
simply investing in changing the curriculum again.
And, perhaps, when reporting, authorities
should highlight how best performers are
achieving to alleviate the sense of despair –
we do have schools who are not using fancy
‘tricks’, just plain good teaching of the SA
curriculum and achieving great results.
That is where our focus needs to be –
finding out how and why it works in these
schools and try to replicate it. We cannot
accept that SA learners cannot compare and
compete in Mathematics internationally !
References
*www.nicspaull.com/research

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