Guidelines for the educational psychologist in the assessment of mathematics in the foundation phase

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dc.contributor.author Gomes, Veronica Ann
dc.date.accessioned 2008-05-12T13:20:49Z
dc.date.available 2008-05-12T13:20:49Z
dc.date.issued 2008-05-12T13:20:49Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/355
dc.description.abstract The aim of this study was to investigate guidelines for the educational psychologist in the assessment of foundation phase mathematics. The investigation takes place in the light of Outcomes-based education, which is a new practice of education in South Africa, within the paradigm of post-modernism. Outcomes-based education framed within the National Curriculum Statement, has necessitated far-reaching changes in education and assessment alike. Educational psychology has not been untouched and the field has had to re-look its approach to assessment. Therefore, it has been necessary for educational psychologists in South Africa to develop an approach to the assessment of foundation phase mathematics that will yield credible information in order to support the learner in the best way possible. Educational psychologists have tended to use standardised mathematics tests and IQ tests exclusively when assessing foundation phase learners in mathematics. But, the emphasis of an educational psychological assessment is moving from, not only discovering the learner’s IQ score and the grade or age level that they function at mathematically but also, to question ‘why’ the specific learner is not making progress, ‘what’ the learner can or can’t do, and from the teacher’s point of view, ‘how’ the child can best be helped. This can be achieved by making use of the curriculum as the starting point for the assessment and then assessing each task using an approach which encompasses a dynamic and assetbased approach, where the assessor seeks to understand the learner's areas of personal strength and assets in mathematics. A qualitative interpretivistic design was used in this study. The research methods employed were a literature search of existing literature including mathematics documents, a focus-group interview with foundation teachers from a local primary school, an interview with a lecturer of educational psychological assessment and an incomplete-sentences questionnaire completed by second year masters’ degree students in the educational psychology programme─ both at the University of Johannesburg. A content analysis of two documents─ the National Curriculum Statement (NCS) (2002) and the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (2000), an American mathematics curriculum─ revealed that the NCS (2002) seems to be based, because of the similarities and at times the exactness of content, on the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (2000) The value of the process undertaken was that both the documents provide insight into how curriculum-based assessment could be carried out. The constant comparative method of analysis was used to analyse the focus group interview, the individual interview and the incomplete questionnaires. The findings confirm that the changes in education have impacted on educational psychologists’ ‘medical model’ approach to assessment and on the way in which they have been used to working. Educational psychologists’ when carrying out an assessment should aim to ascertain how much an individual has learnt and whether support for learning is required. They should use a variety of assessment tools which should result in a comprehensive understanding of the learner resulting in feedback and a report that is meaningful to teachers and parents. en
dc.description.sponsorship Dr. Elzette Fritz Mrs. Raine Pettipher en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Mathematics study and teaching(Elementary) en
dc.subject Educational psychologists en
dc.subject Rating of school children en
dc.subject intelligence of school children en
dc.title Guidelines for the educational psychologist in the assessment of mathematics in the foundation phase en
dc.type Thesis en

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