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Paper Saarmste2

Paper Saarmste2



This paper was presented in the SAARMSTE conference in January 2009. and is based on a four years Numeracy project ORT SA runs in Alexandra Township in Johannesburg South Africa.

This paper was presented in the SAARMSTE conference in January 2009. and is based on a four years Numeracy project ORT SA runs in Alexandra Township in Johannesburg South Africa.



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    Paper Saarmste2 Paper Saarmste2 Presentation Transcript

    • Numeracy Research in South Africa
    • The impact of two Numeracy programmes on teaching and learning in the Foundation Phase: Results from the baseline and interim study Roelien du Toit JET Education Service Ariellah Rosenberg ORT SA
    • Alexandra township Working with all 12 Primary schools Working with ALL teachers - ALL learners in FP Planning Grade 3 Grade 2 Grade 1
    • Project background
      • The 12 schools were randomly assigned to one of the two Numeracy programmes, i.e. the SA programme or the Singapore programme
      • The programmes were implemented through:
        • Provision of learner and teacher books for grade 1 according to the specific programme
        • Teacher training based on the specific programme once a week as well as 4 days during the June holidays
        • On-site support visits to all teachers (2x per term)
    • Methodology of research
      • Grade 1: Baseline and interim study 2008
      • Grade 2: Baseline and interim study 2009
      • Grade 3: Baseline and interim study 2010
      • Samples:
        • 2 schools from each programme for perception data, learner book analysis and lesson observations
        • Whole population for teacher subject knowledge tests and learner tests
      SA based Singapore based
    • Research Methodology
      • Review of the two programmes in terms of:
        • curriculum approach
        • extent of guidance provided to teachers on methodology, consolidation and differentiation
        • alignment to NCS
      • Testing of teacher subject knowledge using a criterion-referenced test based on the grade 1 to 7 NCS
      • Testing of learners’ basic addition skills using a norm-referenced speeded test
      • Learner book analysis in terms of:
        • coverage of intended curriculum
        • rate of doing exercises
        • complexity of exercises
    • Findings
    • Analysis of set of books SA Based set of books Singapore set of books Books provision Teachers’ Guide Learners’ textbook + learners workbook Teachers’ Guide + 5 other books Learners’ textbook + 2 learners’ workbooks Curriculum approach Based on SA curriculum Outcome based approach Based on Singapore curriculum Syllabus directive approach Teachers’ guidance Flexible nature Detailed guidance on methodology, key concepts, resources and more Provision for differentiation and consolidation Limited consolidation and differentiation. Dependant on teachers Specific books for different groups of learners. Opportunities for consolidation Alignment to NCS Aligned to NCS Slower pace. NCS to be covered by the end of grade 3 Context aligned Reflect all different groups in SA Does not reflect SA. Pictures reflect every day objects
    • Set of books
      • Singapore
      • South Africa
    • Programme review
      • Singapore programme is more directive in terms of teaching methodology, consolidation, sequence in which concepts should be addressed and resources. Very strong on defining the concept to be taught and what learners need to know about the concept.
      • SA programme allows more freedom in terms of methodology, consolidation, sequence of concepts and resources. Very little on defining a concept and what learners should know about the concept. More dependent on the teacher’s choices as well as her knowledge and understanding.
      • Singapore programme is slower paced in terms of the number of concepts introduced in grade 1, but pace picks up significantly in grade 3 to cover the same concepts as the SA programme by the end of grade 3.
      • Both programmes proclaim a focus on problem solving, but Singapore provide more guidelines for the teachers on how to go about encouraging learners to solve problems.
    • Analysis of grade 1 learners’ books Singapore SA based Curriculum coverage B: Average 7 concepts I: Average 9 concepts Covered all concepts in Singapore programme in interim B: Average 9 concepts I: Average 12 concepts Covered 60% of concepts in grade 1 NCS in interim Grade 1 NCS - 45 AS covers approx. 20 broad concepts Grade 1 Singapore curriculum – covers approx. 9 broad concepts Number of exercises (pieces of written work) B: Average 67 exercises. Approx. 1 exercise every 3 school days (using only 180 school days) I: Average 88 exercises. Approx. 1 exercise every 2 school days. B: Average 71 exercises. Approx. 1 exercise every 2.5 school days I: Average 78 exercises. Approx. 1 exercise every 2.3 school days. Complexity of exercises B: On average only 1 problem requiring more than one step I: On average 28 problems requiring more than one step B: On average 9 problems requiring more than one step I: On average 3 problems requiring more than one step
    • Teachers’ profiles Baseline study
      • Most teachers (97%) have passed matric while only 23% have passed matric mathematics
    • Teachers’ subject knowledge test results
      • No significant changes in overall averages – no significant impact
      • Great variability in achievement between individual schools’ within the same programme as well as between individual teachers’ within the same schools – some schools and some teachers better in teacher subject knowledge than others
    • Learner test results
      • Used norm-referenced speeded test which allows calculation of a test age, and thus the difference between chronological age and test age.
      • Calculated mean differences between chronological age and test age per school, programme group and the project.
    • Learner test results
      • In both programmes learner achievement improved (i.e. the backlogs learners experienced got smaller).
      • Improved more marked in the Singapore programme.
      • The SA programme teachers had better teacher subject knowledge, but their learners achievements were lower. The learners in the Singapore programme achieved better scores but their teachers achieved lower scores on subject knowledge.
      • The design keeps the type of learner, socio-economic factor and school environment constant
      • Hypotheses:
        • Some factor implicit in the programmes must attribute to the difference in learner achievement.
        • Good programmes can mediate poor teacher subject knowledge.
    • Learner test results per school
      • All schools showed improvement in learner achievement, but amount of improvement varied.
      • Three of the four best performing schools at the interim (i.e. school B, D, E and L) are in the Singapore programme
      • Three of the four worse performing schools at the interim (i.e. school G, H, I and A) are in the SA programme
      • Four of the six schools who showed the best improvement (i.e. school A, B, D, E, K and L) are in the Singapore programme
      • Four of the six schools who showed the least improvement (i.e. school C, F, G, H, I and J) are in the SA programme.